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Help Your Clients Build a Home With a Smartphone — 10 Top Apps for Real Estate Pros

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Do you have clients looking for lots and land to build a new home or that are considering buying new construction?  We’ve combed through hundreds of Apps that can provide tools for real estate agents and brokers to help your clients 1) find the perfect homesite and 2) build their houses using a Smartphone. 

Our recent article – Build a Home with the Help of a Smartphone and these 8 Apps – identified some of the best Apps for homeowners or home buyers to use in their new home planning and construction process. And even though we know that real estate agents and brokers have found some of those Apps useful too, we wanted to build you a separate list. In this new list we’ve tried to focus on the lot and land buying experience and new home planning process, but we think you’re likely to use many of these Apps when buying and selling existing homes too.

These 10 top Apps for Smartphones and Tablets for you real estate pros range in price from Free to about $20:

  1. Planimeter ($4.99, iPad & iPhone) – This App allows you to chart lot lines to measure distance and land area on the maps on your iPad or iPhone. Curious about approximately how many square feet or acres are in a prospective lot? Or do you want to know whether your client’s dream home design will fit within the buildable area of a potential homesite? Another similar App is Geo Measure (($1.99, iPad & iPhone)
  2. Gaia GPS ($19.99, iPad & iPhone) and iTopoMaps ($7.99, iPad & iPhone) – Originally made for hikers, we like that these Apps can be used as a real estate tool for evaluating properties. No longer do you have to sit in your car in front of a potential homesite and wonder what the elevation really is like through that dense forest. Now you can use these Apps to see a USGS topo map from above, with your location plotted on the map. Note that maps are not available for all areas and some processes may not work without GPS activated.
  3. Geo Elevation ($1.99, iPad & iPhone) – For some clients, the lines on a topographic map may look like abstract art (or scribbles). So another way to look at the elevation of a potential homesite is a cross-section elevation chart. Geo Elevation allows you to get your current or specified elevation readings and you can print cross-section charts using points from the field or the contour lines on a topographic map. Will the backyard be too steep? Now your clients can see how their house would lay on the slope of a lot. Elevation Chart ($1.99, iPad & iPhone) has similar features.
  4. Easy Measure (Free, iPad & iPhone) – Use your Smartphone’s camera to measure all kinds of things in the field. Determine approximate lot lines by measuring to a tree or other landmark in the distance. Measure how close the neighbor’s house or shed is to the proposed location of the new home. Find room dimensions in existing homes or measure the height of buildings to help get a feel for scale. This can be a handy App to have in your pocket.
  5. Photo Measures ($5.99, iPad & iPhone) – With this App you can take photos and then record your measurements on the photo while in the field. This is a great feature to use with Easy Measure (above), so you can take your measurements with one and then record the measurements on an image of the site, room, buildings or whatever you choose.
  6. MagicPlan ($2.99, iPad & iPhone) – This is a great App for agents to measure and create floorplans with your iPhone. Of course this is ideal for using with existing homes, it also can help your clients recreate a room they love too, so that they can consider incorporating the concept in their new home’s design.
  7. PadCAD ($17.99, Apple & Android)  – Sometimes it helps for you or your client to see what a conceptual new home’s floor plan will look like, whether to lay it out on a lot map or just to experiment and be creative. With PadCAD you can create your own blueprints on your device. It’s not a replacement for an architect or full-blown Computer Aided Design (CAD), but PadCAD can help you visualize your floor plan ideas.
  8. Sign Up Sheet (Free, iPad) – This App is not really focused on lots and land, but we think it’s just a great tool for agents to use to record visitors at open houses or when gathering information about leads.  Also check out Open Home Pro ($14.99, iPad) for a more sophisticated App that offers this feature too.
  9. Barrons Dictionary of RE Terms ($8.99, iPad & iPhone) – This App is a great resource to have at your fingertips, because it not only helps you with unfamiliar real estate terms but it also can help you explain real estate terminology to clients.  It never hurts to impress your clients by showing them that you are on top of your game.
  10. Zip Codes ($0.99, iPad & iPhone) – In a business where everything is tied to addresses and locations, zip codes can be a confounding piece of the real estate address puzzle. Use this App to look up zip codes and even to find a zip code based on your current location. 

Have you found any Apps that you think should be added to the list?


Note: For this article we have tried to focus on standalone or independent Apps. There are many great add-on Apps that act as a mobile interface for existing enterprise software, MLS systems or other online services for real estate industry professionals, but those types of Apps just weren’t within the scope of our review.


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