Staying Connected In Real Estate

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Staying connected in real estate is essential for productivity. As cloud computing, mobile and social trends have changed the way real estate agents handle their business, the entire industry has taken notice of the many benefits the trends have brought. Now it's not uncommon at all to hear of real estate agents with virtual offices- working from wherever they are, working from home and handling all of their business on the go. Here are the top 3 trends for real estate and how they are affecting real estate agents.



 

How to integrate Google Drive to Box

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Cloud services have practically revolutionized the real estate industry. From document management to collaboration to staying connected- cloud apps provide the features that make real estate agents more productive and efficient. Google Drive and Box are two of the most popular cloud services for real estate agents. In this article, we will take a look at Google Drive and Box are used in real estate, and how real estate agents can have their data from Google Drive synced to Box in order to create an easily searchable database, as well as to create a secure backup of all files and documents in case of data loss.


 

Cloud Integration With Box In The Real Estate Cloud

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Making cloud services play nice with each other can be a difficult task if you don't know the tricks of the trade. Real estate agents often use multiple cloud services and apps to perform their daily tasks, including Evernote, Google Drive and Box.

Box is one of the top cloud storage services available to real estate agents, and many prefer to use it because of the its easy access, simple interface and top-notch security. Box is HIPAA and HiTECH compliant, which makes it a strong choice for real estate agents that deal with confidential data and sensitive information.

Box has a mobile app which allows real estate agents to access their data from any mobile device, at any location that has internet access.

However, sometimes real estate agents find themselves overwhelmed by having all of their data spread out across multiple cloud services. All their notes, checklists, audio clips and photos stored on Evernote, documents and other files stored on Google Drive and large files such as videos or presentations stored on Box- it can be a confusing hassle to try to find files with such disorganization. But luckily there is one cloud service that allows real estate agents to automatically have their data sent to one centralized location (in Box). This cloud integration service is called cloudHQ and is one of the leading cloud integration services known for reliability, stability and affordability. In the sections below, we will take a look at how to integrate Evernote and Box, Google Drive and Box, and how to integrate multiple services to create a centralized database of all of your cloud files.

Integrating Evernote and Box

Evernote is a real estate agent's main tool of choice for quickly and easily taking notes, snapping photos or snagging audio clips. To setup Evernote to Box, simply sign up for cloudHQ and go to thecloudHQ wizard here. You can find the detailed instructions here, but for now, I'll give you a quick idea of how easy this is to setup.

From the sync wizard page, you will see two blank boxes towards the top of the page and a many icons of various cloud services at the bottom of the page. Look for the Evernote icon and drag it to the first box. You will be asked to authorize your Evernote account to allow cloudHQ to integrate your data, and then you will be returned to the sync wizard page. Now you will drag the Box icon to the box on the right and go through the authorization process with Box. You will only have to authorize one time for each cloud service. Once you have authorized Box, you will be taken to an options page where you can change options such as what file format you want to have your Evernote notes exported to Box in. You can choose from MS Word, PDF, TXT and Evernote format. If you would like additional formats, simply send cloudHQ an email and let them know, the cloudHQ system is very flexible and they can handle customized requests quickly and efficiently. You can also choose if you want your notes synced in real-time automatically or if you would rather sync manually.

That's all there is to it. Now all notes you create or add to Evernote will be automatically replicated to Box. All changes to existing files will be automatically replicated as well.

Integrating Google Drive and Box

Google Apps is like an office suite that follows you everywhere you go- giving you access to email, as well as the ability to create, edit, share and store documents, presentations and spreadsheets. It has the easiest and best collaboration features as well, allowing up to 50 users to collaborate and revise documents simultaneously.

You can check out the detailed instructions here, but pretty much it's the same process as described in the last section of this article. Instead of using the Evernote icon, obviously you will use the Google Drive icon this time. The rest of the process is pretty much the same. 

Integrating cloud services to create a centralized database

One of the great features of cloudHQ is that users aren't limited to a single sync pair. So if you want all of your Evernote notes to be automatically replicated to Box AND you want all of your Google Drive documents and files to be automatically replicated to box AND you want all your Gmail emails and attachments to be replicated to Box, it can happen as easily as setting up multiple sync pairs. Now you have a centralized database in Box that contains all of your emails and attachments, all of your Evernote notes and all of your documents from Google Drive! This is very useful for simple searching of files and organization.

