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.
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.
Cloud services have become the lifeblood of the modern real estate agent, especially for the real estate agent that wants the ability to work remotely. The benefits of time-management and cost-effectiveness of cloud services are becoming well-known in the real estate industry. The real estate agent that can create documents on the fly, send them to clients within seconds, have them signed digitally and get them back within a matter of minutes- this is the sign of the efficient real estate agent.
is a real estate agent's organizational sidekick; it's much more than just a text program for taking notes. It's essentially a complete office all wrapped up in a little green package. Agents can create checklists and to-do lists to ensure that appointments and meetings are not missed, that photos are taken, videos created, keys left in the lockbox and other tasks that must be completed in order to complete a transaction. Photos can be taken directly from Evernote and tagged with appropriate keywords for easy searching at a later time. Real estate agents can virtually perform all aspects of a transaction from within Evernote.
is digital document-signing software that can be used by real estate agents to legally complete document signings over the internet. This saves time and money as real estate agents can send documents to their clients for review and for signing. The clients can receive the document, review it, sign it and then return it. This is extremely useful in situations when the real estate agent and client cannot meet up due to distance or other obstacles.
is comprised of a powerful suite of document creation and editing tools that real estate agents can use for more efficient document management. Agents can create, revise, share, collaborate on, and store documents within Google Drive. It can also be used in conjunction with Docusign to have documents signed and quickly returned to the agent.
is one of the top cloud storage services around, mainly because of its easy-to-use drag-and-drop file sharing system. It also has no file size limits when sharing files from the app. Dropbox can be used to store large files- such as video, audio, presentations, documents and more.
is a service that can tie other cloud services together. Notes, documents and other files from Evernote can be automatically synced from Evernote to Dropbox or other cloud services. Documents and files from Google Drive can also be synced to another cloud service. By using cloudHQ to sync files from one cloud service to another, real estate agents can access, view, revise and share files from a variety of cloud services. It also helps when agents prefer one cloud service but the client prefers another. Sharing can still be a simple process that only takes a few seconds.
Evernote doesn't currently offer the ability to export files into PDF format. But by using cloudHQ, agents get the ability to export files in Microsoft Word format, PDF or plain text format. This is extremely helpful as PDF is a very common format used among agents.
is a real estate agent's best friend. As busy as your life undoubtedly is, you don't have time to waste all day preparing documents, meeting with clients, or showing properties all day. I'm sure it seems like there is never enough time in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done. But Evernote can change all that.
The Evernote app is available for iOS
, and should be installed on your smartphone and tablet. The Evernote software should be installed on your desktop computer and laptop. This way, you can sync all of your documents and files between all of your devices.
Any time you need to take a quick note (and don't we always), simply pull up Evernote on whatever device is closest to you and type it or speak it into your device. The note will be saved and you can continue whatever you were doing. If you need to take a quick photo, simply pull up Evernote, take a photo, and save it. Notes and photos can both be tagged using keywords for easy searching at a later time.
app/software should be installed on all of your devices as well. This program allows users to legally sign documents from their device. This can come in handy when you need to have documents signed, but you are working out of the area, or your client lives somewhere else, is on vacation, etc. If your client has a smartphone or tablet, they can simply download the app, sign the document and send it back to you. This can save a lot of time and travel costs, as you would otherwise have to travel to meet with clients and fill out the paperwork. Time is money, and anything that can help you save time, is helping you save/make money. This gives you time to focus on what's important- gaining new clients, making more sales or spending time with family.
You can create or upload documents to Evernote, send them to your client, have them sign the documents, then return them to you. Then you can print the document or store it, whatever you need to do with it. Notes and documents can be exported from Evernote into several different formats. However, they do not currently offer the option to export into PDF format. So you will need to use a separate cloud service such ascloudHQ
. CloudHQ offers the ability to export Evernote notes and documents into PDF format. You can also sync all of your Evernote notes to another cloud account, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, SkyDrive, etc. This is helpful if you have coworkers or clients that don't use Evernote, but they do use a different cloud service, or it can be used as a backup account, in case something happens to your Evernote account and some of your files are deleted or you lose access to your account.
Google Docs has now become known as Google Drive and is one of the most popular cloud services in the world. Rivaling Microsoft Office, Google Drive hosts a complete suite of office tools, suitable for creating, editing, sharing, storing and converting documents. And Google Drive is always accessible if you have an internet connection. This means, even if you are out working remotely, you can quickly create transaction monuments, collaborate on them with the client, have them legally sign it (if necessary) using Docusign
, and then receive it back from the client. All this can be completed directly from Google Drive.
- If you use Dropbox, Evernote, Gmail, Basecamp or other cloud services, you can back them up to Google Drive, or you can sync your Google Drive files to other cloud services, simply by using a cloud backup service like cloudHQ.
