I recently got an email from another Arizona REALTOR® friend of mine telling me he’d moved to the smartphone world and asking me for app recommendations.  In the interest of full disclosure, I use an iPhone.  Many/most of the applications on this list are also available on the Android, and many/most, I’d guess, are not available on the BlackBerry.  I have hundreds of apps (yes, I know I have a problem) on my iPhone, but for my friend on his new smartphone, I started with these…

I love Dropbox – a great way to be able to get documents, files and so forth from your computer to anywhere you are.  Great for sharing documents with clients, family, friends or any group with which you work or play.

Google Voice & Vlingo are apps that you can use to have your voicemails transcribed into texts and emails.  Beware the strange texts and emails you will get, but it’s great when you are in meetings and/or with clients and can’t be interrupted with an actual call.

RPR: The web address is m.narrpr.com.  The app gets you access to RPR data on the go and can be good for getting some detailed information on a property or location right there from your phone.  Can make you look really smart…as long as the data you are quoting is smart too.  See below for turning this application into an icon.  This will require a login.

Photosynth is a really cool Microsoft app. (I know, I just said “Microsoft” and “cool” in the same sentence.) It just launched for the iPhone this week – it’s free and it’s fun.  I’ll let it be a surprise; it is a photo application, and there is nothing else like it.

FlexMLS Wireless: Not a great mobile application yet, though I’m told they are working on it.  It’s my MLS so I gotta have it, right?  See instructions below for turning a web application into an iphone icon.  If your MLS is something different, you should either be able to turn the actual application into an icon (see below) or use their mobile MLS too.  Your MLS, like mine, will require you to login.

zipForm: In order to use zipForm on your phone or iPad, as far as I can tell, you have to buy their mobile application ($9.95/yr).  I don’t like the application, but I do like that it gives you access to your contracts so…you gotta have it.  You need to go to zipformonline.com from Safari (insert your phone’s search engine here) and buy it there.

Walk Score:  I love this little app.  The actual score that a house or a neighborhood gets is great if that is YOUR thing.  But one of the great things about it is the GPS functionality that allows you to share with your clients and friends all the places that are nearby that they (or you) will need to know.  Lists of grocery stores, parks, libraries and coffee shops will appear specific to the location you request.  Bonus: They use Yelp.com for their reviews. They’ve added a new functionality that calculates your commute to work/school/wherever, and they do it by biking, walking, driving and public transportation – really cool.

Zosh:  I fall in and out of love with this app.   It was recently purchased by YouSendIt, and I hope the app will become all that it can be.  Anyway, I use it for signing PDF documents on my phone or iPad.  It’s slick usually – except when it isn’t.  It’s in the app store, and it is now free.

WorldCard: This is an app in the app store that takes a photograph of a business card and adds the contents of that card directly to your address book.  It’s great for conferences and great for your commitment to green.  It isn’t always perfect especially with business cards that have busy backgrounds, though generally it works great.

Goomzee isn’t an official app. (See below:  How to make a website icon on your iPhone.)  I like their “freemium” version (ARMLS benefit and maybe your MLS too).   When you pull up to a house, you can open Goomzee and see the showing instructions and the listing agent contact info.  This does require an MLS login.

Realtor.com: This an app in the app store.  This is a consumer-facing search of properties in Realtor.com.   It has a good GPS system, and I use it because my clients use it. I want to understand how they search and how the app works and informs their searching.  Good for consumer rental searching too.

How to make a website icon appear on your iPhone
(Or, how to make a web application look like an iPhone app)

1.  Open the website that you’d like to turn into an icon from your iPhone using Safari (the little blue app with a compass on it).

2.  Press the + sign at the bottom of the screen.

3.  Press the button that says ‘add to home screen.’

4.  Name the app whatever you would like.

5.  Presto!  It will look like an app, and you can use it like one.

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