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By Tara-Nicholle Nelson | Broker in San Francisco, CA

9 Futuristic Real Estate Apps That Already Exist

Remember the Jetsons? When you think back on it, it’s uncanny how many of the so-called space age technologies that George, Jane, Judy, Elroy (and the inimitable Rosie) had in their 2062-era home exist right now - 40 years ahead of schedule! Video phone calls, mobile devices with video and phone capabilities, flatscreen “televiewers” with scrolling news updates (à la the internet), digital diaries, even robotic cleaners like Roomba: all Jetson gadgetry, and all of it exists as we speak.

The light-speed at which web and mobile applications, or apps, are being developed and launched today means that it’s easy to find yourself pining away for an app that could work a particular sort of futuristic wizardry in your house hunt or home sale - when, in fact, that app already exists!  Don’t get stuck in a real estate time warp - instead, tap into this list of 9 futuristic real estate apps that already exist.

1. Trulia. I’m obviously partial, but I’m not the only one that loves the Trulia mobile app suite. Here’s why: wherever you find yourself - at your pal’s baby shower or lost in a strange town - you can pull out your phone or tablet, open the Trulia app and it will instantly detect your location and serve you up everything you’d ever need to know about the homes for sale in that area. How’s that for futuristic?

But there’s more! As the New York Times raved, “Trulia includes a well-designed search feature, where users can find homes for sale or rent according to a specified price and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or homes that have recently posted price reductions, for instance.  Trulia users can also contact a home’s real estate agent from each listing, and scan a list of nearby amenities and institutions, like gas stations or schools." 
The app also allows you to send listings to your agent and save favorites to the same My Trulia dashboard you can access from your laptop, desktop, or other device from home or work. Plus, you can use the Trulia Mortgage Calculator app for iPhone and iPad to help see how much you can afford and compare personalized loan quotes.

Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free

2.  Home Snap. HomeSnap is an augmented reality app that gives you access to all sorts of information about a home, by just taking a photo of the property. In fact, some folks have deemed it the ultimate form of tech-empowered voyeurism, but what’s cool about it is that taking a photo is the key that unlocks the information from public records or listing websites.

Available for iOS. Android version coming soon.
Price: Free

3.  House Hunter. I have a practice of asking my home buyer clients to track what’s good, bad and ugly about individual properties as we tour them, and to select/rank their top couple from every tour. The House Hunter App represents a high-tech upgrade to that useful, but old-school, exercise of tracking homes’ attributes and comparing properties against each other. Because it’s a digital experience, it’s quicker; it’s easier to share with your co-buyer, your parents or your agent; and it’s simpler to execute, as the app actually provides a list of over 80 property attributes you can choose from to describe any given home you see on tour.

Available for: iOS
Price: $3.99

4. Houzz. My friends and colleagues have raved about this app - on iPhone, iPad, Android and on the web - since it first came out a couple of years back. But not until I was actually embarking upon a home remodeling project of my own, could I fully appreciate its value in terms of delivering a seemingly endless number of photos of well-designed rooms, and the ability to favorite and track them to help organize your own redesign plans and, even better, to communicate them vividly to your designer or contractor. What’s more, house hunters can (and should) tap into the app to compile images that depict their stylistic leanings and aesthetic preferences better than they can do verbally, for the purpose of helping their agent understand their vision.  

Availble for: iOS and Android
Price: Free

5. Photo Measures and My Measures.  If I have one tape measure I have a dozen - yet I never seem to have one handy when I need them the most. Whether you’re the type of house hunter who wants to account for the precise dimensions of an heirloom dining table or a seller who is trying to do as much DIY property preparation as you can, both of these apps equip you with the high-tech capability to simply take a pictue of a wall, room, floor or door and use your fingers to get an accurate measure of any given distance on the image.