Depending on which plan you are using, you can have up to 10 sync pairs at a time. And you can even have multiple accounts of the same cloud service. So if you want to replicate files from one Box account to another Box account, you can do that.

You can check out the cloudHQ service by activating your free 15-day free trial here. This way, you don't have to put any money down and you can decide if cloudHQ is the right fit for your real estate needs.

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How To Prevent Real Estate Data Disasters

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Real estate agents are migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers and you probably already use at least some cloud services, whether you realize it or not. Do you take notes with Evernote? Create documents with Google Drive? Share files using Dropbox? Manage projects using Basecamp? Access email through Gmail? If so, then you are already using cloud services. But with all of the benefits that these cloud services bring to real estate agents comes added risk. Not everything goes perfect in the cloud and sometimes there are instances of data becoming unavailable or completely lost and deleted. In this article, we will take a look at what you need to know as a real estate agent to protect your data from becoming lost or stolen and how you can still access your data even if your cloud provider's site goes down or locks you out of the account.

Unavailable data

There are many reasons why you may not be able to access your data. The big one of course is data loss, but we will take a look at that issue in the next section. Other reasons include:

  • Disgruntled or recently-fired employee looking for revenge accesses account and changes authentication, hides or removes files, etc.
  • Account is wrongfully flagged by cloud hosting provider for ToS violation
  • Human error (accidental misplacement or deletion of files
  • Cloud provider downtime or maintenance

Well, cloudHQ provides synchronization between cloud services just for that reason- in case you cannot access your data. So if you're using Google Drive as your main real estate account but it goes down for maintenance or locks you out of the account for any reason, you will still have a complete backup of all of your data on a separate cloud service such s Dropbox or Box.

Data loss

Data loss is one of the biggest disasters that can hit a real estate agent. Just imagine all of your contracts, transaction documentation, photos, legal documents, confidential client information and other sensitive files suddenly wiped out. Sure, you MIGHT be able to go back to each client and get the necessary signatures and documentation again...AND go back and take photos again...AND file the necessary paperwork through the clerk again...AND whatever else is needed to get back on track. But even if (and that's a big IF) you are able to recoup all of your lost documents and files, it will take a lot of time. You can lose sales during this time, and even worse- customer satisfaction. Once the bad reviews start hitting the internet and spreading between friends, it can be an ugly runaway train with no positive end in sight.

Luckily, cloudHQ provides an excellent cloud backup service that is specifically designed to protect real estate agents from losing ANY of their data. That's right, not one single file will be lost if you take advantage of cloudHQ's backup service. Here's how it works:

Let's say that you use Dropbox (or Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Evernote, etc.) for your main real estate cloud storage. This is where you have all of your important data located. But you experience a data loss incident. If you don't have cloud data backup, you will be in a world of hurt and the process of recovering all of your lost data must get started, taking your focus away from marketing and gathering leads. But if you have cloudHQ, you can use the great cloud backup service to create an automatic and continuous backup between Dropbox and a separate cloud service, such as Box, Google Drive, etc. Your data in the main account disappears, so what do you do? No problem, you simply login to the backup account and restore all the lost data within minutes.

Protect your data from data loss now by using cloudHQ's cloud data backup service. Once the data has disappeared and you realize there was no backup plan in place, you will only be able to wish you had this service. Be prepared. Sign up for the free trial now

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SAAS And Real Estate In The Cloud

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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.

What is Saas?

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.

How secure are SaaS apps?

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

How cloudHQ is the solution to data loss

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.

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Why Cloud Integration And Backup Are Important For Real Estate

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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?

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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

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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.

Humans are flexible

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 are dependable

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.

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How To Use Google Drive And Evernote For Real Estate

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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

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

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. 

Integration between the two cloud services

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.

*Pro tip: 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.

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The Efficiency Of The Cloud

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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. 

The conglomeration of mobile and cloud

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. 

Cloud risks

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. 

Cloud backup offers real estate agents full protection from data loss

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.

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