SAAS And Real Estate In The Cloud
If you are a real estate agent that is into technology and the cloud, you are probably familiar with Software as a Service (SaaS) in the cloud. Many real estate agents already use SaaS in the cloud
, and you probably already do in some form as well. Many real estate agents that use SaaS are wary (and rightfully so) about a number of issues and challenges including security, cost, data backup and recovery and other possible disasters that could happen in the cloud. In this article, we will take a look at what SaaS is, how it is used in the real estate office and in the field and how to prevent any cloud disasters associated with SaaS from happening to you.
Software as a Service apps are quickly becoming more popular in real estate brokerages everywhere. An SaaS app is software that is based in the cloud, so it performs the same functions as software installed on your computer, but you can access it from any device that has internet access instead of having to install software on all of your devices. Some of the most popular SaaS apps that are used in real estate brokerages today are
- Evernote: Used for taking notes, snapping photos, clipping web articles, audio clips and much more.
- Google Apps: This powerful document management suite allows real estate agents to quickly create, edit, delete, share, sign and save documents, spreadsheets and presentations from any mobile device or computer that has internet access.
- Dropbox: The most popular cloud storage provider, offering free space, unlimited size file sharing, simple file sharing, strong encryption and security measures.
- Box: Similar to Dropbox, it offers free space, but does have file size limits. It also offers the strongest security measures as it is HIPAA and HITECH compliant.
- Microsoft SkyDrive: Microsoft's cloud storage. If you have Windows 8, you are no doubt familiar with SkyDrive as much of the storage and apps are stored in the cloud on SkyDrive.
- Basecamp: That's right, the premier project management tool in the world is SaaS. Based in the cloud, Basecamp provides real estate agents with all the tools they need to successfully manage cases and other projects from any location with internet access.
Well, there is good news and bad news. The bad news first: 1 out of 3 Companies Lose Data in SaaS
. Okay, so now you're thinking that SaaS is not secure, right? Wrong. The sad fact is- human error still accounts for the number one reason for data loss in the cloud. And unfortunately, security cannot predict human error and therefore it is very hard to guard against it. But there is one cloud service that stands against human error, human stupidity and even purposeful malicious human deletion. This cloud service is cloudHQ
The cloudHQ backup and replication service works by providing a complete backup of all of your cloud data to a backup account on a completely separate cloud service. So if your brokerage uses Dropbox for all of your cloud storage needs, the backup account could be on a separate cloud service such as Google Drive or Box. You choose which folders and files you wish to have backed up and cloudHQ does the rest. All new files added to the shared folders in the main account will be instantly replicated to the backup account. So now if you or your coworkers or anyone else with access to the cloud account accidentally (or purposely) deletes files or important documents, there will always be a secondary copy of all of your files and documents on the backup account. Recovering files is quick and easy and only takes minutes. Most cloud services offer file recovery, but only for short periods up to 30 days. After that period of time, your data is gone forever, unless you have a secure backup system like cloudHQ. Human error is prevalent and is still the number one cause of data loss in the cloud, but with cloudHQ, you can combat human error and defeat it easily by maintaining a safe and secure backup of all data in the cloud.
Why Cloud Integration And Backup Are Important For Real Estate
The surge in cloud computing and real estate has increases exponentially in recent years. As mobile and cloud trends have pushed the industry closer to remote revolution, a growing number of cloud apps have helped make the migration process simpler and quicker. Real estate agents are looking for apps and services that will increase their sales, while reducing time needed to accomplish tasks and save money at the same time. The cloud has offered up numerous services and apps that do just that. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best cloud apps for real estate, and why cloud integration and cloud backup are so important for real estate.
Why Use Evernote For Real Estate?
Evernote is the multi-tool of a thousand uses for real estate agents. As more real estate agents turn to mobile and remote work environments, the more they depend on enterprise cloud apps such as Evernote. Mobile real estate business is performed on a daily basis by real estate agents on the go, and Evernote is one of the most popular mobile cloud apps used by agents. Notes can be quickly jotted down as text or audio. For organization, checklists such as to-do lists can be easily set up from any computer or mobile device.