Here are some of the extremely helpful features of Google Drive that can be used in the real estate profession.
- Convert most file types to Google Drive format
- Invite other people to collaborate on a doc with you, giving them edit, comment or view access.
- Collaborate online in real time and chat with other collaborators.
- View your documents' revision history and roll back to any version.
- Download Google Drive documents to your desktop as Word, OpenOffice, RTF, PDF, HTML or zip files.
- Translate a document to a different language.
- Email your documents to other people as attachments.
- Import and convert .xls, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data.
- Export .xls, .csv, .txt and .ods formatted data and PDF and HTML files.
- Use formatting and formula editing so you can calculate results and make your data look good.
- Chat in real time with others who are editing your spreadsheet.
- Create charts and gadgets.
- Embed a spreadsheet, or individual sheets of your spreadsheet, in your blog or website.
- Share presentations with your friends and co-workers.
- Upload and convert existing presentations to Google Drive format.
- Download your presentations as a .pdf, .pptx, or a .txt file.
- Insert images and videos, and format your slides.
- Publish and embed your presentations in a website, allowing access to a wide audience.
- Draw organizational charts, flowcharts, design diagrams and much more right within a presentation.
- Add slide transitions, animations, and themes to create show-stopping presentations.
Success can be rated in a variety of ways in the real estate industry. Sometimes it's based on how many houses you sell per month, sometimes it's based on how much money you make per month and sometimes agents base it on personal goals and factors. When you are working in a high-paced, frenetic real estate environment, you have to raise your game to be successful- even to survive in such shark-infested waters.
When every good lead is snapped up by other agents, you need technology on your side. I've seen real estate agents that have been successful for years, suddenly being out-performed by "rookies" to the business, just because they understand technology and how to make it work for them. Even if you aren't the most technological-minded agent on the block, you can still take advantage of the many apps and programs specifically designed for real estate agents.
The best real estate companies have apps- such as Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com. The Street recently comprised a list of the best iOS apps
from the Apple store although many of these apps are available on Android as well. Smartphones and tablets are now standard tools for real estate agents that wish to be successful. When information is presented, it needs to reach you as quickly as possible. When you need to find information, you need to be able to access it immediately. There is no time to browse listings or search Google to find your information when you need it.
If you sit in a real estate office all day and make phone calls and drive clients around showing them listings, that's great. Except that your rival real estate agents are using apps on smartphones and tablets to access information quickly and they have the ability to work remotely- from their home, while they are on the road, while they are out eating dinner, from practically anywhere they are. This is the new real estate agent. Not bound by a centralized office, they can work from their homes, automobiles, coffee shops, friend's homes, on the beach, or anywhere else they have internet access and mobile service.
While some real estate agents are taking the information their clients give them and then driving clients around to look at a slew of houses, the successful real estate agent is collaborating with them over Google Drive, Dropbox or other cloud apps that allow real estate agents and clients to collaborate over documents and files. While some real estate agents are creating documents and setting up meetings with clients to sign the documents, the successful real estate agent is creating documents in Google Drive or Microsoft Office, sending the documents to their clients through Dropbox or Google Drive and having them legally sign the documents using Docusign. Real estate agents using technology are successful and more efficient because they can access information more quickly, they can complete transactions over the internet without travel and other expenses, and they have a complete toolkit that allows them to get past the little things much quicker.
The real state agent that has decided to go paperless has the entire real estate world at their fingertips. There is no need to have an office anymore; the open road is all you need. If you wish to have an office to keep up appearances, that’s fine, but the necessity is no longer there. The need for big bulky file cabinets is no longer there because the cloud gives you everything you need to fulfill your storage needs. The need for a large desktop computer is no longer needed; practically all aspects of real estate transactions can be performed directly from a laptop or tablet.
Need to print documents? No problem, they can be printed directly from your tablet or smartphone using cloud printing software such as Google Cloud Print. If your client lives far away and you need them to sign documents- no problem, send it to them through a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive and have them sign it using Docusign. Docusign can be used to legally sign documents.
If you need to collaborate over documents with your clients, it's simple. You can have them drive to your office or home and sit down and talk with them. Or you can get on a cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive, chat with them and both of you can revise the document simultaneously.
- You can create and maintain websites and listings from your home computer, laptop or mobile device.
- You can make or answer phone calls from your cell phone.
- You can create video chats to speak with clients over your home computer, laptop or mobile device.
- You can create and maintain social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn from your home computer, laptop or mobile device.
- You can create videos of properties and post them online so clients can see the property before they actually visit it.
- You can create, print and legally sign documents using cloud services.
- You can share documents and photos using cloud file-sharing services.
