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For years Apple and Android have contended for the top spot in cell phone technology—but Apple has long been the No. 1 choice for real estate pros. And this year, Apple included some updates that can dramatically improve how your business runs on the go!

  1. Scan and Sign
    Real estate contracts are constantly being printed, signed and scanned. With Apple’s new Scan and Sign feature, you can skip a trip to the office and simply use your phone or tablet to take a photo of your document, save it as a PDF, and mark up your PDF by filling in the blanks or signing it with your finger, Apple Pencil or keyboard.

How-To: Take a picture of the document. Open your Notes app and insert the picture into a note by pressing and holding the screen and selecting “Insert image.” Then press and hold the picture, and select “Create PDF.” From there, the app lets you mark up your document. Now just save it and send it in an email to your clients.

  1. Markup
    The Markup feature has been around since the iOS 10 update, but it was upgraded in iOS 11. Now you can add notes, draw and much more on any image or document. Use this feature while giving home tours to snap pictures of the properties, add notes to each image, and send it to your clients. Not only will they get photos with the home’s layout, but also, by adding their thoughts about the space to the image, you’ll make it easier for your client to remember why they liked that particular space.

How-To: If you’re using your camera roll, select the image, tap edit (top right), then click the circle icon with three dots (top center), and select “Markup.” If you’re reviewing a PDF, just tap the “pen” icon on the top right. If you’re using an iPad with an Apple Pen, simply tap the screen with the pen and the markup features instantly pop up.

  1. Files App
    With Apple, the most time-consuming aspect of going mobile was finding your files. Now, with the creation of the Files app, it’s easy to search, browse, and organize all your files across all iOS devices with the help of iCloud.

Now, you can create folders in the app for each listing and add all files related to that listing into the folder. This prevents the headache of trying to show a client a listing and having to go to your photos to show listing photos, your notes for listing specifications, and features, and, then, finally, to your email to review the contract. Why not have it all in one place?

How-To: Locate the file (document, photo or PDF), then tap the menu button (the icon with a square and arrow pointing upward), then select “Save to Files.” Then, go to the Files app, create a new folder, and select which files you want to insert into the folder.

  1. Messages
    These days you may spend as much time communicating with clients through text rather as you do talking on the phone. The latest iOS update creates a better user experience in the Messages app. You can now search for GIFs and images and send your location to leads and clients without leaving the app.

Another new feature enables you to send gift cards through text messages. You can use this feature to connect with possible sellers by sending a $5 gift card for Starbucks along with a personalized message asking to talk about their listing over coffee.

How-To: Go to your Message app, tap the App Store logo next to the text bar, and then scroll through the available features at the bottom of the screen.

  1. Drag and Drop (iPad Only)
    Apple has finally added a feature that Android users have been using for quite some time: a second screen. While using an app, you can create a second screen by dragging a second app to one side of the screen, creating a split and allowing you to simultaneously use both apps. You can also drag and drop files from one app to another.

This is a great feature during open houses. While walking a guest through the home, you can take pictures of rooms or features they like, use the markup tool to add notes to your photos, and then drag and drop it into a text or email to send to your visitors.

How-To: Open the first app, then, from the dock, press and drag another app to one side of the screen to create the split screen. Then simply drag text, images and files from one app to the other.

Learning new ways to connect with clients through technology is always exciting. Now it’s time to bring in more local quality leads. With Homes.com Local Connect, you are featured in the zip code of your choice. Connect with more buyers and sellers today!

For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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