Real Estate Virtual Assistant Vs. Human Assistant
In order for your real estate business to grow and prosper, you must be willing to step forward, take risks and make bold decisions. But with success comes much more responsibility- more paperwork, more phone calls, more appointments, more meetings and more work overall. In order to keep your bustling office as organized as possible, you mat at some point feel like hiring more help. But good help can be hard to find and can be expensive as well.
Human assistants are valuable as they can take instruction and, if they listen well, can accomplish tasks exactly as you want them to be performed. Human assistants can also be taught to do things on their own, without any manual actions by you. Some real estate agents may find that simply keeping up with the programming and direction for virtual assistants are more complicated than keeping a human assistant around that can be directed with a few words.
Virtual assistants enhance the quality of your services and can efficiently handle tasks involving graphics design, web design, document management, HTML, brochure design and layout, social media, Intranets, and much more. It can also save time by using speed and efficiency within the cloud.
One trait that virtual assistants have that helps them excel is that there is very little room for human error. Where humans forget and make judgment errors, virtual assistants are programmed exactly the way they are supposed to operate. Humans may miss appointments due to typos, forgetfulness, other prior engagements or oversight, but a virtual assistant will always be right on time with everything.
Time is money and virtual assistants are great at saving time as there is no need for bathroom breaks, smoke breaks or other leisure activities that take away from company duties.
You will have to do some research and perhaps even check around with other real estate agents who use virtual assistants to determine what the best option is for your real estate needs. Virtual assistants are dependable and can save time and money, but human assistants offer flexibility. As the industry moves towards virtualization and cloud computing, you will have to choose the direction you wish to take your real estate business towards.
How To Use Google Drive And Evernote For Real Estate
Real estate agents have increasingly become interested in the cloud and the many benefits that cloud services offer. Especially for agents on the go- if you're too busy to sit at a desk all day, meeting clients, showing properties, answering phone calls and endless piles of paperwork, then the cloud is definitely for you. There are numerous cloud services that offer higher efficiency, cost-reduction and time-reduction for real estate agents. In this article, we will take a look at two of the most popular premier cloud services for real estate agents.
Google Drive has many useful features for real estate agents. Not only does it offer one of the best document management suites, but it also offers simple file-sharing and integration with many other Google services.
One of the best features of Google Drive is the document management and collaboration. Documents can be easily created, revised, shared, signed and stored, all directly within Google Drive. If documents need to be collaborated on by real estate agents, clients, investors or other relevant parties, Google Drive offers the ability for up to 50 users to collaborate on a single file simultaneously.
Files that need to be shared can be dropped into the Google Drive PC app, mobile app or Google Drive website. So you can create a legal document in Google Drive and send it to the client, who can then use signing software such as DocuSign to legally sign the document online, and then they can send the document back using Google Drive.
Evernote is a real estate agents third arm. It performs all the tasks that real estate agents wish they could do, but normally can't because of busy schedules, no handy tools (pen, paper, recorder, camera, etc), or simply being away from the office for extended periods of time.
Real estate agents that are working remotely or traveling can use Evernote to quickly jot down ideas, create appointments, make checklists such as to-do lists, create and save audio clips, take photos using the mobile device's camera and save them to Evernote, and much more. And Evernote has a revolutionary tagging system that allows users to save any of these files with keywords so that they can be easily searched and accessed at a later time. Evernote can even search inside of photos for text, so if your photo contains text, Evernote can find it based on a few words contained in the photo.
The problem between cloud services is competition. Rival cloud services such as Evernote and Google Drive do not offer users the chance to integrate the two services. However, there is a third party cloud service that has now made this possible- cloudHQ
The cloudHQ service takes all the Evernote notes and stacks and replicates them to other cloud services, including Google Drive. So if you create documents, checklists, to-do lists, etc, and you want to access them through Google Drive, they will be there waiting on you any time you check, because cloudHQ works automatically and replicates files in real-time.
One of the best features about an Evernote to Google Drive replication is that cloudHQ offers the ability to export Evernote to PDF format. This is a feature that not even Evernote offers. You can also save files in HTML, text, Microsoft Word, and practically about any format available.[i]
And if you want documents created in Google Drive to be accessible in Evernote, this is no problem. CloudHQ will export all documents into Evernote so you can have simple and efficient organization of files and tasks.