- You can store all your documents in the cloud for easy accessibility at any time, anywhere.
- You can work remotely, without any centralized office location.
Going paperless obviously has many advantages. But when you store all these files in the cloud, wouldn't it be great to know that they were being automatically backed up to a backup cloud account? Just in case data loss was to occur, or perhaps you or a coworker accidentally delete some files or even if a hacker gets into your account and deletes files just for fun. This is where cloudHQ
comes in. This leading cloud backup service provides a secure backup of whatever files or documents you wish to backup. It also runs in the background so while you are working, it doesn't interrupt you as it performs the backups. All backups are instantaneous so you never have to worry about losing any data- there are no daily, weekly or monthly backups, everything is replicated as it is created. If you add a file to the cloud it is instantly replicated. If you make revisions to a document in the cloud, it is instantly replicated. This gives you protection of all your files and documents no matter what happens.
What if your main cloud account goes offline for maintenance or other issues? Simple, you just switch to the backup cloud account and continue working uninterrupted. As soon as your main cloud service comes back online, the two accounts will sync and everything will be back to normal with no interruptions to your work. CloudHQ offers a free trial
so real estate agents can see the benefits of having complete security and ease-of-mind without paying anything for 15 days. Going paperless brings you the benefits to save you time and money while cloudHQ gives you cloud protection and security.
When determining whether to use cloud services for real estate, there are many services to choose from. You can use some of the most popular cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Evernote among others. You can also use social media in order to reach more people with your posts.
Evernote can be used to handle nearly all aspects of a transaction- documents can be created, shared and stored directly from Evernote. By using Docusign, documents can even be legally signed and then transferred back to the realtor using Evernote. Evernote works best when used in conjunction with another cloud storage service such as Dropbox.
Dropbox is one of the leading cloud storage providers and can handle much more than Evernote. Evernote has file size limits and can't be used to store large files such as videos, music and other large files. Dropbox has no file size limits and has much more efficient file-sharing capabilities. So if you use Evernote to create a document, it can then be shared using Dropbox and can even be collaborated on by both realtor and client if changes or revisions need to be made. Then if the document needs to be signed, it can be signed and transferred between realtor and client so both parties have a copy. At the end of this article, I'll show you a nifty way to sync files between Evernote, Dropbox and many other cloud services.
Social media offers real estate agents an effective method for gaining exposure, garnering leads and much more. The more people you can reach, the more of a chance you have of finding people that are looking to sell their homes.
Twitter is one of the most effective social networks for real estate agents to use to their advantage. By gaining a large following on Twitter, you can produce posts (known as tweets) to send out to garner leads or just to spread information about your business. You can reach a virtually unlimited number of followers if your tweet keeps getting re-tweeted to other Twitter users' followers.
Facebook is another great way to reach hundreds, thousands or even millions of followers by creating a business page. This eliminates the 5000 friend limit that is incurred on personal Facebook accounts. These posts will be sent out to all your followers who can then share the posts to all their followers and again, you could possibly reach an unlimited amount of followers. The only problem with Facebook is that now they have reduced the number of followers that your posts actually meet unless you pay per post. So, in this regard, I must recommend Twitter as a more efficient marketing method.
The best way to use multiple cloud services is to take advantage of the cloudHQ
service. CloudHQ automatically syncs files between various cloud services in real-time, as the files are created, transferred or updated. All changes to files are updated instantly as the replication is continuous and instantaneous. So when a document is created in Evernote, it is instantly replicated to the cloud service of your choice, let's use Dropbox for our example. You can even choose whether the file should be replicated as a PDF or as a Microsoft Word file.
So if a document is created in Evernote, it is instantly transferred to Dropbox. A simple drag-and-drop process can send the file to the client's Dropbox for review. If changes are needed, the article can be collaborated on and revised with both realtor and client making revisions at the same time. The document can be legally signed using Docusign by one or both parties and then it can be saved to Dropbox where both parties will have access to it.
Cloud computing is bringing changes to the way many real estate agents perform their business and has virtually changed the entire real estate industry in the process. Mobile trends and cloud computing trends have both left their mark on real estate and are still surging forward. Mobile use is higher than ever and cloud computing appears to be the future of all computing. Many real estate agents have already changed their process in order to more efficiently sell homes. Those who ignore these rising trends will be left behind.
Studies show that as many as 90% of all internet searches for homes were performed on mobile devices. As the number of people using mobile devices to search and browse the internet is expected to surpass the number of desktop computers within the next year, mobile is a trend that must not be ignored in the real estate market. Websites and listings must be optimized for mobile sites. Website and listing content must be modified for search engine optimization so that they appear toward the top of search engine rankings. On mobile devices, around 95% of all Google searchers never browse past the first page of search results.
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.