My Favorite Apps For Real Estate Photographers and Realtors

October 9th, 2012

Jason Jacques asked me today if I had a list of recommended apps. And he didn’t mean apps related to shooting photos on SmartPhones, he meant apps related to getting your job as a real estate photographer or Realtor done. It didn’t take me long to come up with a short list. Here it is:

  1. LightTrac: (iPhone/iPad & Android) This is my all time favorite app! It let’s you figure out where the sun will be at any given address at any given date and time. To me, this is a real estate photographers must have. Here is a post where I talk about it more. There’s another similar app called TPE but I like LightTrac better.
  2. Zillow: (iPhone/iPad & Android) The zillow app shows you what is For Sale or Rent near your location. There are 100s similar apps. So when I say a Zillow app, I mean a Zillow like app. Zillow only works in the US. As an ex-Realtor this kind of app is an absolute necessity these days when you are out showing clients. I wish I’d had a Zillow like app back when I had to show buyers around. I don’t know what the equivalent apps are for CA, AU, UK and EU. I’m sure each country has at least one. Nowadays I can’t imagine a buyers agent that doesn’t have this kind of app with them on a 4G connected iPad. It’s absolutely essential.
  3. Squareup: Take credit cards for payment anywhere. Real estate photographer can’t live without this app!

And here is the list of apps that I’ve tried and had great hopes for but as of Oct 2012 don’t recommend:

  1. MagicPlan: This app is a great concept (shoot photos to create a floor plan) but I find it has problems that make it unreliable  for someone that is creating floor plans professionally. I don’t know of any professional floor plan creator who uses it exclusively. Am I wrong?
  2. Trigger Happy: I was hoping this app would help shoot brackets, but it can’t do shutter speeds below 1 sec because it uses the bulb feature of DSLRs. Also Trigger happy bracket shooting code still has bugs that cause it to crash as of fall 2012.
  3. Trigger Trap: Same issue as Trigger Happy except it doesn’t have bugs.
  4. Shutter Snitch: Shutter Snitch works with the Eye-Fi Pro X2 SD memory card (see more details here) to let you get the images you shoot on your DSLR to the iPad. For me it just runs too slow. It just doesn’t work fast enough to be practical for professional work. I’m sure others disagree.

So what do you think I missed? Am I right, are there apps like Zillow for other countries?

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10 Responses to “My Favorite Apps For Real Estate Photographers and Realtors”

  • I love my LightTrac on the iPad where I also for record keeping and
    sending a paid receipt or invoice. Squareup is intriguing and happy to hear it has better reviews now.

  • LightTrac is my most used app too.
    As a tip take a screenshot on your iPad and email to your agent when identifying ideal shoot times.
    Impresses them and their vendor.
    I always point out that they could also use when planning Open Home times.

  • Just installed it and wondered if I will even have a need for it the next 6 months….the Pacific NW cloud season is upon us! is very cool and I will no longer have to continually ask agents which way the house faces…they rarely know.

  • I use LightTrac, but have found it has limited use due to not identifying the exact home I am shooting. Google Earth puts a point in the close vicinity of home, but without being familiar with property one can’t be certain which house (or even which side of the street) is the one I am interested in.

  • Thanks Larry, LightTrac is killer! Its a big time saver for planning.

  • Like Cal, I use LightTrac but find it frustrating due to the inexact nature of the maps it relies on. It usually gets me in the right neighborhood, but I then check Google Maps, Trulia, Zillow, and even just use Google or Bing to search on the address. I often pull up LightTrac and Google Maps when talking with the Agent and discussing shoot times. I’m frequently asking the agent to confirm which house I think it is on LightTrac. Still it’s better than using a mapping program alone.

  • Thx for the tip Chris, I never thought of pulling up a street view at same time! That will certainly help narrow things down in pinch!

  • @Cal & Chris – I’ve contacted the Lighttrac developer to ask them about improving map accuracy for addresses that are typed in. The problem appears to be the algorithm they use to translate an address into exact GPS coordinates because I notice that when it just uses GPS coordinates directly it is spot on (as I sit here and look at it the spot is right on my roof) but when it gets location from typing in an address it is off by as much as several hundred feet.

  • Could you explain us how it is impossible for you tu use Magic Plan ?

  • @Ben- It’s not that it’s impossible to use, it just is not very reliable in allowing you to quickly and accurately put together a floorplan. I would say it works but it just isn’t professional quality. That is many people that do floor plans professionally tell me that they have tried MagicPlan and don’t use it.

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