Buyers and real estate professionals alike make use of different MLS apps for real estate to search the respective MLSs for properties or to collaborate with colleagues and clients.

There are many versions of these apps on the market both for Android and iPhone (Apple) devices.

So, you may ask yourself which ones are the best or the top 3.

Finding that out is a sort of complex endeavor because you will need to scroll and swipe through many options on the Google Play platform or the Apple app store.

According to the scoring of my in-depth analysis, the top 3 MLS apps on Google Play (Android devices) are Trulia, Redfin and Homesnap Real Estate & Rentals.

The top 3 on the Apple app store also includes Trulia and Redfin, but then also Movoto Real Estate as number three.

Read on if you would like to know how I came to this conclusion and also learn more about my observations of the MLS app usage in the real estate industry.

What MLS Apps Usually Do and What They Can Help You With

Before I describe what MLS Apps across the market can usually do for you, it’s first important to know the workings of a multiple listing service.

I am sure you already know more or less what it is, but you never know.

In one word, it’s a database made by different cooperating real estate brokers that includes properties for sale.

The aim for that is to be able to see one another’s property listings so you can better connect home buyers to sellers. So, in a way, it’s a collaboration tool that supports co-brokerage activities.

Usually, only affiliated brokers and licensed real estate agents can access this database and it’s them who update it regularly. In order to get access, they pay a membership fee.

Nationwide, there is not just one database or MLS but many different ones. To be exact, there were 580 in the U.S. in 2020 (source).

Why so many different ones?

This is because local brokers work together in their respective geographic areas and to better work together, they are building or have built their own regional MLS.

The existence of so many different ones often means that they have their own procedures.

They are not completely free in that aspect, because they need to follow some guidelines and rules defined by the National Association of Realtors.

What rules need to be followed?

The most important one is that a property listing must include information about the commission charged to the seller.

So, what do MLS apps usually do in this context?

They basically bring you access to an MLS on your smartphone, so you can search different properties using it.

But different apps differ in their functionality and what they can do with the data they access from the MLS.

Some apps are more tailored to potential buyers, so they will just be able to search properties and then contact a realtor, and some are more tailored to real estate professionals such as realtors that can also edit and share or suggest property listings with colleagues.

Here is a collection of typical features and functionalities all these apps have (some more, some less):

For Real Estate Professionals

  • Editing basic listing information
  • Automatically syncing data with the respective MLS
  • Communication with customers (text, phone, email, etc.)
  • Sharing property listings with clients
  • Sharing property listings with colleagues
  • Social media sharing of property listings
  • Generating market statistics
  • Client activity tracking
  • Automatic property listing suggestion to clients
  • Accessing property history (tax, mortgages, etc.)
  • Home value estimation
  • Display of parcel boundaries
  • Open house planning
  • Scheduling showings

For Potential Home Buyers

  • Basic search with filters
  • Map search
  • GPS-based property search
  • Saving searches and contacts
  • Sharing of property listings
  • Scheduling showings
  • Communication with real estate pros (text, phone, email)
  • Mortgage calculations
  • Accessing tax information
  • Navigation functionality (via GPS)
  • Open house search
  • Agent and office information look-up
  • Satellite Imagery
  • Display of parcel boundaries
  • Property alerts
  • Market stats and trends
  • Walkscore Rating
  • Accessing property history (taxes, mortgages, etc.)
  • Home value estimation

MLS Apps for Android and iPhone

Before we can rank the different MLS apps there are in a nice overview table, let’s see which ones there are, including their features.

You will see that some are compatible with nationwide MLSs and some are more restricted and use only a regional or statewide MLS.

Additionally, some of the apps are developed by larger brokerage firms and others are developed by independent software companies that partner with different MLSs.

One last thing to consider is that some of the apps have a stronger focus on potential buyers, some give both user groups an equal share of functionality, and others have a stronger focus on realtors and brokerages.

You will be able to compare all the features in the larger overview table later on further down below.

I only included apps that had their last update not more than 6 months ago.

Why?

Because a company updating their apps regularly indicates that the app is likely in use and provides some sort of benefit to the real estate professionals and/or their clients.

17 MLS Apps for Android

21 MLS Apps for iPhone

Now, let’s take all of these apps and put them in an overview table so you can compare the different features they have.

You will also be able to see which ones are available on both Android and iPhone devices.

Based on the available features, we then can sort them in a way to get to the top 3.

On a longer side note: An observation I could make during my research, and by filtering out different apps based on when they were last updated was that there are almost five times more MLS apps in Apple’s app store than on Google Play.

