Top Tech Tools for Stagers and Realtors
Technology… We love it and we hate it, right? The idea is to get it to work for you to simplify your life. Here are some of the tools that we have found most helpful in our staging and real estate business. You may already be using a lot of these, but here are some great hacks to get even more out of them.
If you use an iPhone, it is handy to also use iPad and Mac to take advantage of abilities to all “speak” to each other. What a time-saver it can be for sharing photos alone. Any photo you take is instantly available on all devices and ready to email, edit, etc. Airdrop makes it super simple to share a photo or document with any other Apple device in range.
If you are ready to trade in for a new phone, go ahead and get the latest ‘plus’. It has a ‘portrait’ feature that creates the most beautiful close-ups by softening the background and putting the focus on the subject. You might already be using it for capturing special people, like I did with my grand-daughter…
…But you might not be taking advantage of it for your staging photos. I snapped this pic of my coffee table. Notice the difference in the same image but with the portrait feature blurring the background – no other editing or filters. The effect is much more 3D, with the accessories popping out toward you.
Google calendar – Share events and calendars. We use a different color for each team member so we know who is available for each job. Stages and de-stages get different colors. You could also use colors for different trucks, etc. We created a separate Google calendar for social media, with different colors for the different platforms and types of content.
Google drive – Share documents that multiple team members can edit from anywhere. Use sheets to track stats, stagings, contact lists, social media, etc.
Redfin – Property history and updates. You can set alerts to let you know of the status change on property, so you know when it goes under contract. This helps you avoid the emergency de-stage situation.
Docusign – Electronic signature. No driving across town to get that contract signed.
Dropbox – File and photo management. Upload your photos on the go. Create a folder for each home, using the street name first, then the number, so that it is easy to find alphabetically.
WiseStamp – Beautiful email signature. Include your logo, picture, and even fun things like your Instagram stream or a video.
Canva – Graphic design made super easy. Here’s an example of an image that we created in minutes.
PatternCooler – Cool photo backgrounds.
IFTT – If This, Then That. Create automated actions. For example, If I post something on Instagram, Then post it also on LinkedIn. The app does it all for you and you never have to think about it again.
Mailchimp – Create beautiful campaigns. You can set up automated campaigns to follow up after someone joins your email list. For example, schedule a “What to expect” email to go out the next day, and information about your design services to go out a week later. Plus the chimp gives you a high five when you send an email out, so there is that.
MyDarby – Inventory system designed for stagers. Start now, before you have a huge inventory. Know the location, price, picture, dimensions, vendor, etc of every item. Pull the selections for the next job online, instead of in person.
Havertys.com – Room planning. Easily sketch out a floor plan and add furniture to scale. You can even take a photo and erase pieces of furniture to try out new ones.
MLS – One of the benefits of becoming an affiliate member of your local Board of Realtors is access to Multiple Listing Service. To avoid the need to preview every property, you can usually find the current or previous listing, loaded with all the photos and room dimensions you need to create a proposal.
E-Key – Another available benefit of becoming an affiliate member of your local Board of Realtors. This allows you access to the same key box that realtors use. The convenience that this provides to you and your clients is invaluable. No more waiting for the realtor to meet you at a property. You will probably be required to purchase the key fob and pay quarterly for access.
City-Data.com – Demographic information. You can even copy and paste info into your Staging Consultation Report.
iHandy Level – Makes hanging art a snap.
ColorSnap – Visualizer lets you match your photos to Sherwin Williams colors.
PhotoMeasures – Quickly make measurement notes on a picture of a room.
Scansnap – Paperless receipt management.
Square – Accept credit card payments from your phone.
LastPass – Store all of your random passwords in one place where you only have to remember that one password to access all of them.
Evernote – To Do lists and notes.
FindMyFriends – Keep track of where your team is.
FindMyPhone – I’m sure you would never lose your phone but just in case…
PicLab – Photo editing. Create collages and add text. When editing staging photos, bring up the brightness and shadows, and dial down the saturation, to create that light and bright look that you see on designer Instagram feeds.
iMovie – Create movies of your stagings quickly from your phone.
You Doodle – Edit pics and draw on them with your finger. Great for making reference notes, like dimensions, or circling which items belong to you in an occupied staging. (Thanks, Todd, for this one!)
Zomato – Because you gotta eat.
UberEats – Because you gotta eat and sometimes you are too busy staging to go get it.
MileIQ – Record business and personal mileage for tax or reimbursement.
Now…We showed you ours…Show us yours! What apps are you loving right now?