Here are 7 real estate apps that I use on a weekly basis that will help you make smart real estate decisions.

1. Kiwibank’s “Home-Hunter” (Search for this in the app store)
The Sun-finder tool inside this app is simply awesome. You can set it to Summer / Winter and get an idea of the path the sun will take throughout the day at different times of the year. No more guess work! This app also contains mortgage calculators which are always handy.

2. Compass (Built in application on iPhone)
Every iPhone has a built in compass. This is another fast way to check the sun aspect and orientation for any home. I use this 5-6 times every Sunday when doing open homes and I am surprised more people don’t check this at every home they go to.

3. Level (Built in application)
When looking at the compass on your iPhone, swipe to the left to uncover a hidden tool not many people know about – the built in ‘level’ application. Use this to check how flat a surface is. This may prove to be a lot better than the old “roll the marble down the hallway trick!”

4. Evernote (Search for this in the app store)
Go paperless! I use this wonderful app every single day, mainly as a to do list / journal. I keep everything in there from present ideas for my partner (hopefully she doesn’t see this!) to notes from every house I visit, along with personal and business to do lists. You can even merge photographs with your notes (tip: take photos of flyers from each house and combine them with your own notes).

You can also use evernote to keep photographs of bills and receipts (no need to keep those stacks of shoeboxes full of your old receipts anymore) . Evernote will even let you search on the text contained in each bill or receipt later on. The best part is this app easily syncs with your IPAD and PC or MAC as well so any notes I write on my IPAD or Tablet are accessible later on my phone or computer.

5. (Search ‘realestate’ in the app store)
This is the best way to make sure that you have the best chance of seeing every property marketed by a real estate firm in your area. features more houses than any other website. I really like the search feature and the way it displays listings on a map showing their proximity to your current location (great for Sunday open home drives.)

6. Flashlight (Search in your app store)
Simple app you can use to light up dark spaces like under houses and in the roof. I use this one all the time to help people check out insulation and storage space under houses.

7. Calculator (Built in)
I like to know the potential yield when I’m looking at a property. Here is a quick way to calculate the rough yield for any property you are looking at:
Weekly rent multiplied by 52, then divide this number by the purchase price, and times by 100 = Yield
For example:
$350 rent per week x 52 weeks in the year = $18200 rent per year.
Divided by potential purchase price of $300,000 = 0.0606
Multiplied by 100 = 6.06% yield.

Even if you plan on living in the property yourself initially this is still useful information.  For many buyers in our market their first home becomes their first investment property 3-5 years down the track!

Do you have a question about real estate you would like me to answer next week? Please reply with your suggestions.



“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”