Carr Blog Post Featured in Crains

February 4, 2014

KJK’s Senior Counsel Connie Carr’s blog post was featured in Crain’s Real Estate eNewsletter:

Own a smart phone or tablet? Below is a summary of some of the real estate apps available today, all of which offer a version for Apple devices, and most of which also offer versions for Android devices.

Searching for available real estate:

Trulia and Zillow are apps to assist in the search for rentals or homes to buy.
Each app provides estimates of home values along with other data, such as photos, sales history, taxes, square footage and area selling prices. Zillow also provides rent estimates that are useful when evaluating whether to rent or own. Another plus for Zillow is its housing payment calculator, which includes taxes, insurance costs and mortgage insurance, providing a more realistic payment estimate. However, its listings are often outdated.
Both apps provide access to current mortgage rates and loan quotes. Where Trulia stands apart from the others is in local map viewing of data. This feature displays comparable sales, nearby school locations, crimes, amenities and access to public transit on a map next to the target property. Realtor.com has a similar app that is more up-to-date for property listings but falls short in other areas, such as the number of photos.
The LoopNet and CoStarGo apps assist users in the search for commercial real estate to buy or lease. However, a subscription is needed to access all of their features. Each app allows users to search for commercial real estate near their current location or in a specified location. Results are displayed on a map that can be adjusted to change the size or location. LoopNet excels in providing current search results. CoStarGo has the edge on providing the historical data on a property, such as comps, information on its physical structure, tenant analysis and mortgage terms.

Investment analysis:

The Analyst Real Estate app provides a whole suite of real estate analysis tools specifically designed for commercial or investment real estate. Calculators allow users to estimate a property’s potential IRR/NPV or the time value of money for the property, analyze leasing vs. owning, run a loan analysis or generate other reports. For a monthly fee formal reports can be generated with a company’s name, logo and contact information.

Space planning, rehabilitation and repair:

The Magic Plan app allows users to create a floor plan on their mobile devices. Users take pictures of the corners of a room, fine tune the results, and then add the room plan into the overall floor plan. The floor plan can be customized by selecting which dimensions to display the level of detail and display scale. Users also can label room names and add disclaimers, photos, logos and watermarks. The floor plan can then be saved in multiple formats. This app can be particularly useful to agents marketing a property.
With HammerPoint users can calculate repair estimates based on a property’s square footage and receive an emailed copy of the estimate. More than 75 estimates are available and the app adjusts prices based on the location of the property. Having a repair estimate in hand during price negotiations can be a significant advantage to buyers.
Using these apps on a mobile device allows real estate professionals and investors to spend more time in the field and negotiate with better information at hand, and their affordability puts the tools into the hands of more people…all of which leads to an increase in productivity and more deals!