The link above will take you to a series of articles about Gmail. You can check them out in whatever order you choose or just work your way down the list.
- Gmail checks multiple POP email accounts so I can use my domain email addresses.
- It offers filing and easy retrieval of all my emails -- now more than 30,000 of them.
- It integrates with my Calendar and Tasking.
- It provides simplified contact management capabilities.
- It replies with an email address to which email was sent, keeping that branding.
Several of the tools below are tied into Gmail, so it's the first and most important tool in the box.
Gmail is a totally free service.
This link takes you to several articles explaining the different ways to use Google Calendar to manage your meetings, appointments, and events. You'll see in the first article how it ties into your overall business management system. The high points are:
- Integration with Gmail, including the ability to add events from an email and to display upcoming events and appointments next to your email.
- Takes voice appointments from Jott, which I'll talk about in this group of tools.
- Lets you set up custom reminder systems for text messages, email, and popups.
- Integrates RTM -- Remember the Milk tasks into your calendar, which I explain in more detail below.
Google Calendar is free as well.
The top four or five articles at this link show you how RTM -- Remember the Milk -- works. I use it for transaction task management because:
- It integrates with Gmail and displays my tasks in Gmail's screen.
- I'm more organized with my calendar appointments, email and tasks all on one screen.
- It allows me to import via email an entire list of dated tasks when I start a new transaction.
- RTM tasks can also be picked up in Google Calendar so my one calendar view tells all for the day, week or month.
- It sends alarms via text or email for tasks deadlines.
The free level of RTM should work for most people.
I can't begin to tell you in this space how many things I do with Evernote. You can sign up for free, but the Premium level service costs a nominal fee. It's worth many times that. There are 50 ways to use Evernote in your real estate business.
Just one article at the link tells it all. Do simple accounting for your real estate business in this free online service. It takes voice input from Jott.com just like the Google calendar and Remember the Milk. There have been some minimal changes since it was taken over by Coupa Software, but trust me -- you'll like it.
I've already made Evernote a priority. Here's one more feature that makes it even more valuable -- speech-to-text so you can dictate notes.
Articles at this link show you how to use Thunderbird and IMAP to back up all your Gmail onto your hard drive. But even better, you can create "search folders" that will gather all emails related to a transaction into one folder. You can then create a PDF of all the emails after the transaction closes.
Thunderbird is free software.
With around 7 gigabytes of free space and much more, Google Drive makes keeping your important files backed up in the cloud almost effortless.
Every file in the Google Drive folder is automatically kept synced in the cloud account after it's installed. If you get a new computer, just install it there and all of your stuff will download and you'll be up and running in no time. Cost is minimal.
The articles at this link show you how to use Google's free Picasa photo service to build online photo albums. You can even geotag them for mapping. I like it better than Flickr, and it's free and easy to use with automatic syncing of photos from your hard drive. Picasa was recently absorbed into Google Drive, giving you more free storage and better features.
Articles at this link will give you information about the importance of Internet video -- its massive audience and how to use it on your real estate website. It gives you some tips about cameras and how to use this free service to make your website the place to go for prospects who want to see videos of your service area.
Top 10 Technology Tools to Manage Your Real Estate Business
Technology to Help Your Real Estate Business
Technology is evolving even as I write this so double check prices and services when you look into these services. Many are free right now, and the others are really inexpensive. Combining them all shouldn't cost you much at all, and you'll be managing your real estate business on the road with efficiency while covering all the bases.
I'm constantly testing and playing with the latest in online technology, software, and hardware, but this core group of services seems to stay at the top of my list. They're simple and easy to use, as well as free or inexpensive.