BEST EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE
For agents who just want sophisticated email marketing software, our panel chose two software programs that make agents’ lives easier.
Tie Between InTouch by Pat Zaby and Nudge by 1000 Watt
InTouch by Pat Zaby
Harney says InTouch makes it easy for agents to keep a consistent stream of useful messages flowing to their current and past clients. Agents can bring in their own content or use some of InTouch’s exclusive content. He also says that the software is working on integrations to allow agents to bring in their favorite content sources without any extra effort. “This is another company that cares about making life easier for the agent,” he says.
Harney says it is important to note that InTouch is not a robust CRM or marketing engine. It is more of a stand-alone system that can help agents with a certain piece of their marketing and lead-nurturing efforts.
Price: The start-up fee is $100, and after that, costs $39 per month or $399 per year.
Where to buy: http://www.patzaby.com/products/intouch/
Nudge by 1000 WATT
“A picture speaks a thousand words, yet all of our email marketing is filled with copy,” Harney says. 1000 Watt has created a software called Nudge, a simple-to-use platform where agents can bring in images and create a slideshow in an email. This is great if they want to show pictures of their listings, great real estate infographics, etc. Harney says the creators of Nudge are definitely onto something. “They allow agents to get right to the point with their message, and have strong calls to action built in to guide the consumer to the next logical step – calling for an appointment. We’ve seen some really cool ‘nudges’ from some of our early adopting customers.”
Like InTouch, Harney says Nudge lacks a fully laid-out CRM component. It is designed to be a system to help agents with marketing and nurturing leads, not a CRM or marketing engine.
Price: Nudge costs $149 per year, and has a 30-day money back guarantee.
Where to buy: http://getnudgeapp.com/agents
BEST APP/SOFTWARE FOR OPEN HOUSES
While the topic of open houses and whether or not they are truly useful to agents is still often debated, at least there’s an app that can help with everything agents need organized for their open houses.
Winner: Open Home Pro
Our panel unanimously agreed on Open Home Pro, which gives you the capabilities to run all of your open houses on your iPad. It allows you to manage walk-ins, follow up with leads, create listing pages and export any collected data to Microsoft Excel or a CRM. The app has recently made some updates, including photo transitions, and an easier way to delete leads and listings. “I feel that Open Home Pro is the best out there for ease of use and functionality,” Haran says.
Right now, it is only compatible with iOS systems, and users are required to have an iTunes account.
Price: There is a free version available, but the upgraded version is $14.99.
Where to buy: Available at iTunes
BEST SAFETY APP
Thankfully, there are several free safety apps available for agents. Below are our panel’s picks, but no matter what apps you have, always let someone know where you are going before going to a showing or open house. “Even if it’s the office or your manager, text someone that you are going to meet a stranger and when you expect to be done,” Haran says. “Safety is always worth taking a few extra minutes out of your day.”
Guardly is an emergency communication platform that allows you to alert, connect and collaborate with local authorities and the user’s own personal safety networks in a single tap. It is specifically designed for people who work alone, such as Realtors and university students. The app has gotten stellar reviews on its quick response time, ease of use and a variety of options on how to organize/prioritize your contact groups.
There is a free version, but the more advanced version with location tracking and the ability to call 911 can cost anywhere from $1.99 per month to $19.99 per year, whether or not you use it (but we hope for your sake that you never have to!).
Price: Ranges from free to $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year.
Where to buy: https://www.guardly.com/pricing
Runners Up: SafeTrec and Real Alert
When you set up SafeTrec, if there’s ever an emergency, email and text messages then will be sent to your emergency contacts, along with your precise location using your phone’s GPS technology – the full-feature app also sends the message to a 24/7 live help center, which will contact 911 for you if necessary, and has your medical information, such as allergies, blood type and your physical description and photo, stored.
The basic version doesn’t have some of the features listed above.
Price: Basic is free, premium is $19.95 per month.
Where to Buy: http://safetrec.com/pricing/
The app displays a giant, red “Call 911”″ in the middle of your iPhone’s screen, so as long as you have your phone in your hand and there’s an emergency, it’s hard to miss.
Make sure your phone stays in your hand, or you can’t use the app – unless the phone is your hand and you’re actively pushing buttons to enable it to call 911 or sound an alarm, it won’t work.
Where to buy: Available at iTunes, Android Market and BlackBerry App World