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.
Integration In The Real Estate Cloud
As the number of cloud services and apps are growing, one thing is for certain- the demand for integration between these services is growing as well. A real estate agent's toolkit may be comprised of many different apps and services including Evernote, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Basecamp and more. However, very few of these apps offer integration with other services. Wouldn't it be great to be able to sync all of your Evernote notes to Dropbox? What about creating documents in Google Drive and having them automatically replicated to Box? Basecamp projects to Dropbox? Gmail emails to Box? SkyDrive to Dropbox? And what if you want your Evernote notes to be replicated in PDF format, a feature that Evernote does not currently offer?
By using cloudHQ, integration between all of these services and many more is possible. Evernote to PDF is possible. Having all of your files from various apps replicated to a single cloud service for easy accessibility and searching is a simple and automated process. You can choose to have all files replicated or just specific files and folders. CloudHQ's replication is automatic, so there are no manual transfers and you can continue to work in as many cloud apps as you wish, knowing that your files are being securely transferred to the cloud app of your choice.
If you want to create a portable "office" in Dropbox, but you want to use all your other cloud apps, just set them all to be replicated to Dropbox. Evernote to Dropbox. Google Drive to Dropbox. Basecamp to Dropbox. SkyDrive to Dropbox. Gmail emails and attachments to Dropbox. And the formats you can have files exported in varies as well. Evernote to Microsoft Word format. Evernote to PDF. The list goes on. All files will automatically show up instantly in Dropbox as they are created. Any revisions to existing files will be instantly replicated as well. The cloudHQ service runs in the background, completely invisible to users so they are not interrupted during their daily tasks.
CloudHQ has contacted and listened to comments, suggestions and criticism from real estate agents from all over the country. One of the biggest complaints about using apps is that they are not able to be integrated with other cloud apps. The manual transfer of data can be costly and time-consuming. CloudHQ has designed integration between many apps that real estate agents say they use in their daily tasks. This automation helps save agents time and money, so that they can concentrate their time on other important tasks. Cloud integration is here and it's called cloudHQ.
Real Estate And Cloud Computing
Real estate and cloud computing together have changed the way that real estate agents operate. Smartphones and tablets have brought an array of various benefits to real estate agents. Mobile trends are now pushing real estate agents to perform most (if not all) of their work remotely. Some agents have even tossed the office and went completely remote and paperless.
Technological advancements in the smartphone industry have produced a slew of mobile real estate agents. With new apps and features, real estate agents can now stay on the road much longer than they could before. This makes multitasking a much easier chore as agents can now perform real estate duties as they pick their kids up from school, have lunch with friends or even while they are vacationing at the beach. Real estate websites and online listings can be managed from mobile devices, while homes can be searched from apps and websites. Nearly all aspects of the real estate business can be performed directly from a mobile device.
Sometimes just being a little more mobile isn't enough. Many real estate agents are kissing the office goodbye and heading out on their own. Completely paperless, agents can perform all their real estate duties through mobile and cloud computing. They can use cloud storage such as Box and Dropbox for their files and documents. They can use Evernote to take notes, photos and audio clips, as well as create to-do lists and maintain organization. Google Drive is practically a complete virtual office with the Google Docs suite of document creation and editing tools. It can also be used for file storage and sharing, and has the best collaboration features of any cloud service available.
By using these tools, real estate agents can perform all real estate duties from any location that has internet or mobile service. Documents can even be created and shared with clients. By using another app, DocuSign, documents can even be legally signed. Going paperless definitely has its advantages, and not just that agents can cut costs by not having an office and all that equipment. Time-management is a huge benefit as there is no drive to and from the office each day. Agents can actually perform their duties as they travel. By using numerous photos and video, agents can even sale some homes before the buyer has ever seen it in person or set foot on the property. But perhaps one of the greatest advantages to going paperless is that the filing cabinet is no longer relevant. Now instead of searching through paper folders and files, a simple search will find what you are looking for in seconds. Mobile and paperless both have their advantages and can save agents time and money.
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage providers, boasting over 175 million users. As its popularity continues to surge, many users, including companies and real estate agents, are switching to the cloud in a quest to become paperless. So is Dropbox replacing the hard drive? For many users, the answer is "yes."
