Real Estate Professionals Overwhelmed by Content: Part Two

Collecting content is only half the battle in the real estate industry. The true challenge comes when you decide how to utilize that content — and how you can and should utilize documents and resources in general. With all the new applications available today, organizing information — when done right — allows you to access and share all your information from any location. For an industry that requires constantly being on the run, getting on board with these new applications is almost a necessity.

Say goodbye to carrying around a zillion folders with a zillion different documents. When you embrace technology, as difficult as it may feel to change, you will only have to carry around one tablet or one phone to hold all your documents. With the ability to share your documents anywhere and email them at the touch of a button, you can do your work more quickly and impress your clients with your efficiency and drive.

Part Two: Accessing, Sharing, and Organizing Content

1. Evernote – Evernote is an application developed for note taking and archiving. A note can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten message. Notes can have file attachments that can be sorted and organized in any fashion. Best of all, with Evernote, every note, web clip, file, etc., is available on every device and computer you use.

As a real estate agent, having the ability to organize and send folders and documents at will is invaluable. For example, you can create notebooks for all your customers, or create a folder to store information of maps and photos of houses all in one place. If a customer decides to bind, you can send the customer folder to your co-workers immediately, or if you see a house you know a client might like, you can email a picture of the house right on the spot. Your efficiency will make your job easier and impress your customers to no end.

Additionally, as mentioned in one of our previous articles, documenting all your transactions is very important to protect yourself from possible liability claims, if a customer for whatever reason should decide to file a claim against you. Evernote makes logging transactions fairly painless and sometimes even automatically does the logging for you.

2. Dropbox – Dropbox is a service that allows you to store, sync, and share files online. The interface for Dropbox is very simple, and you can share your files from your computer to your mobile device or tablet with ease.

Dropbox is useful for real estate professionals because it will save you a dramatic amount of time. Instead of syncing all your computers, you can just upload documents from anywhere. Consequently, you can also access documents from anywhere, which means that if you forget a sales form or need a report, you’ll have it with you anywhere you go.

Dropbox is accessible for Android, Blackberry, iPad, and iPhone users and offers up to 2 GB of free storage. One way that it differs from many other file sharing services is that it allows you to transfer any file type of any size for as much as your storage plan allows (you can access more storage for a fee).

3. Google Drive – Google Drive is a suite of products that lets you create different kinds of online documents, work on them in real time with other people, and store your documents and your other files – all online. (http://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=49008)

Google Drive is great for sharing files and gaining mobile access to your files. Since it’s used in cloud computing, no back up on your actual computer is necessary, it’s all saved via the web. Google Drive only allows certain types of files and certain file sizes, but for most real estate agents this shouldn’t matter too much.

Google Drive is free and buying more space on the program is relatively cheap. It’s available on every phone or tablet that has any internet capabilities. Being able to access files from any source can save you time and can make you appear more efficient to your clients.

4. DocuSign – Docusign is an extremely useful mobile application for real estate professionals. As you can probably guess from the name, it allows you to sign or have your customers sign documents right on your mobile device. You can then save the document right then and there without worrying about losing track of any of the information.

This will likely not only save you time but save you stress and keep your life far more organized. It will also allow you to avoid carrying a big stack of files everywhere you go, because you can just allow your client to flip right through those same files on a mobile device.

This blog/website is made available by CRES Insurance Services for educational purposes to give you general information and understanding of legal risks and insurance options, not to provide specific legal advice. This blog/website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. Claims examples are for illustrative purposes only. Read your policy for a complete description of what is covered and excluded.

Originally Published July 12, 2012

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