THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHY APP/SOFTWARE
Tie: Camera+ and Instagram
These two apps have several similar editing and filter features, making it a tough call for our panel. “Instagram is great way to take photos and connect with others, is a smaller platform and more of an opportunity to connect with clients, but I also love Camera+ because it’s one of the easiest to use photo editing apps,” Lance says.
Camera+ is an alternative to the standard iPhone camera, offering a lot more capabilities, and not just in terms of editing. It allows you to control the exposure and focus the way you want, instead of the way the camera chooses, helps line up your shots to prevent crooked pictures, has a 5x digital zoom and gives you several border designs to choose from.
At the moment, Camera+ only takes still photographs, not videos, so you would have to make a switch back to the standard phone camera. Also, Camera+ is only available for iOS technology.
Where to buy: Available at iTunes.
Not only are Instagram photos easy to share instantly through various forms of social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and Flickr), but it also features filters that enhance the clarity of your photos or add an artistic touch. Like Twitter, you can use hashtags in your captions to categorize your photos and attract individuals who are interested in the same topics as you (this is also a good way to gain new followers).
Instagram is really more of a mobile app, so it is difficult to use on a desktop computer. Any photos you take with a traditional digital camera must be saved into your phone if you’d like to edit them. Also, photos taken by the app are saved in 612×612 pixels, so we recommend taking a picture with your phone’s standard camera app first, and then uploading and editing it through Instagram afterwards.
Where to buy: Available at iTunes and Google Play
Runners Up: Matterport, your own smartphone
Hata loves Matterport. It uses the same tech Google uses for Streetview, but by scanning and uploading 3-D data to the cloud with its Matterport Pro 3D Camera. Film inside and outside homes to create 3-D tours; cloud-processing technology generates and hosts fully immersive models from captured 2D and 3D data. Matterport’s Web and mobile apps allow anybody to interact with 3-D models anywhere – all anyone needs is a browser. “The tech is constantly improving with mobile and the ability to stage homes on the way,” Hata says. “To see an example, you can go to one of my wife’s listings: http://bit.ly/1qKh1IT.”
Price: Choose from a basic membership at $49 per month, professional at $99 per month or business membership at $149 per month.
Where to buy: https://matterport.com/order/
Your Own Smartphone
“The built-in features of the iPhone camera (and other smartphones) have just gotten better and better,” Price says. “Today, you can usually get the results you need without using third-party apps. There are also lots of nifty tricks that many people don’t know about, so we put together a post on Placester.com about tips and tricks for agents to get the most out of their phone.”
Price: Depends on type of smartphone.
Where to buy: Apple Store, Best Buy, your cell phone service carrier store
THE BEST SAFETY APP
This is a family locator app where you can let whoever you choose know where you are at any point in the day. There is panic button that will alert that person via text, or call anyone in your circle. Best of all, it’s available for iOS, Android and the Windows phone, and it’s free!
Where to buy: https://www.life360.com/
Runners Up: Guardly, Glympse
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
This free app can share your location in real time for a maximum of four hours, so you can let anyone know where you are before heading to a showing or appointment. Jeremy Wacksman, vice president of marketing and product management at Zillow, is a fan of this app because as your location changes or as you move from listing to listing, the people “following” you on this app are updated, too. The only downfall is it needs a cell phone signal to work – if you are in an area with no cell reception, your location will not be visible.
Where to buy: Available at iTunes or Google Play