The Best in Tech for Real Estate

by Natalie Terchek


This is a new category this year (last year, this category was The Best App for Storing, Signing and Sending Documents), but Cartavi still reigns supreme – our panel couldn’t stop saying enough good things about it.

Winner: Cartavi

Cartavi is known for its ability to sign and send documents, but it does much more than that. The app has a feature called “Transaction Rooms,” which enables for quick access and storage of documents to everyone involved in a transaction. It also ensures private storage for secure documents, and there are different permissions to allow who in your network can see what. And because it is partnered with DocuSign, clients can electronically sign and send documents easily on a smartphone or tablet. Amy Smythe Harris, broker/owner of Urban Provisions Realtors in Houston and a technology instructor with the Houston Association of Realtors, says that many CRMs are being integrated into paperless transaction platforms, so Cartavi is definitely part of that trend.

Even though free accounts are available, they have a lot of limitations. They can only secure 1 GB of storage, have only three Transaction Rooms available, do not allow inbound or outbound faxing of documents, cannot achieve documents in a transaction room and do not integrate e-signature verification or DocuSign.

Price: Free, but the Basic bundle starts at $10 per month, or $99 per year. The Premium bundle is $20 a month, or $199 per year.

Where to buy: http://cartavi.com/plans/

Runner Up: Dotloop, DocuSign Ink and Dropbox


Dotloop simplifies the real estate process by consolidating all the various contracts and documents into one single, up-to-date document that is accessible online at any time. Whenever there are changes during negotiations or to specific terms of the deal, that single document is the only thing that needs to change – and it can all be done for free, at no charge to the agents or clients.

In order to receive unlimited phone support and document storage, there is a fee of $20 per month. Additional features for task and business management are also only available in the paid version.

Price: Dotloop has free accounts, and premium accounts that start at $20 per month per agent.

Where to buy: www.dotloop.com/pricing

DocuSign Ink

DocuSign recently acquired Cartavi, but the company still has its own apps and tools. DocuSign Ink is a free app that allows users to sign documents on mobile devices, including PDFs, Microsoft Office documents, image files and faxes. It can convert just about any computing file – users can download files from data clouds, such as email servers, Google Docs and Dropbox. This will allow for legally binding signing anywhere and eliminates the need for printing, faxing, shipping and scanning paper documents. Signers can provide their documents via upload, and tags for signers can be made on each document for where to sign. Agents can set the sequence of signing and set reminders and expirations for each form.

In the free version, the first five documents you send from DocuSign Ink are free, but after that, you need to purchase document credits using an in-app purchase feature, which can get pricey. Some reviews have also noted a performance lag, but nothing that inhibits the app’s performance.

Price: The first five documents are free. After that, it will cost 99 cents for a single, $4.95 for a five-pack and $9.90 for a 10-pack. Packages that range from $15 to $20 per month, depending on the number of users, are also available.

Where to buy: www.docusign.com/products-and-pricing


Dropbox is one of the top-rated cloud storage centers for a reason. Users are able to synchronize uploaded files and share them effortlessly with one another. It is stable, user-friendly and easy to access. Dropbox also shows you all the history of your files, so you can access any earlier version of a changed file, no matter how old it is.

Reviews complained about Dropbox’s inability to collaborate on files. You can only synchronize files you upload. And at times, it can be very difficult to locate certain files.

Price: There is a free version and three different types of Pro versions (with different storage capacities) that range from $9.99 monthly (or $99 annually) to $49.99 monthly (or $499 annually). Team rates are also available at $795 annually for five users.

Where to Buy: https://www.dropbox.com/pricing

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