10 Smartphone Apps for Real Estate Road Warriors

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by Bryan McDonald on July 6, 2010

Mobile real estate professionals are constantly on the road.  Whether on the way to a real estate appraisal, home inspection, or open house it is important to drive safely.  Photo by BryanMcDee.

Here are ten useful smartphone applications to help real estate professionals drive safely, be productive, and save gas:

1) DriveSafe.ly

DriveSafely DriveSafe.ly is a mobile application that reads text (SMS) messages and emails aloud in real time and automatically responds without drivers touching the mobile phone. DriveSafe.ly is the solution to texting while driving.

DriveSafe.ly is available on Blackberry smartphones and Android phones for free.  iPhones and Windows Mobile phones will be supported in the near future.

2) DriveGain

DriveGain DriveGain is an iPhone application that helps you save fuel while you are driving.

Saving fuel not only saves you money – it reduces the amount of CO2 you emit and allows you to travel further before needing to fill up.

As you drive the application gives you visual and audio feedback on what changes you can make to your driving style to help you save more fuel.

DriveGain is only available for the iPhone and costs $6.99.  However, the company claims that the application will pay for itself in two weeks if used by the average driver.

3) greenMeter

GreenMeter greenMeter is an app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that computes your vehicle’s power and fuel usage characteristics and evaluates your driving to increase efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and cost, and lower your environmental impact. Results are displayed in real time, while driving, to give instantaneous feedback.

The app is available for the iPhone and costs $5.99.  The company claims the software can pay for itself within 1-2 tanks of gas.

4) Jott

Jott With a simple phone call, Jott Assistant lets you use your voice to capture notes & to-dos, set reminders and appointments, send email and text messages, and post to your favorite web services, all on the go. Our voice-to-text service turns your voice notes, messages, and updates into text and sends them where you want.

There is an native app for Blackberry smartphones and iPhones but will work work with all phones and all carriers in the US & Canada.  Jott’s speech to text technology lets you use your voice to send emails and text messages to your contacts or groups.

Jott works with 50 different websites including WordPress, Facebook, Ping.fm, Google Calendar, Remember The Milk, and Twitter.  Jott has several different subscription plans ranging from $3.95 to $12.95 a month.

5) Vlingo

Vlingo Vlingo delivers a voice interface and technology that allows users to instantly access services and content on their device. These services include the ability send text and email messages, call contacts, search the Web, update your Facebook or Twitter status and much more by just speaking into their phone.

Vlingo has both a free and paid app.  It is is available for BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone, Nokia phones, and some Windows Mobile phones.

6) iWrecked

iWreched Vurgood Apps has provided driver’s with an essential tool if ever in the unfortunate position of being in an accident.  It makes that tough event much easier and directs the user to the info they need.

This app takes the user through a list of what to do after a car crash, including taking photos and getting contact information from the other drivers.  It will also locate the nearest police station, taxi, or tow-truck service.

iWrecked is available for free for the iPhone and will be available on Android phones soon.

7) aCar

aCar aCar is a handy tool for your Android supported device to effectively track the maintenance, fuel mileage and expenses of your vehicles.

Whether you want to track the fuel mileage or the expenses of your vehicle, or to simply know if your vehicle operates at its peak, or just want a reminder for maintenance services of your vehicle (be it changing engine oil, air filter, oil filter, or inspection, wheel alignment, etc), aCar is the right tool for you.

aCar is free for Android phones.

8) Fuelly

Fuelly Fuelly is a site that lets you track, share, and compare your gas mileage. Simply sign up, add a car or motorcycle, and begin tracking your mileage.

Fuelly does not have a native app for smartphones but rather a mobile site so there is nothing to download or install.  Visit http://m.fuelly.com/ from your smartphone and add data right from the gas pump. Fuelly gives you instant feedback about your fuel efficiency.  You can search the site for other drivers with the same make and model as you to see how your fuel efficiency compares.

We reviewed Fuelly several months ago. You can view the video demo HERE.

9) RepairPal

RepairPal Our iPhone App allows you to get the same estimates as RepairPal.com from your iPhone. You can also search for a repair shop in your area using the iPhone’s GPS, and you can view ratings and reviews to find the right shop on the go. If you happen to break down, you can search for a tow truck or roadside help in the RepairPal directory, or call your manufacturer’s helpline.

RepairPal’s iPhone app is free and they have a mobile website that can be accessed from any smartphone m.repairpal.com.

10) RSSpeaker

RSSpeacker The app that speaks your favorite news and blogs to you. Don’t expect a robotic voice; this app uses the highest quality text-to-speech engine available. Now it’s even easier to stay informed. RSSpeaker™- Listen to the News You Choose.

RSSpeaker™ is perfect while driving or at the beach. Use it when your eyes are busy, but your mind is free. Best of all, you don’t need Internet access to listen to your news. Your subway ride just got more productive.

The app is available for the iPhone for $2.99.  It is available in several different languages and does not require any registration to use.

It is tempting to check email and text messages while driving.  Besides being dangerous some states have passed laws that make texting while driving illegal.  Fortunately, text to speech technology has improved to the point where most automated voices do not sound robotic.

Do you use any text to speech apps on your smartphone?  What are you favorite apps that help you drive safely and be productive while on the road?

{ 5 comments }

Ryan Lundquist July 7, 2010 at 10:36 am

Great list, Bryan. I really like the idea of the first app. I’ll download that one. Thank you. Have you been using any of these regularly?

Bill Cobb July 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Man, I really like this post!!! Just shared it on LinkedIn. Thank you for the tips. The “jott” looks like an app I could really use. Appreciate You! Bill

Tom Horn July 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Bryan,
I like the gas mileage app. It could come in handy.

Avatar of Bryan McDonald Bryan McDonald July 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Thanks for the comments. I use to use Jott when it was completely free, it is a great service to use to make reminders and notes when driving in the car. I have used Vlingo a few times, it is fun to use ever now and then to update Twitter or Facebook. I use Fuelly every time I fill up my car with gas to track my fuel efficiency and mileage. I think I would use DriveSafe.ly as soon as they make an iPhone app. Ryan, let me know how DriveSafe.ly works if you use it.

Ryan Lundquist July 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Thanks Bryan. I tried to download DriveSafe.ly, but it’s not coming up in the Android market for whatever reason. I found a sister app called “Caller ID Reader” that is made by the same company I think. This app speaks aloud the caller’s name who is calling you apparently. The app tells me to also download “DriveSafe.ly”, but I just don’t see it in the market. I’m sure I’ll find it though. Thanks again, Bryan. You da man!!!

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