Google Drive and Evernote are two cloud services that make life simple for real estate agents. Organization, backup, replication and integration are just a few ways that cloudHQ helps agents attain such high levels of efficiency, while saving time and money.
: If you need to share large files, you may wish to add Dropbox to the list. Dropbox has no file size limits and has instant drag-and-drop sharing, so large files can be easily shared and accessed by both the sending party and the recipients. [i]
If the file format you wish to export Evernote into is not listed, simply contact the cloud professionals at cloudHQ and they will take care of it for you.
The Efficiency Of The Cloud
The cloud has revolutionized a variety of industries, including legal professionals, real estate agents, teachers, and many other business professionals, small business owners, large enterprises and even governmental departments. In the real estate industry, the cloud has been a huge part of turning agents into mobile workers, performing transactions on the go. Now agents have the flexibility to choose the locations and the hours that they work.
Mobile and cloud trends have pushed real estate technology to new heights. Now documents can be created, shared and signed from any location that has internet access. Other cloud apps allow agents to instantly share large files such as presentations and video files. Mobile apps allow agents to update blogs, websites and listings from any location as well. Real estate agents that use cloud and mobile together to perform their everyday tasks find that they can save money, as well as save time, which increases the overall efficiency of their business.
There are always risks that come with increases in availability and accessibility, and the cloud does have a few vulnerabilities that could potentially result in data loss. Accidental deletions, malicious deletion, loss of account access, and other factors can be disastrous for real estate agents that are trying to close out transactions, create contracts or update websites when suddenly all of their data disappears.
The cloud backup professionals at cloudHQ offer a service that allows real estate agents to back up all of their data to a separate cloud account. This replication is automated, and updates instantly, as soon as changes to data are detected. All new files or revisions to existing files are instantly replicated to the backup account so that even if an unwanted incident of data loss occurs, the files can be quickly restored and the agent can instantly return to real estate duties as normal.
Top 3 Mobile Finance Trends For Real Estate Agents
Mobile finance is quickly becoming the standard for many types of payments. Mobile payments provide flexibility and faster checkouts at many in-store locations. Internet mobile use is increasing every year and is expected to overtake desktop use within the next year.
Mobile allows us to have our entire lives at our fingertips- we can track our kids, shop, connect with old friends and make new friends through social networking, sell products, advertise real estate business, manage financial accounts, and much more. Nearly all real estate duties can be performed directly from mobile devices- connect with clients and investors; create, share and sign documents; order supplies (signs, business cards, brochures, etc.) and manage appointments. In this article, we will take a look at the top 3 mobile finance trends for real estate agents.
Cash is becoming rarer these days, especially since it can be stolen without any way to trace it. Mobile payments are more secure than cash and there are always records of every transaction. If your mobile device is stolen and used to make fraudulent transactions, these records can be used to track the payment and identify the perpetrators. Many real estate agents are going completely mobile- working from virtual offices and performing their real estate duties remotely. Using mobile payments makes it easier, faster and much more efficient to perform business when you're on the go.
As mentioned above, real estate agents have become much more mobile in recent years. The lure of working from home in pajamas is too much to ignore for many agents. Other agents prefer coffee shops or other locations with internet access. The internet already makes it simple to make payments using credit cards and bank accounts, but mobile payments can be made from anywhere- driving down the road, sitting on your back porch or watching the waves roll in while you relax on the beach.
Mobile apps bring the art of mobile payments to your fingertips. Practically every reputable service has a mobile app, and mobile payments can usually be made directly through the apps. Other mobile apps from cloud services such as Evernote can be used to upload and store financial records for easy searching and access if needed. Cloud and mobile apps often work together to make the completion of real estate tasks a much faster and simpler process.
Cloud and mobile trends have been pushing real estate technology forward for several years now, and the results have been fascinating. As mobile use excels and cloud apps are accepted by more companies and enterprises, we will see mobile payments excel. It's an added bonus to agents who have decided to migrate their real estate business to the cloud and who are performing most of their duties from mobile devices. In upcoming years, mobile finance will become much more widely accepted and may become the way most financial transactions are performed.