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Thanks to modern technology, the homebuying journey is immensely easier than it was 10 years ago.

With just a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can now browse listings, tour homes, apply for a mortgage, and even sign off on closing documents with just a few clicks and a matter of seconds. It’s pretty game-changing, to say the least.

Are you preparing to buy a home in the near future? Make sure these 10 handy apps are on your radar. They can make the process much easier (and more enjoyable)!

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The Troupe bathroom 3D Printed faucet by DXV. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

So far, 2016 is promising to be a record-setting year for builders and buyers. So many great new innovations make it an exciting time to build and buy a new home. As a Lifestylist I’m always on the road looking for new trends, and we found some great ones at The International Builders Show and the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. The one I’m most excited about though was 3D printing and how this can be used to build and design products for the home. (more…)

John Backes and Candy Evans at a January RealTech event in Deep Ellum. Photo: Candy Evans

John Backes and Candy Evans at a January RealTech event in Deep Ellum. Photo: Candy Evans

Tuesday night, 200 people gathered at RealTech Dallas for a big announcement for Dallas real estate professionals.

John Backes, a young real estate entrepreneur and innovator, is launching Texas’ only real estate technology accelerator this fall. The MOTIVE Accelerator Program will fund selected commercial real estate (CRE) technology start-ups, as well as provide mentoring through a program oriented around customer and product development. The program is accepting applications for its first class to launch this fall.

“Dallas is the best place in the world to innovate at the intersection of real estate and technology,” said Backes, MOTIVE Partners President (we will be profiling him here on CandysDirt tomorrow, so be sure to check back!). “Two of the top five real estate CRMs are based in Dallas. RealPage is here. CBRE Innovation Lab is here. JLL [Jones Lang LaSalle] tech group is here. Trammell Crow is here. Dozens of startups are here. Dallas real estate tech is one of the great untold stories of our city.”

MOTIVE will fund up to 10 selected commercial real estate technology start-ups each year, investing approximately $40,000 in each venture. Applications are open now, on a rolling basis, with increasingly active interest from both start-ups and industry veterans.

“We really are interested in the best teams, reflecting what is important to us: intensive focus on the lean entrepreneurial process, a strong and cohesive team, a give-before-you-get mentality, and strong desire to change the built environment,” said Backes.

Applicants for the MOTIVE Accelerator Program will be asked to supply detailed information on their organization’s founders, who their target customers are, and what problem their products will solve. They must also provide details on how they are organized and what existing funds are in place.

Acceptance into an accelerator is a huge boost for entrepreneurs, and these organizations have been growing steadily in the last five years. Forbes found more than 200 accelerators when ranking the best for 2015. Research mentioned in the article found that accelerators can increase early stage capital in a region by 13 times, and serve to attract more entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors.

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Zoccam Phone

Let’s say you’re in hot pursuit of a home that has multiple offers and you want to get your earnest money in and get the home locked down quick. It’s a total pain in the posterior for some agents when they have to race across town to the title company to get that check in the right hands. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just deposit the check using the camera on your smartphone? I mean, you’re carrying it around everywhere anyway. You can’t live without that thing!

Well, ZOCCAM will change all that. The new smartphone app, which just went live in Texas today, will allow licensed agents to send earnest money with ease, and without having to drive anywhere. The app, which uses Jack Henry & Associates to securely process checks, is available to licensed Texas real estate agents for $9.99 a month or for $100 a year.

“We are revolutionizing the way real estate transactions are conducted,” said Ashley Cook, a Dallas real estate attorney and founder of ZOCCAM. “We are improving the agent’s ability to attract and service clients by enabling faster sales cycles. Instead of driving checks to the title company, the agent can spend more time putting deals together. Not only does it minimize their liability, it gives them more time which is something you cannot buy.”

Yes, this is like BUYING YOU TIME! Who wants to spend more time in the car when they could just use their smartphone to get things done? Really, who doesn’t like that? This thing is going to be huuuuuge! Jump for more!

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