"We are replacing the hard drive. I don’t mean that you’re going to unscrew your MacBook and find a Dropbox inside, but the spiritual successor to the hard drive is what we’re launching," said Dropbox CEO Drew Houston.
At a recent conference, DBX, Dropbox unveiled many new features
to the wildly popular platform. Houston started the event saying, "Today, the hard drive goes away." Some people may be shocked by such a bold statement, while others already use Dropbox as their hard drive, took it a little more literally.
New changes to the platform include new plugins (Dropbox calls them "Drop-ins") that allow developers of websites to enable "Save to Dropbox" and "Share from Dropbox" features. Houston explained the new features as "kind of a save button for the post-PC world."
You wouldn't use your hard drive without a great backup plan, you shouldn't use Dropbox without the same. This is wherecloudHQ
steps in and becomes the ultimate solution to prevent data loss and cloud synchronization. CloudHQ provides backup from Dropbox to a completely separate cloud account such as Box, Google Drive, etc. This backup runs automatically in the background so users can continue to work and access data without interruption. Backup is continuous so new files are instantly backed up to the backup account. Any revisions to existing files and documents are instantly backed up as well, so even if you are working on a file and something happens, you will not lose data.
is one of the most popular cloud services, and one of the best text and document cloud apps on the web. It has many uses in real estate, and actually most (if not all) aspects of a transaction can be handled directly from Evernote. This makes it possible for a real estate agent to go completely paperless and perform all real estate business from mobile locations. There is no necessity for an office anymore.
Evernote has features that allow real estate agents to quickly jot down important notes either by typing or by audio, which can be useful if you are driving down the road and need to jot down a thought, idea or memo that you may not remember later.
Documents can be created directly within Evernote or they can be transferred from another cloud service such as Google Docs in Google Drive
. These documents can then be shared directly with your client if they have Evernote, or you can share the documents by using Dropbox or some other cloud service. By using Docusign
, documents can be legally signed by yourself and the client without making unnecessary trips to and from an office or place of business. This saves much time and money and helps speed up transaction completion times.
For even more efficiency, you can use a cloud synchronization and backup service such as cloudHQ
to sync your data from Evernote to other cloud services so that the documents can be shared with clients much faster. For instance, by using cloudHQ to automatically sync your files from Evernote to Dropbox , you will have a copy in Dropbox immediately which can then be shared with the client by simply dragging and dropping the file into a Dropbox folder that you are sharing with the client.
By having a sync set up between Evernote and Dropbox (or other cloud service of your choice), you will also have a complete database of all files for easy searching. If you have files stored in Dropbox, Documents stored in Evernote and Google Drive, and more files stored in Box and SkyDrive, you may have a hard time searching for all of your files. But if you set up cloudHQ to sync all of these cloud services to one backup cloud account, you will have a complete, searchable database of all files. It's very important that you keep a backup of all files anyways- in case something happens and you experience data loss in one of your other cloud accounts, you will still have a complete secondary copy of all files and it can easily be restored.
Photos can be taken directly through the Evernote app on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. If you have a decent camera on your device, this makes it easy to flip on the Evernote app and start taking snapshots of a property, which are then automatically saved to the Evernote notebook of your choice. Even if you don't have a decent camera on your phone but you have a good stand-alone camera, you can take your high-quality photos with your camera, send them to Dropbox, and, using cloudHQ, sync them to Evernote so you have all of your listing and transaction files organized in the same area.
Cloud computing is being used by many top real estate brokers as its uses in the brokerage far outweigh the negatives. Whether it's for a small brokerage with a few agents or a large brokerage with many agents, the cloud can be used to manage all aspects of listings and transactions while cutting costs on many ends.
- Utilize the latest technology in order to more efficiently serve clients
- Cost reduction by using Bring Your own Device (BYOD) for agents to remotely operate
- Marketing enhancement, increase in leads and increased profitability
- Less dependence on an on-premise office staff
The migration to the cloud can seem like an extremely complicated and time-consuming task, but it's really only as complicated as you make it. Basically, all information that flows through the real estate brokerage will be sent to the cloud and must be directed to various locations. Access permissions must be set as some data may be fine for all agents and staff to access while other data may only need to be seen by certain workers or agents.