I assume that the reason for this is that these days, app developers focus more on developing apps for Apple’s app store, because iPhone users usually have more disposable income (source).

And the latter is also important when it comes to real estate transactions.

This information about the disposable income of iPhone users is not only available to app developers.

The same is probably true for real estate brokerages and other real estate companies.

So, they decided based on that to have developers rather develop an app for Apple’s app store than for the Android users on the Google Play store.

By the way, before I got into practicing my programming skills with the language Python, I almost went down the app development route.

And before I started, I wanted to know where it would be more profitable to invest my time when it comes to mobile app development.

I definitely would have gone down the route of app development for iPhone users for exactly the same reason (more disposable income of users).

Another observation I made was that many of the outdated apps (many of them with the last update being five years ago) that I had to sort out were from local real estate brokerages and almost 90% were developed by the same company.

At some point in the past when having an app was all the hype, they must have thought that the brokerage will also need an app but did then underestimate the continuous maintenance work that is necessary when it comes to software in general.

The Top 3 MLS Apps for Real Estate Based on Scores

Filtering and sorting the different apps was a bit time-consuming, but I think the results will be helpful to you.

Before I dive into the conclusion, I wanted you to know that I matched the pre-defined features and functionalities from above with what each app had to offer.

So, some unique functions were not accounted for in the table for simplicity reasons.

This was also for the sake of finding some common ground between the MLS apps in terms of functionality.

The main metrics I used to compare them were the number of features (functionality), the user rating for each app, and the number of user ratings.

The number of user ratings gives a hint of how many users are actually using the app, and it also determines the informational value of a rating.

That’s why for one app I counted a 5-star rating as “n.a.” or “0” because it was the only one.

I only took the rating seriously when there were at least 10 ratings available.

So, below you will first find the overview tables with the different MLS apps for Android and the iPhone including their features.

Android MLS Apps Overview

 RedfinHomeSpotter Real Estate SearchZIP Realty Real Estate & HomesReal Estate by XomeTrulia Real EstateMLSTouchRPR MobileHomesnap Real Estate & RentalsReal Estate by MovotoEdina RealtyShowing TimeReal Estate MN Home SearchFlexmls for Real Estate ProsGoMLSMLSListings MobileColdwell BankerUtahRealEstate.com
Editing basic listing informationXX
Automatic data synchronization with the respective MLSXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Communication with customers (text, phone, email, etc.)XXX
Sharing of property listings with clientsXXX
Sharing of property listings with colleaguesXXX
Social media sharing of property listingsX
Generating market statisticsXX
Client activity trackingXXXXX
Automatic property listing suggestion to clients
Accessing property history (tax, mortgages, etc.)XX
Home value estimation
Display of parcel boundariesXX
Open house planningXX
Scheduling showingsXXXX
Basic search with filtersXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Map searchXXXXXXXX
GPS based property searchXXXXX
Saving searches and contactsXXXXXXXXXXX
Sharing of property listingsXXXXXX
Scheduling showingsXXX
Communication with real estate pros (text, phone, email)XXXXXXXXXXX
Mortgage calculationsXXXX
Accessing tax information
Navigation functionality (via GPS)XX
Open house searchXXXX
Agent and office information look-up
Display of parcel boundariesXX
Property AlertsXXXXX
Market trendsXXXX
Nationwide MLSXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Locally limited MLSXXX
Walkscore ratingX
Accessing property history (taxes, mortgages, etc.)XXXX
Home value estimationXX
User Rating4.64.643.94.53.84.54.14.13.53.13.12.52.12.13.53.1
Number of ratings58,8381,2774,1591,236206,3752592,4625,9243,4606301,4392871,22330791,447164
Number of features141413131212109777778653

Here you can also download the whole table in PDF format.

iPhone MLS Apps Overview

 MLS Touch RedfinXome Real EstateTrulia Real EstatemyTheo: Real EstateFlexmls for HomebuyersHouston Homes for Sale (HAR.com)Doorectory Real EstateMovoto Real EstateCentury 21 LocalUtahRealEstate.comGladys Manion Real EstateSFAR MLS EdgeoffMLSMLSListingsFlexmls for Real Estate Pros
Editing basic listing informationX
Automatic data synchronization with the respective MLSXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Communication with customers (text, phone, email, etc.)XX
Sharing of property listings with clientsXX
Sharing of property listings with colleaguesXXX
Social media sharing of property listingsXX
Generating market statisticsXX
Client activity trackingX
Automatic property listing suggestion to clients
Accessing property history (tax, mortgages, etc.)X
Home value estimation
Display of parcel boundaries
Open house planningXX
Scheduling showingsXXX
Basic search with filtersXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Map searchXXXXXXXXX
GPS based property searchXXXXXX
Saving searches and contactsXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Property AlertsXXXXXXXXXX
Sharing of property listingsXXXXXXXX
Scheduling showingsXXX
Communication with real estate pros (text, phone, email)XXXXXXXXXXXX
Mortgage calculationsXXX
Accessing tax informationX
Navigation functionality (via GPS)
Open house searchXXXXX
Agent and office information look-upX
Display of parcel boundaries
Market stats and trends
XXX
Nationwide MLS



