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2021 is finally here, and as we continue to conduct business in this ever-changing landscape, many agents and brokers alike are relying on remote tools. As technology advances and social distancing guidelines are still in effect, real estate professionals are utilizing virtual communication and digital marketing tools more than ever before.

Thankfully, smartphones are also constantly advancing, offering an on-the-go tool to help agents complete their tasks with ease—anytime and anywhere. Whether you’re looking to grow your business or simply upgrade your business strategy, these five apps are proven valuable for success.

Real estate agents often do not have the time to not just learn, but also utilize design programs, such as Photoshop. Canva is an app, available in both free and paid versions, that allows you to design marketing materials, such as newsletters, brochures, banner ads and posts for your social media platforms. With pre-made templates and an easy-to-use interface, Canva is a useful and creative designing tool for agents looking to spruce up their social media and marketing materials.

Balancing multiple phone calls, faxing documents, and communicating with your team and clients in general can be overwhelming. Some agents even carry around multiple cell phones, as well as laptops and tablets, to keep in touch with the many people involved in their transactions. Grasshopper, a virtual phone system, is an app created not only to keep your communications all in one place, but also offer a business line, virtual fax machine, live receptionists, and much more, all without multiple devices. This resource can easily help real estate professionals stay organized and prepared no matter where they may be.

Still looking for ways to organize your business? Try Folio, an add-on to your Gmail account that helps manage your inbox, organizing emails by specific criteria that you set yourself. There is even a more thorough search feature, allowing you to find emails and documents from your inbox with ease. Another great feature of Folio is the ability to sync it with your Google calendar. This allows you to create deadlines, reminders and even schedule team meetings. An overcrowded inbox is not only overwhelming, but also very common. Folio can help agents, brokers and other real estate professionals stay on track.

If you’re looking to keep your documents and files organized all in one space, Dropbox allows you to upload and store these items into a cloud. These files are secure and password protected, and can be accessed from anywhere and on any device. Whether you’re looking to share company files with your team or documents with your clients, Dropbox works even for those who do not have a Dropbox account. Your files will also stay up to date, utilizing syncing and collaboration features. Everything from closing documents, lease paperwork, training materials, listing photos, and more can be uploaded, shared and streamlined with Dropbox.

In today’s world, as many of us have gone almost completely virtual, it is important to offer a way for clients and team members to send, sign and return documents with ease and without face-to-face contact. DocuSign is an app that allows you to use your smartphone to scan and send documents, as well as receive and digitally sign them. Not only does this offer convenience during a time where social distancing is vital for health and safety, but it also helps to reduce paper use. In addition, this is a useful and helpful tool for those real estate professionals who specialize in relocation, catering to clients who are often not available to meet for signing and streamlining your transactions—saving time for everyone.

Paige Brown is RISMedia’s content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to