Faxes will be sent as emails or online PDF files. Online access for clients to access their documents should be available as well. Digital signatures can be obtained through a service such as Docusign. Communication with clients, realtors, vendors and other sources can be securely set up online along with the ability to collaborate with multiple users.
Agents and other office staff will need to be trained on the best ways to operate remotely. By utilizing BYOD, agents can operate from wherever they are without the need for a physical office or physical storage space for files.
Google Apps is a great place to start. Google offers an entire suite of useful apps that can be used for the brokerage to run more efficiently in the cloud. Some of the apps include Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Drive. Google Drive includes the entire Google Docs suite which is similar to Microsoft Office with powerful document creation and editing tools, spreadsheets, presentations, word processing and more. There is also a complete business suite called Google Apps for Business which is more aimed at businesses and corporations.
Once you setup an intranet and complete online office through Google Apps or another similar program, you can decide what other apps will be needed. Dropbox or Box can be used for additional online storage, collaboration and sharing while Basecamp can be used to cover all aspects of project management. Evernote is perfect for creating notes and documents, snagging web articles and photos, and creating audio files.
As much of the data that is used in the brokerage is important and sometimes confidential, it is imperative that a secure backup plan is in place to protect data from accidental deletion or other mishaps. The best solution is to use one of the top cloud backup services such as cloudHQ
. CloudHQ offers a continuous replication of all data to a backup cloud account which provides a secondary copy of all data. In case an agent or other staff member accidentally deletes or misplaces a file, it can be instantly restored from the backup account. The best part about cloudHQ is that it syncs data between a wide variety of cloud services including Google Apps, Dropbox, Evernote, SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box and more. Any changes to data is instantaneous so if a realtor working remotely edits a file, the changes are instantly replicated to all other devices that have that cloud account installed.
Visual marketing is an important aspect of real estate listings and a high quality camera is essential for creating extreme close-ups and HD video that can best display the properties in a favorable light to prospective buyers. The problem is that these photos and videos can take up a lot of space. These files must be backed up but additional storage drives can be expensive.
Cloud storage is the best option for storing and maintaining large files. There are a variety of cloud storage providers that offer storage at reasonable prices. And the best part- if you need additional storage, there is no need to buy expensive hardware to meet these demands as users can simply upgrade the account with the cloud storage provider for more storage.
is one of the most popular and most useful cloud storage providers. It easily integrates with Windows and utilizes a Windows-type file and folder structure system, making it feel like typical usage to normal Windows users. Other storage providers include Google Drive, Box, SkyDrive and more. These cloud providers all offer free plans with paid upgrades for users that need more storage space.
The best way to use cloud storage is in conjunction with a cloud backup service such as cloudHQ
. This ensures that you always have a secondary copy of your files in case the original files become corrupted, accidentally deleted or lost. The cloudHQ service works by providing a continuous backup of all files and data to a secondary backup account. Important documents such as transaction papers, contracts and more must be protected. Retaking photos and videos that get lost can be a time-consuming and inefficient task. But with cloudHQ, the files will all be securely backed up.
The move to the cloud may seem like a daunting task for real estate agents but this can be accomplished much easier than one may think. While it may seem to be a bit overwhelming, just a little simple research will give you all the information you need for making the move to the cloud as effortless as possible.
Moving to the cloud can make for a paperless office, which means that real estate agents can perform their work from virtually any device (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.), from anywhere that the agent has internet access. This cuts down on trips to and from the office, cuts down on paperwork, and allows agents to concentrate on selling houses instead of wasting time doing unnecessary tasks.
There are many cloud storage providers to choose from- Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and more. These services can be used to store all that paperwork that currently flows out of file cabinets, inside (and probably all across) your desk. In the cloud, the documents can be stored, organized and easily searched and found at any time from any device. Paper documents can be scanned to the computer and uploaded to the cloud storage for storage and organizing.
Cloud services such as Evernote and Basecamp can be used to completely manage your documents and transactions. Google Apps has an entire array of document editing software that can help also.
A secure and safe backup is essential to protect data. A cloud backup service such as cloudHQ
can protect your data and ensure that there is no data loss.
You must install the cloud services on every device that you plan to use the service on. Most of these services come with apps for tablets and smartphones and software programs for desktop computers and laptops.
The move to the cloud will make work much more efficient in both time and project management. It may seem like a lot but it's actually very simple and the results and benefits are well worth it.