What phone apps do you use for business?

It’s hard to imagine doing business without a smart phone these days. I feel like I can leave the office and yet stay in constant communication with clients, while having incredibly useful techie business tools at my disposal. It’s like my six year old says, my phone is “Daddy’s small computer”.

I currently use Google’s Android phone, and as a real estate appraiser I find the following apps most useful for me:

googlemaps-smGoogle Maps: Hands down, this is one of the most useful tools for me while I’m on the road. I have leaned on this app many times for GPS location, directions, and finding different routes to navigate.

Google_Voice_SearchGoogle Voice: It’s still amazing to me that I can talk into my phone and find search results based on what I say.  This helps me find what I need and drive more “hands free”. I’ve used this tool to find phone numbers, addresses, and other needed information while on the road.

voicerecorder-smVoice Recorder: This is a great little app. I can record a digital note to myself and store it on my phone or email it. I can even send audio notes to a client if need be.

translate 1Translator: It’s great to be able to find certain words if I need to use them during an inspection. I speak basic Spanish and I’m always saying things like: “Hola, como estas? Me llamo Ryan” or “Tienes perros en su yarda?” But sometimes I might need a certain word translated to help communication flow even better. The one big downfall with any translation tool though is you could end up saying something insulting if the tool doesn’t work right (hasn’t happened to me yet).

snapphoto-smCamera: I don’t know that my camera is technically considered an app, but it has saved me countless times when my handheld ran out of batteries. It’s also handy to email photos to clients during inspections if there are certain issues they should be aware of.

app-BFj_csTwitterRide: This is the best Android app for Twitter and it’s handy to tweet from the road and send messages back and forth.

facebook_48Facebook for Android: Honestly, I’m not too impressed with the Android’s Facebook apps, but this one has been mostly okay for me. Once I needed to get a Listing Agent’s phone number while at a property, but the only problem was that I did not know the agent’s name. I put up a quick “help me” status on Facebook and then local Realtor Erin Attardi saw the post and got me what I needed (now I know I can access a PDA link that Metrolist launched in 2009).

imagesCAQKRR31Others: There are some other apps I use from time to time like the flashlight and bubble level, but the ones I use most frequently are listed above. And of course the Star Wars light saber has been a strong defense when dealing with unexpected squatters in REO properties.

What phone apps do you use? What type of business are you in and what apps help you get things done throughout your business day?

www.SacramentoApprasialBlog.com What phone apps do you use for business?


  1. says

    The “Flashlight App” helps me to find my way around the container when looking for product in the dark! Google Maps, Google Voice, and ManGO come in very handy as well! Where would we be without smart phones!??! Do you still use the Thomas Guide for directions or have you phased that out completely?

    • Sac Ryan says

      What is ManGO? The flashlight sure does come in handy.

      It’s funny that you mentioned the Thomas Guide. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I haven’t bought one in several years. I have no need for buying one any more now because I have all the maps I need on the phone. I do still print maps for general directions and a layout of the subject property and comparables.

      • says

        ManGO is probably not what it sounds like!! It’s a handy app for finding restaurants, retail outlets, and anything that most people go to while on-the-go. I wonder how Thomas Guide competes with smart phones and GPS devices.

        • Sac Ryan says

          Ah, I see. That sounds like some apps I have installed, although I tend not to use them much.

          It’s amazing how new technology forces changes in business. Blockbuster, Netflix and Red Box are certainly examples of that.

    • Sac Ryan says

      I think I used to use dropbox five or so years ago on my computer to show videos to out-of-town family. If that is the same site, I’m curious to see how it works for mobile phone users. Interesting. Thanks Jenny.

  2. says

    Wow Ryan! I’ve heard of the android software system, but have never seen the actual phone. What does it look like? Can you extend your post and add a photo of the phone? Also, can you add a short video of your use of the phone for say Google voice and the “others” apps you mention. I’d really like to see the actual application for appraisers. Appreciate you! Bill

      • says

        Hey Ryan, I’m not sure if my iPhone has access to G Voice or not. I know when I receive an G Voice voicemail, it arrives in my iPhone email. I’ll have to check that out. Appreciate the tips! Bill

        • says

          I know Google has some sort of voicemail system that I’ll have to look into also. The “Voice” I am talking about here of course is the simple voice search engine application. I asked a friend with an iPhone if he had to install an app to get it to work. I’ll let you know what he says.

          • says

            Bill, here is what my iPhone friend said: “It seems that Google Voice is included in the Google App I have but I don’t see anything related to Google Voice by itself. There is a Google Wave app though…”


  1. […] In light of this less-than-wonderful news, I thought it would be interesting to use the “Obama Cam” app on my mobile phone to snap a few images of some local REO and Short Sale properties in the Sacramento area. The “Obama Cam” application overlays an image of President Obama (17 to choose from) on any picture taken with my mobile phone (an Android G1). […]

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