Photo Measures available for iOS
Price: $4.99
My Measures available for Android
Price: $4.99

6. DocuSign Ink.  Sign any contract document, disclosure, offer or counteroffer - in a moment’s time - with your mobile device. This app is also integrated with the basic boilerplate contract forms used by agents in most areas. DocuSign Ink is so convenient and makes signing so easy you’ll have to exercise some serious discipline to actually read through things before you sign them.

Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free

7. Color Capture/ColorSmart/ColorClix/Wall Painter.  All of these paint apps are brought to you by individual paint brands, and they’re all great - I say, use the one that maps to your favorite paint brand. They all empower you to snap a photo of anything in the world around you and find the company’s matching paint color.  And for those with futuristic design desires, you can use any of these apps to virtually “paint” the walls of your house and preview the results before you even buy a single bucket of paint, using  computer vision and intelligent object detection.

Color Capture available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free
ColorSmart available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free
ColorClix available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free
Wall Painter available for: iOS
Price: $.99

8.  Airbnb Neighborhoods.  With functionality provided by the site NabeWise, the web-based application Airbnb
Neighborhoods is a program that futuristic house hunters can use to power the ultimate decision-making experience: trying a neighborhood on for size, whether for a night, a weekend or a couple of weeks.  Though it’s currently limited to major world cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C., Airbnb Neighborhoods allows you to click on a city, click on the area “flavor” you want in your future neighborhood (options include “Nightlife” “Loved by Washtonians” “Stunning Views” and more) and it will not only surface the neighborhoods that have been tagged with these characteristics by the folks who live there, it will also pull up available Airbnb homes you can rent on a very short-term basis in those areas, if you want to give the area a whirl before you launch your house hunt in earnest.

Available for: iOS and Android
Price: Free

9. Karl’s Mortgage Calculator.  When I think of futuristic gadgetry, I envision things that are simple and uncomplicated, yet flexible and powerful when you put them to use. This is precisely how I’d describe Karl’s Mortgage Calculator. Not only does it calculate payments from a purchase price and interest rate, it also will calculate any one of those items from the other two - uber-helpful for buyers who know how much they can spend, but not how much that will buy them, and for folks who are trying to evaluate the different payment scenarios of loan programs with several different interest rate levels.  Karl’s Mortgage Calculator instantly produces very easy-to-understand graphs and charts, and is really helpful for folks considering various scenarios for paying their home loan(s) off early.

Available for: Android

ALL: What are your favorite real estate apps?

ALL:  You should follow Trulia and Tara on Facebook!    


By George,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 10:59
I think the best app for real estate investors is called the "Real Estate Investing Analyst." It's for iOS and also FREE.
By Michael Carnahan,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 11:13
Wow! Thanks for the great list. I already use some of these, including Trulia, but I was completely unaware of others, like the paint apps. Thanks again! Mike
By David Van Waldick,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 11:40
An app that we find very valuable to our home buyer clients can be found at http://www.ePrequal.com .
Their easy to use, instant loan preapproval system "AUTOLUS" provides a prelminary loan approval within minutes. Buyers recieve an immediate response, no cost pre-approval. This allows their agents to write and submit offers with confidence. This no commitment prelimnary approval is accompanied by a full loan offer at competive rates and terms to consumers nationwide. We highly recommend all buyers in need of financing start here.
By David Barr,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 11:43
Real estate apps?

I've used DocuSign for over a year; it's hardly futuristic. Three or four of these are home improvement apps, most of us don't live in DC/SF/LA, and one is a glorified hotel/rental app. Trulia Mobile still lists properties scraped from the public tax records that aren't available for sale. I second bsticklor for the unsubscribe.
By Sandra Adames,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 12:04
Well said David Barr. I am feedup myself all the way to the top with all those nonsense listings and when one call to find out about them, one get always the same information: It is not available, but these others are. That is really annoying and stupid; I wonder how they get to sale any home at all with that system. It is so frustrating and at the last you can't get a real estate agent that show you what you really can afford, beside the fact that they have "many" listings within your capabilities. All that technology for what? Get real, nothing of that is "really" helping.
By Shayna Angelone,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 12:14
Zillow is a great app
By Matthew Goulden,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 12:22
Well said Sandra and David. I get so many clients who get the trulia or zillow app and it takes me weeks to convince them that many of the listings on these 2 sites are in contract or have been sold, even worse they were never for sale at all and they are just ads from realty track to scam people out of money to see a person who has an NOD. and the rentals advertised use pictures from property for sale and then try and scam people for money, I must see 10 Q's a week asking "is this too good to be true"

