By Subhi Gharbieh
Now that I have sort of become known as the “Real Estate Technology Geek,” I receive calls and e-mails daily about how REALTORS® can become paperless. I highly doubt that it is possible to be 100 percent paperless in our business, but here are three tips that will get you darn near close to never using a printer, ever again.
1. Daily Real Estate Task: Printing “Agent Full Report” from MLS. It is something that we must have when showing a property. It has the details that customers/clients don’t have in their “Customer Full Report,” such as days on the market, the listing agent’s contact info, private remarks, etc.
For PC users — Instead of printing this report, download a program called CutePDF. It is a free PDF converter that will set up as a printer in your print menu, BUT… drum-roll, please… it will not print! It will save your report as a PDF. This program is great and saves you the hundreds of dollars it would cost to purchase a similar Adobe product. I simply save the reports in Dropbox or Box (another must-have) and simply open it up on my iPhone or iPad.
For my fellow Apple/Mac users — Simply click print, and in the bottom left corner there will be a tab that says “PDF,” click on that to save your report as a PDF. No third-party program necessary.
2. Contracts/Addendum: Instead of printing the contracts/addenda you create in zipForm (or any other forms software that you may use): From your iPad, open the document with Box (an app that must be downloaded) and save it in your Box Cloud. Once you have it saved, Go to DocuSign (an app that must also be downloaded) and link your Box account directly to DocuSign. From there, you will be able to open the documents you saved in Box, place initials/signatures, assign recipients, and send the documents for signatures — getting your document signed without it ever being printed or scanned.
3. Listing Presentations: Instead of printing and binding a fancy listing presentation to give to your potential sellers, create a presentation in Keynote or Powerpoint, with fun graphics and the information you want your customer to see. Hand your clients your iPad/Tablet and let them flip through it while you ramble on about how you’re the best REALTOR® in town. They will love it, and if it’s done right, they will be sold on you immediately.
By Stefanie Hahn
So my laptop is on its way out. I am now spending more time fixing it than I am actually working on it. For someone who uses her laptop like a third arm, this is very disturbing. What’s a girl to do? Research, read and then buy! Or at least that is my plan.
I get asked by agents ALL of the time, “I want/need a new laptop! What should I buy?” Well, I can’t tell you exactly what to buy, but I do have a few personal guidelines.
First of all, I would buy a PC. I know Apple is sexy. I know they are less prone to viruses. I know all the cool kids have them. I would still buy a PC. My MLS just (as in last week) became compatible with Firefox. We also use a ton of programs and applications that do not play well without Internet Explorer. And yes, I know, you can run a side-by-side set-up that will allow you to run any programs that will not work with Apple, but it doesn’t seem worth it to me. Bonus: Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system is said to be comparable to Apple’s Snow Leopard.
Next, I would research: go to http://shopper.cnet.com/ and see what is rated the best and why. Read the reviews. CNET will give you a CNET editor rating and an average user rating on most products. I also like to research and read the information on PC Magazine – http://www.pcmag.com/reviews. Finally, check out Biz Rate at: http://www.bizrate.com/computers-software/ for more information. Biz Rate’s tagline is “search compare conquer.” What’s not to love about that company line?!
Now, pay attention. Let’s talk parts and specs and such… Continue reading »