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.



 

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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Integration In The Real Estate Cloud

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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?

How to integrate your cloud

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 and real estate

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

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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.


The mobile real estate agent

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.

The paperless real estate agent

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.



 

Top 5 Tech Tools For Real Estate Agents


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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.


5 tech tools every real estate agent should be using

Evernote

Evernote 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.

DocuSign

Docusign 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. 

Google Drive

Google Drive 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.

Dropbox

Dropbox 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.

cloudHQ

CloudHQ 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.



 

Real Estate Opportunities In The Cloud


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Real estate agents can increase their opportunities in the cloud by using a variety of cloud services and gaining information about cloud services. There is no magic cloud service that performs all your duties (although Basecamp and Evernote come close) but by using a variety of services, you can increase your efficiency and save yourself time and money. 


Document creation

There are many cloud services you can use to create documents. Google Drive, Evernote and Office 365 (not free) are just a few of the services that allow users to create documents. In Google Drive, documents can be created using a variety of templates or from scratch. They can be exported in Microsoft Word format if desired. Evernote creates documents using its own format, but if you use cloudHQ, you can export them to PDF or Microsoft Word format.

Collaboration

Sometimes you need to analyze or review a document with your client, lawyer or other agents, and it can be a hassle to get everyone together at the same time. Perhaps the client even lives out of the area or is otherwise unavailable for a face-to-face meeting. In this case, you can use Google Drive to collaborate over documents or files. Up to 50 users can join the collaboration and can revise the document or file simultaneously.

File sharing

Dropbox is the most popular and easiest-to-use file sharing app, but there are others such as Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, BitTorrent Sync and more. File sharing is made simple as many cloud services use the drag-and-drop method that Dropbox made so popular. When you drop a file into a shared folder, the file immediately appears in the Dropbox folder of every user that you have shared that folder with. It doesn't get any faster or easier than that.

Cloud backup

Data loss and security have always been a concern in the cloud, but with cloudHQ you can keep all of your data safe and secure. CloudHQ can back up all of your files, or just specific files that you wish to back up. This is especially helpful in the real estate industry as real estate agents handle confidential data on a daily basis. CloudHQ makes sure that no matter what happens to files and folders in the original cloud account, there will always be a secure secondary copy of your files that you can access in seconds.



 

How To Use Google Drive Documents For Your Real Estate Business


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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.


Google Drive document features

  • 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.

Spreadsheet features

  • 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.


Collaboration and presentation features

  • 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.



 

How To Survive In A Frenetic Real Estate Environment


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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.


Information you need, when you need it

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.

Tech drives real estate agents to success

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 Cloud for Real Estate Agents


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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.


Printing and legally signing documents

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.

Collaboration with clients

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.

Advantages of being a paperless real estate agent

  • 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.

Protecting your files with a secure cloud backup plan

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.



 

Using SugarSync For Document Sharing And Data Backup


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SugarSync can sync all of your data from any number of computers, laptops and mobile devices. Free users get 2 GB but if that's not enough space for your real estate workings in the cloud, you can purchase their unlimited storage plan for $55 per month. SugarSync offers many functions including an admin dashboard, free live support, easy billing, collaboration on files and documents with other users, flexible sync, mobile access, 128-bit encryption and more. The remote wipe feature allows users to remotely delete files and documents from the admin dashboard. Disaster recovery offers backup, restore and sync after a hard drive crash.


SugarSync integrates with cloudHQ

For even more added security and backup options, SugarSync is compatible with cloudHQ, the leading backup and replication cloud service. CloudHQ can back up your SugarSync data to many other cloud services such as Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, Box and more. This is extremely useful if you use SugarSync for your real estate business but your client is using another cloud service such as Dropbox. All of your files (or just specific files that you choose) can be synced from SugarSync to Dropbox and vice-versa. This is also extremely helpful in case SugarSync goes down for maintenance or other reasons, as you can quickly switch over to Dropbox or whatever other cloud service you are using, and continue working uninterrupted. Once SugarSync comes back online, it will sync with Dropbox and you will be back in business. One of the best functions of cloudHQ is that it runs silently in the background, replicating your data automatically and continuously. You can use SugarSync to protect your important documents such as contracts, legal documents and transaction reports, and then use cloudHQ to ensure that you always have access to your data and to ensure that you never suffer any data loss.