I take them like this, They are fun if you just want to play Real Estate, but if you are truly looking to purchase or sell go and find yourself a really good Realtor and use the MLS, and please do the logical thing and get a Pre Approval from a good local lender if you want your offer to be taken seriously - especially in the growing number of competitive markets. In San Francisco we would in 95% of cases laugh at a pre qual letter and tell the seller they are not serious buyers as they could not even make the effort to get there paperwork to a lender to approve them.

This is an important decision in life, treat it that way and you will have more chance of success
By David Van Waldick,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 12:34
Good comments. On the loan side, we find that many lenderw will not underwrite a "to be determined" borrower application other than an Automated Underwriting Decision, which is what the http://www.ePrequal.com service provides 24/7 at the borrower or realtor's convenience. In addition, many realtors are taught to not show homes to borrowers who are not "pre-approved". As you know only 1 in 4 buyers are willing to make the full effort to get loan approval prior to searching for homes, even if they could find a lender who would comply. We recommend trying it as it is free and with no sales hassles, and is available anywhere any time.
By danspot,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 12:34
Windows Phone?
By Chrissie Tian,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 12:38
redfin hands down best!
By Jeff George,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 13:13
Great choses of apps
By Joanne Bernardini,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 13:19
Thanks for the input! I love to keep current on the latest apps that help me!
By bnk0627,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 13:21
Has Anyone checked out REstats (I have it for OS) It is a pretty cool app but takes "Forever to load. It will give you a pretty good picture of how other markets are doing (Im assuming you already know how your market is doing LOL) It is king of like Altos but a mini version. Your investor clients will apprecciate your insight
By Diane Sayers,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 13:37
Raveis.com has all your real estate needs for all new england MLS listings!! Great APP, Great mapping
By Liane Jamason,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 13:50
Trulia and Zillow are never up to date with listing data. If you want up to date listings you need to have your Realtor subscribe you to a direct MLS feed. The next best thing is an IDX website or even dare I say Realtor.com...
By Tacks952,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 13:55
Unsubscribe me too!
By Cre8tiveapps,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 14:14
Thanks for the including us on the list Tara. We also have a free, agent branded version of House Hunter called House Hunter Pro. Customers can download it for free and use it with their agent to keep better organized and enhance the communication process with their agent.

