From researching properties to helping them locate real estate agents, there seems to be an app for everything customers want to do.

But there's plenty of space for innovation in the field. Currently the industry often operates under paper-based processes and phone calls to real estate agents. Startups emerge each year that make things easier for agents, buyers, and sellers. Here are five startups that are getting big notice in the field.

Zumper

At one time, finding a rental meant driving around town, applying to multiple apartment complexes or calling numbers on "for rent" signs in yards. Zumper automates the process of locating rentals and placing applications. Rental information is updated in real time, preventing applications from wasting time on rentals that are no longer available. Renters can specify the type of rental they're searching for, then receive alerts when something becomes available that fits that description.

Faira

In an age where people can find dates, the home buying experience seems horribly outdated. Faira seeks to automate the process, directly connecting buyers with the homes that are currently on the market. Sellers don't need a real estate agent for Faira, since the app issues an MLS listing similar to what is seen on some of the top real estate sites. Faira also handles the contract process and independent certified appraisals to get a home ready to sell.

Hightower

For building owners, Hightower makes it easy to manage workflow. Owners can identify their most productive brokers and top tenant representatives, as well as monitor tenant interactions. Brokers and building owners can also centralize their budgets and marketing materials, making it easy for everyone on their teams to log in and access information. With updates and notifications, users can manage everything on the go using their mobile devices.

Balcony

Balcony automates referrals to save time and help agents do their jobs. Each user creates a profile that includes client reviews, coverage areas, and recent closings and brokers can easily find that information to make a referral. Balcony also handles the financial part of the process, delivering referral fees to the agent at the completion of the transaction. Brokers can even compare five agents at once to find the best one to meet a specific client's needs.

SharpLaunch

When commercial properties need to get the word out about an available lot or building, they're often challenged to find a way to market it. The tool helps property owners create professional websites to show off their properties, share documents with clients, view analytics, and more. The software's contact management system lets businesses share users, as well as view their access to the stored files. This allows property managers to follow up with interested customers.

These startups are revolutionizing the real estate space, automating processes that are currently bogged down by paperwork and phone calls. As innovators continue to improve the space, real estate agents, brokers, property managers, renters, and homeowners will have the benefit of being able to conduct the transactions they need through the mobile devices they use every day.