Awesome Apps

 Rick Broida  |    January 13, 2010

Let’s face it: the iPhone deserves the hype it is getting. Few other cell phones on the planet offer such an elegant interface, useful Web browser and diverse assortment of third-party applications.

Those applications — “apps” for short — really make the iPhone shine as a tool for REALTORS®. Here is a list of apps that will make you better organized, more productive and, quite possibly, smarter than the average REALTOR®. (Note: everything listed here is available via iTunes or your iPhone’s App Store app.)

Google Earth

Already a desktop staple, the iPhone version of Google Earth puts the same incredible satellite and aerial imagery in the palm of your hand. You can “fly” to any location in the world (including your current location), browse geo-located photos (and Wikipedia articles) and leverage Google Local Search to find nearby businesses and places. Best of all, Google Earth is free.

GPS Apps

If you don’t already own a GPS, here is some good news: apps like CoPilot Live, MobileNavigator and TomTom can turn your iPhone into a sophisticated, full-featured navigation system. However, the apps can be pricey (most are in the $40-80 range), and you will need to buy a windshield or dashboard mount for your iPhone. Plus, if you spend a lot of time making or taking calls on the road, you might not like the constant interruptions to your navigation.

Home Finders

What about finding actual homes for sale? Apps like Home Finder, Puluwai Real Estate Search and Trulia Real Estate Search help you do exactly that, this time using your iPhone’s GPS as a basis for searches. They present listings within a designated radius of your location. The apps are free, so you can try them all to see which one suits you best.


Why buy a Kindle when you’ve already got an iPhone? I like Amazon’s popular e-book reader, but I don’t relish the idea of transporting yet another device everywhere I go, particularly one that does not fit in a pocket. Thankfully, I can read Kindle e-books right on my iPhone thanks to Amazon’s own Kindle app.

The app itself is free; you pay only for the books you buy from Amazon’s Kindle Store (, which is accessible on your PC or your iPhone’s Safari browser. Delivery is instantaneous. Once you click Buy, the book is immediately downloaded to the app. This is great not only for leisure reading when you have a little down-time, but also for bringing along industryoriented titles like 1,200 Great Sales Tips for Real Estate Professionals and Broker to Broker: Management Lessons From America’s Most Successful Real Estate Companies.

Loan Lite

For a mere 99 cents, this handy app calculates monthly rates for 5-, 10-, 15- or 30-year home loans. Like any good mortgage calculator, Loan Lite also lets you make adjustments for down payments, insurance, homeowner association fees and taxes.

Property Evaluator

Designed with real estate agents and lenders in mind, Property Evaluator provides loan calculations, performance projections, what-if scenarios, amortization tables and other handy analysis tools. It is quite the bargain at just $2.99.


Imagine hiring an assistant to follow you around during property tours, taking notes about clients’ observations, snapping photos of standout house features and so on. Later, the assistant compiles all that information into a slick, easy-to-share PDF — effectively giving the client a multimedia-rich summary of likes and dislikes for a given property. Not a bad proposition.

That’s the idea behind TourNarrator, an app that captures photos, voice notes and text for individual properties, and then presents them in a neatly organized PDF report. That report lives on developer A La Mode’s servers, where it gets a dedicated Web address you can share with others, post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, etc. All that is available from an app that costs just $1.99.

Tech guru Rick Broida writes for CNET and PC Magazine. He is the author of over a dozen books, including How to Do Everything with Your Palm Powered Handheld, 6th Edition.

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