Jay from Cre8tive Apps
By William Smith,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 14:20
Trulia and Zillow, Redfin are never up to date on listings. Realtor.com is updated every 15 minutes from the MLS. We all get tired of explaining it to potential clients.
By William Smith,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 14:21
I forgot to mention Tara will plagarize your posts on Trulia too.
By team,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 15:00
I really love your informative articles.
Thank you!
By Ruth Boncorddo,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 15:05
The Docusign app was great. I've used the paint apps too which were pretty good and houzz took up to much space on my limited spaced phone. Trulia was the best real estate app I used.
By Tom Sharpe,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 15:30
BOCA Video is a new iPhone app for creating easy video with voice from still photos. Great for quick easy virtual tours or emailing new listings to clients. It's like having a video design studio in your hand. Go to: http://www.getboca.com
By Kimberly C,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 15:36
No one mentions http://www.ziprealty.com I have used them (as a database) since 2005. As time went by, it was turning into a fantastic site, but in the last 2 yrs or so, the changes they have made have degraded it. The last time they 'upgraded', they dumped 90% of the properties I was following. I use it with a grain of salt now, and will be looking into these other apps. Zip Realty: what is going on with you?
By Karen Steed,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 16:34
Great app info. However, even realtor.com is behind on removing sold and under contract from the website. As a matter of fact, sometimes listings that show active on mls will be under contract when you call the agent. But, in my market, about 30% of under contract homes come back on the market, due to appraisal, inspection or lender issues. So if you like an under contract home, it may not hurt to put in a back up offer.
By Carol Lee,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 16:53
Love your articles, Tara! Always interesting and right on point. Thanks for sharing your info and insights!
By lois.fanelli,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 17:04
Yes, Zillow and Trulia are not current - neither are the RE listing sites - we are actively looking and have a realtor (tht we think is great). He is about the only one who is current because he has access to his RE insider sites. The realtors are TERRIBLE at even putting a PENDING indication on the sites. We use them all. Trulia and Zillow give you public info - but it is THERE...you don't have to go searching for it. They all offer something - but ony a real, live, RE agent can give you the true story on a house! At least a GOOD one can!
By djcarl,  Thu Jan 17 2013, 17:42
Wow, do people love to whine. So what Zillows and Trulia data is not up to the minute ! Thats actually a good thing. These are the same people that have no clue about marketing and basic sales obviously. I just love it when people call me about a property they see on those sites. I use it my advantage to capture business. Why ? Some times it can be an organic lead that can lead to sale. That's the name of this business. If you get easily frustrated with customers then you need to find another career. Sales is not for you. Other wise get positive, put your salesperson hat and work it !
By Kathy Mordini,  Fri Jan 18 2013, 05:05
Zillow and Trulia are outdated. They don't have up-to-date information. And Zillows zestimates are not accurate at all!!!
By Sassygrl,  Fri Jan 18 2013, 05:49
I am in the process of buying a home and RedFin as been great for me. Accurate, reliable, and has an awesome iPad app. I love it!
By Robin Pierce,  Fri Jan 18 2013, 06:21
@Mathew, well said and I agree. thank you. @djcarl, too true. Both buyers and sellers need our guidance in the ever changing world of real estate.
By Maria Boyle,  Fri Jan 18 2013, 07:02
I am in the market for both buying and selling a house (upgrading). I appreciate all of Tara's advice and this article has some good apps I appreciate. For those of you rude people who would like to unsubscribe it in your email (as I'm sure you know). These articles are for the home buyers as well, not just agents so for those agents who think we don't know your little bait and switch game, think again. I learned w/in a matter of days that houses are left up as "active" when there sold long ago, or no longer available (djcart) just to reel us in. I wouldn't work with a shady agent who plays that game.... just sayin'.
By den7boy,  Fri Jan 18 2013, 08:17
Iam a new guy in Real estate and Iam interested in moving from the House & buggy MLS and
the money grabbing Ca. CAR. How does all this happen. It seems that the cost of these Privite
Clubs(yes clubs only) is a business that is skimming money from the Real Estate Industry.
With the internet revolution the Real Estate business can move in the direction of Broker Cooperation
and move to the new move of real Estate. Some States are already having all agents use the same
documents FOR FREE. In CA. the CAR is the the only documents referred by the DRE,wheres is the
chose? Lets move into the future .
By George Walsh,  Fri Jan 18 2013, 08:26
Maria, as an agent, I do not want my listings on Trulia just for the reason you mention. I don't leave them up there after they are not available, Trulia does. The difficulty is with the internet feed and the way Trulia interfaces with our Board of Relators Multiple Listing Service. I have to manually remove the listings from Trulia and other sites. Even then it is not an instant update. So when you hear an agent say "that's not available, but I have others" it's not always the agent's fault. As was said above, get a relationship with an agent you respect and trust and get on their search through the MLS where you want to buy and then just work with that. It will save you all that wasted time of looking at the bogus stuf on Trulia and Zillow and others. They each have their place I suppose but you can waste a lot of your time there.
By Thomas Bates,  Fri Jan 18 2013, 11:43
Tom Bates Malibu Ca

