01It's More than Just Tasks
Real estate transaction management is much more than just running through a list of tasks and meeting deadlines. We really need to talk about this because we're seeing more and more articles about real estate agents going the way of the travel agent. With more services moving to the Internet, many believe that the job of the real estate agent is becoming less relevant.
Some vendors are profiting by offering transaction management software packages to real estate professionals, and they work well at bringing together services in a transaction:
- Task schedules and completion dates.
- Document sharing and delivery.
- Coordination functions.
Managing a real estate transaction involves all of these things, and it isn't just a list of check boxes, though that's a part of it. Let's go through how to use Evernote for transaction task management, and there is more than one way to get the job done.
02Transaction Task Checklists in Evernote
Evernote has a great To-Do task checklist function that allows you to set up a list with completion boxes. It works well, and doesn't take that long to get set up when you start a new transaction process. You can also do reminders if you don't want to check the list each day (I do), and you'll get an email reminder. All of the tasks are in one note, and you just keep calling it up and marking them complete.
Calling up the note is easy with search, as you'll set up an Evernote notebook for each transaction, and you can title this particular note something like "deadline checklist." Later, open that notebook and search on that title and you'll get just that note ready to mark items completed or add new ones.
However, at this point, I would recommend that you consider a more client friendly approach that won't take up that much more of your time, and you can send them notes as you complete items as to action taken when you enter that action in your note for the file. Let's go to the next step to see how it works.
03Evernote Reminders for Task Management
Remember that written and dated records of what you did and when you did it are important. They could come up later if there are disputes or problems. Evernote can date and timestamp your note activities automatically, and can remind you of task due dates. You can use individual notes for each important task to provide better customer service. Here's how you can do this with Evernote Reminders:
- With this approach, you'll be creating a note for each important task. You can keep a checklist for the less important things or use multiple check boxes in a reminders for less important items.
- Create a note for a task, titled with the task, such as "Deliver and go over survey with buyers."
- Use the reminder box to set a date, in this case it may be the day you expect the survey to come in from the surveyor. This way you're reminded to check on it.
- Once the survey arrives, take it to the clients and go over it to answer their questions or see if there is a problem, such as an unexpected encroachment.
- Use this same note at the meeting, adding your meeting notes and questions, as well as any follow up action you need to take. You can then either mark it as Done or change the date to the future for follow up.
- You can also attach documents to the note.
- Once completed, you can email this individual note to your client(s) for their files, as it has the details and the resolution, all dated.
This may seem like overkill or too time consuming, but it actually helps me to get organized and stay that way when a new transaction gets started all the way through closing. Each reminder pops up with that note showing me what has already transpired, and my notes about what to do next. You may find, as I did, that doing a separate reminder type note for each major and important task will keep you better organized and doesn't take but a half hour or so at the start of the transaction.