XXXXXXXXX
Locally limited MLSXXXXXXX
Walkscore Rating
Accessing property history (taxes, mortgages, etc.)XXX
Home value estimationX
User Rating4.34.84.84.84.62.6n.a.n.a.4.84.74.55(n.a.)n.a.5(n.a.)32.2
Number of Ratings592719,4001,6001,000,00082580023,9003,50043510213163
Number of Features1614131210109977777666

Here you can also download the whole table in PDF format.

To get to the overall score for each MLS app, I multiplied the different values of the number of ratings, the rating itself, and the number of features with each other.

Why did I do that?

Multiplying them seemed the best option because a high total result would mean that the respective app would have a high number of ratings (hence users), a high rating, and a high number of features.

And here is the table for the overall scores:

Android App Android (Number of Ratings)User RatingNumber of FeaturesTotal ScoreiPhone AppiPhone (Number of Ratings)User Rating Number of Features Total Score
Trulia Real Estate206,3754.51211,144,250Trulia Real Estate1,000,0004.81257,600,000
Redfin58,8384.6143,789,167.2Redfin719,4004.81448,343,680
Homesnap Real Estate & Rentals
5,9244.19218,595.6Movoto Real Estate23,9004.87803,040
ZIP Realty Real Estate & Homes4,159413216,268Century 21 Local3,5004.77115,150
RPR Mobile2,4624.510110,790Xome Real Estate1,6004.81399,840
Real Estate by Movoto3,4604.1799,302MLS Touch5924.31640,729.6
HomeSpotter Real Estate Search1,2774.61482,238.8UtahRealEstate.com4354.5713,702.5
Real Estate by Xome1,2363.91362,665.2Flexmls for Homebuyers2582.6106,708
Showing Time1,4393.1731,226.3Flexmls for Real Estate Pros1632.262,151.6
Coldwell Banker1,4473.5525,322.5myTheo: Real Estate84.610368
Flexmls for Real Estate Pros1,2232.5721,402.5MLSListings1336234
Edina Realty6303.5715,435offMLS2060
MLSTouch2593.81110,826.2Gladys Manion Real Estate1070
Real Estate MN Home Search2873.176,227.9Houston Homes for Sale (HAR.com)0090
GoMLS3072.174,512.9Doorectory Real Estate0090
UtahRealEstate.com1643.131,525.2SFAR MLS Edge0070
MLSListings92.16113,4

Here you can also get the table in PDF format.

So, the Top 3 MLS apps for the Android device according to the total score are Trulia, Redfin and Homesnap Real Estate & Rentals.

And when it comes to the iPhone, the top 3 MLS apps are again Trulia, Redfin and then Movoto Real Estate.

As an additional observation, I would like to mention that although in my above table there appear fewer MLS apps for iPhone than for Android this doesn’t mean that there are overall fewer MLS apps available on Apple’s app store than on Google’s Play Store.

There are actually many more MLS apps for iPhone available, and a large share are local MLS apps from different brokerages, but many didn’t make it through my filter because they were outdated.

Finally, when you compare the number of user ratings of MLS apps that are both available for Android and iPhone, you can see pretty fast that the iPhone apps have on average roughly four times more user ratings than their Android counterparts (see the table below).

MLS AppNumber of User Ratings (Android)Number of User Ratings (iPhone)Difference in Multiples
Trulia Real Estate20637510000004.8
Redfin5883871940012.2
Real Estate by Movoto3460239006.9
Xome123616001.3
Flexmls for Real Estate Pros12231630.1
MLSTouch2595922.3
UtahRealEstate.com1644352.7
MLSListings9131.4
Average Difference in Multiples3.97

The only outlier is the MLS app Flexmls for Real Estate Pros that has a higher number of user ratings for Android than for iPhone.

From that, we can conclude that there are overall more MLS app users for the iPhone than for Android.

This could mean that real estate buyers and pros seem to prefer the iPhone and Apple products over the Android and Google ones.

This could also mean that real estate market participants are more affluent and therefore prefer higher-priced iPhones and other Apple products.

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