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Henry Ford only had eight years of formal schooling. He never learned how to spell or read well, and once sued the Chicago Tribune for claiming he was an idiot. Ford was asked during the trial if he could build his own cars. “No,” he said, “but I hire the best men to build them.”

Most real estate agents aren’t tech-savvy, but almost every agent has a smartphone—and they can “hire” the help they need. An amazing tool is found on a mobile app called

Homesnap, which helps agents better connect with clients.

Unlike Ford’s workers, Homesnap doesn’t cost the agent a dime. Most importantly, Homesnap is the technology that powers the Broker Public Portal (BPP), which was formed when a passionate group of brokers and MLSs came together to make sure buyers and sellers interact with agents, not advertising portals, and that your clients are yours—and will never be resold.

BPP makes Homesnap technology available to your MLS for only $1 a month per agent. Check to see if your MLS participates at brokerpublicportal.com. If not, ask them to sign up. It will be the best return on investment an MLS will ever see. It helps an agent do so many basic things so quickly that once they take it for a test run, it will become their go-to app.

I use Homesnap in my brokerage business every day. It’s an incredible dual-purpose app and an amazing tool for agents to use when working with their clients. Clients will love the simplicity, and it’s easy to set them up: Touch one button and invite your entire contact list, or you can pick and choose, one or several at a time. Any agent could do it in a millisecond; it’s that simple.

Once someone downloads Homesnap from my invitation, we’re connected for life. It even has referral potential because my name is always on the app, whether they’re down the street or they decide to move to Washington.

Homesnap can wow clients. It shows property lines with a satellite image, and the built-in GPS reveals where you’re standing in real-time. I can take my client and walk the perimeter of the property as my phone tracks us. That is a fantastic tool.

The school boundary feature is also very appealing to clients and prospects. If they have school-aged children, you can select the school, and it shows every house in that school’s boundaries. I have found that pictures aren’t worth a thousand words; they’re worth a million words. If people can picture where the school boundary lines are, it allows them to easily see the homes that fit their needs.

Using Homesnap is like hiring a hyper-intelligent assistant. If you need any details about a property’s sales history—how long the house has been on the market, what it last sold for, how many times it’s sold—it takes just seconds to pull up and show a client. I use it to set showing appointments, create a Rapid CMA in seconds, or show clients photos of properties visited because they may forget what a particular room looked like.

Most agent business comes from referrals. That’s why you need to invite everybody in your database to the Homesnap app—not because they’re looking for a house now, but because everybody is interested in real estate. Home values are changing every day. This allows agents to be the source of the latest knowledge. If you’re their provider of neighborhood real estate information, you’re the winner.

Paul Wells is broker/owner of RE/MAX of Barrington in Barrington, Ill., and serves as treasurer of the Broker Public Portal’s Board of Managers.