Been working for 35 years in Real Estate. These blurbs are a waste of time. They are nothing new or excting.
By Noah.beauvais,  Sun Jan 20 2013, 15:03
Djkarl has it right. Don't hate prospective clients for thinking they know the market because they follow Zillow, Trulia or Redfin. As a Realtor, I embrace computer savy clients whole heartedly. But just like a Doctor, a Realtor is the professional. If you know a good Doctor, you appreciate their honest advice. The same should be true with your Realtor. I am learning numerous mobile applications to know what my clients know and then some. Sometime I use three or four helpful applications to instantly have as much defined information as possible right in front of my client. I'm sure "good" Doctors will have to do the same as their industry changes. I've been in the real estate industry for 14 years. We had paperback MLS books that were updated every two weeks. Now I have a smartphone. Tomorrow I will have "Google Glass" glasses with a direct screen feed from that smartphone. The future is wide open. Embrace it for what it is.
By Joseph Roraff,  Sun Jan 20 2013, 17:48
Nice. Thanks!
By karen.ramirez,  Sun Jan 20 2013, 22:11
Thanks for this list! :) Check out this site http://commercialinvestmentstrategies.com/ They're also good! :) thanks again!
By Delaine Campbell,  Mon Jan 21 2013, 07:48
Love the Trulia app.
By Deborah Doehring,  Wed Jan 23 2013, 08:40
In the real estate business you have to be a honest, dedicated, caring and be a follow through Realtor. I have a phone that only sends and recieves calls and I am learning how to text. It is not
all the apps out there that make a good agent. I have been in the business 28 years and most all
my business comes from referrals or from floor time. I had my first phone 13 years and when I did
get a new one I was told my phone was an antique so It isn't the apps- is it the know how and caring of a great realtor. I really am the LOL. SO THERE! Any buyer or seller can call me or email and I will take good care of them. ddoehring@greenridge.com
By Kevin Merker,  Wed Jan 23 2013, 13:10
zillow is so much easier
By Josh Taylor,  Mon Jan 28 2013, 11:05
DocScanner is one of my favorite APPs on the road. With a snap of the photo I can create a PDF and email instantly from the road.

Check out http://www.sellingtb.com/weblog for more helpful real estate information! Follow us on Twitter @Sellingtb & Facebook
By Mallorca Properties,  Mon Jan 28 2013, 21:39
Thanks for posting this App list. I use Trulia but I also read last time that Redfin has their App also.
By Mark Acantilado,  Mon Feb 4 2013, 00:43
Currently, I mostly use Google's real estate apps which can be found here: http://www.ltech.com/google-apps/real-estate .. With the existence of these apps nowadays, realtor professionals can easily organized data and documents where ever and whenever they are.

Mark | http://www.agentcampus.com
By Lindsaypaolillo,  Mon Apr 1 2013, 07:35
Wow, some great aps. but I too am from the old school, if you return phone calls/emails, work with honesty and integrity, your phone will ring off the hook because your referrals come by word of mouth, best form of advertising. As for anything Google, no thanks, not after they honored Hugo Chavex on Easter Sunday.
By Lynn Ikle,  Wed May 8 2013, 07:34
Redfin is a direct feed from the MLS and updates every 15 minutes. None of the ones mentioned here have that feature. It is the most accurate, and up to date, with more data than any other site or app. Plus, you can set up alerts so that when a new home hits or a price changes, you are alerted immediately.
By Mark,  Fri Jun 28 2013, 07:44
I found it quiet interesting, hopefully you will keep posting such blogs..Keep sharing
Add: http://chexsystemsremovals.com
By Jebb1259,  Fri Jan 3 2014, 01:40
Online supplements shop for Australia and New Zealand...http://buy-steroids.co.nz

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