Three apps that can fill the gaps for busy brokers

If you’re a busy broker and don’t have access to an in-house network of brokers that can assist when you get buried in appointments, then look to these apps, where you can outsource the work to other licensed brokers to keep you afloat. It’s like Uber for real estate help: you post your need, whether it be a one-off showing, a buyer tour or sitting an open house, and voila! You will have licensed brokers who will respond and fulfill your need, just like that Uber driver who is nearby to pick you up and drive you to where you need to go.

On the flip side, these apps are great for new brokers who want to learn the business and earn money while doing it. It’s gig work for brokers. And it’s not just for newbies; veteran brokers can also make some extra cash in their spare time.

Manage your time more effectively

These apps are one-stop shopping for finding assistance without reaching out individually to multiple brokers with countless calls, texts and emails to get coverage when you are overbooked. Real-time follow-up of task completion, immediate feedback to and from the broker you have hired, and compensation are all done within the app.

The apps vary on what they offer, what they cost and how they work. The three that caught my attention were SHOWforME, BrokerAssist and Showami. Sign-up for all is free and ensures that the participating brokers are licensed and able to perform real estate-licensed activities.

It’s best to identify your needs. If you only need showing coverage, then Showami will work, as that is all they do. If you also need open house coverage, then SHOWforME and BrokerAssist are your options. If your needs exceed that, then BrokerAssist is the way to go.

Determine which price structure works best for you

The nice thing about these apps is that you can avoid awkward conversations about payment. The hiring price is posted loud and clear and in most cases is set by the hiring agent and can be negotiated.

With SHOWforME, a flat-fee price varies depending on your location. This starts at $30, but in my Chicago market, it costs $50 for the first showing and $15 for each additional property, and it is paid upfront. SHOWforME takes a 20% cut, pays the agent and charges you in full once the task is completed.

Showami’s base price starts at $39 and varies by region. For my Chicago market, it is $44. But you can increase that amount as you wish, with a cap at $199. They also allow for tips after the job has been completed. However, they take the biggest percentage — on a $39 showing, the assisting agent only gets $24, roughly 40% going to the app! With Showami, the assisting agents may counter your posted offer and ask for more.

BrokerAssist allows you the freedom to set your own price. You pay the assisting agent directly once the task is complete, and the app does not take a cut! I like that. If no one is accepting your offer, you can increase it until you find a taker.

The process can vary from app to app

Each app has its own way of doing things. For instance, Showami allows you to choose your preferred agent when you submit a request. That agent has a 10-minute lead time to accept before it goes out to others. If an agent is not found within 30 minutes, Showami will notify you and you can decide if you want to up your price. They will continue that process until 30 minutes prior to the showing request unless you stop it. If it goes unaccepted, you are not charged. The nice thing about Showami is that you have the option to schedule the actual showings on your own OR the showing agent can schedule the showing appointments for you (another time-saver) and then will inform you once confirmed. From there, you let your clients know what the schedule is and whom they will be meeting. One hour after the showings are complete, hiring agents have the opportunity to leave a tip.

Broker Assist has very detailed profile pages with star ratings. Once you post a job, it gets plotted on a map with the offering price. Assisting agents can open the post, review the details and determine if they would like to accept. If they do, the requesting agent will receive a notice that they have an interested broker to take on the task. If multiple brokers are vying for the same post, you can review their profiles and determine which is the best fit. Hiring agents can stay on top of posts that are still “open,” “pending,” “confirmed,” or “closed.” Assisting agents can track which ones they have applied for that are pending or confirmed. Once the agents have been selected, you can call or message the assisting agent with more private info (lockbox codes, names, etc.) and use their calendar integration to add it to your calendar. After the task is done, notes can be left on how it went.

The SHOWforME app requires you to identify your brokerage when you register. If your firm is not listed, you have to go under “other,” and any agent from any firm can pick it up. Otherwise, it will be limited to just agents within your firm. You have the option to schedule the showings on your own or have the assisting agent do it for you. Once these are scheduled, you inform your clients who they will be meeting and what kind of car they have. You can watch in real time on a map where the assisting agent is on their route to the showings, just like Uber.

These apps are real winners to keep your life and schedule in balance, plus retain your client and your commission while another broker shows homes for you. Assisting brokers love making the extra moolah, but most of all, it’s a win-win for your clients! They get to see the properties they want to see when they want to. No one can be everywhere at all times, but now your clients can be accommodated at their convenience, and the ability to get them in, especially in low-inventory markets, is going to keep them happy.

Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at

Use this easy tool to become your local market expert

It’s been a roller coaster of a year, and there are a lot of misconceptions about what is really going on with the real estate market. It seems that everyone has a different opinion, but I feel that is always the case no matter how crazy things have been recently. So, how do we get to “the truth” of what’s really going on in our local markets? As real estate brokers, we need to understand our hyperlocal market, and there are ways that you can slice and dice the data so that you can provide the real picture for your clients in a very clear and concise way.

People see national headlines and hear all sorts of things that are happening across the country, and sometimes they get panicked by it. However, what may be happening in one part of the country does not necessarily apply to what is happening at home. This is where you can come in to dispel the misconceptions that are out there. You cannot just throw a large blanket across a market and say it’s the same all over; it doesn’t work that way. As a matter of fact, in my own Chicago market, it is vastly different from neighborhood to neighborhood, block to block or even… building to building!

So, how do you break it down to your local level? First of all, I like to start at the top on a macro level and picture it like a large funnel that needs to get filtered down to the hyperlocal level. Those of us who have attended a real estate conference are probably familiar with Steve Harney, the founder of Keeping Current Matters. KCM has been around a long time and has really perfected the art of deciphering market data into very clean and concise templates. I trust their data, because they pull it from reliable resources like Zelman, MBA, NAR, Fannnie Mae, Freddie Mac — all of which use different formulas that can vary greatly, but KCM consolidates the data and shows the averages from those resources, providing the most accurate picture.

KCM releases the updated data on the 10th of every month. They put them on beautiful templates, which they call “infographics,” that have amazing designs that get the message across in an instant. Subscribers to KCM get access to this information that you can personalize and share, which is great for social media and monthly mailers.

But that’s just the top of the funnel. Now you need to do a deeper dive for your local market and then show how that compares to the macro level provided by KCM. It’s really easy to do, and one of the tricks I use is to select one of the infographics from KCM that I think my clients will gravitate toward or is a hot topic in the media. From there, I run my own stats from the MLS to do a comparison. Right now, the big buzz all over the country is low inventory. Okay, so how low is it in my market? Easy: Pull up the MLS data for however tight you want to go geographically, or, perhaps, you want to focus on a specific type of property: condos, town homes, single-families, etc. Then see where the inventory and month’s supply is at, and voila! There you have it. Now you can compare your local data to the macro stats provided by KCM to show your clients the truth of what is really going on locally. Clients love this detailed information; this is what they crave and what they need. As their real estate professional, they rely on you for it.

By disciplining yourself to run a local stat just once a month and comparing it to one of the macro stats provided by KCM, your clients will think you are a genius, and on top of what is going on — which you will be. They will quickly depend on you for truthful insight on what is really happening at home, and when it comes time to list or buy, you will be their trusted go-to person that they can count on. “Keeping current” really does matter!

For more on real estate tech, watch AgentEDU’s course on technology for real estate.

Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at