Here are the ten technologies that I will not do without in my business. If you have suggestions for more I would love to hear about them….
1. County Appraisers Websites. Information is king and there is no better place to get all the information about real estate that directly from the county there are (almost) no secrets. While some special people (judges, cops, public officials can opt their property out of the public view on these sites., these links below offer an unedited view of sales history, values, and dimensions as well as Aerial views. For a county no listed just Google (the county) property appraiser website.
2. Searching for Real estate? Start with the “non” Real Estate site – Google Earth. I have owned the Pro version of Earth for a while now and there is no better way to get a perspective on an area. Start from the aerial and then zoom to street view to do a walk about. Not sure where to start? Just type an address, Google Earth will take you there.
3. Want a real estate site that is up to date? Let me share with you something you may not know: Websites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia are not up to date. In fact for most professionals, these websites are annoyingly OUT of date. This is because the local MLS systems refuse to share the most up to date like pending sales, closed sales, and back on market listings. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Market America Group belongs to four MLS systems and instead of using consolidator’s data like the big guys do, we buy direct feeds from the MLS systems. The big guys use consolidators and the data is sanitized and not up to date. You are better off using BHG- MAG site for up to the minute data for ON MARKET PROPERTIES than the big buys. If you are looking for a home that is currently listed for sale – use a well done website from a pro – like BHG-MAG.
4. Want to evaluate a potential investment? There is no simpler app than Property Evaluator. The only draw back is that it is strictly an iPad application. For more sophisticated analysis I use forms offered by Gary Tharp, CCIM. He has been offering professional analysis templates for years and his work has become the standard bearer in commercial real estate. They are THE BEST I have ever found. The most popular is the Five Year APOD (Annual Property Operating Datasheet) and can be found here. The full Website is here, but for simple analysis on the fly – use the Property Evaluator if you have an iPad.
5. Cloud based systems have long been a user of Dropbox and still use it to this day, although internally we have switched to what I call Drop Box on Steroids – Appfiles.com. Market America Group has been paperless for over five years.
6. Software as a Service (SAS). I use Microsoft Office 365. MO365 allows me to work with Outlook and the full office portfolios of products not only in my office as well as my home, but also on a total of five computers as well as my iPhone and iPad – never having to worry where I left a document.
7.For photo organization and “everywhere availability I use Google Picasa. While I am not a fan of Google Docs – I prefer MO365 -I always open my computers with Google Chrome. One reason is that I travel between offices and computes and Google I save my favorites and searched from location to location. .I don’t mind that Google is getting to know me.. Google makes my life, and work easier and more seamless.
8.For email nothing can beat Microsoft Outlook. Nothing. Multiple email addresses, syncing contacts across devices, task management, calendars and cooperative project management Outlook is my standard.
9.For Voicemail I use You mail and have had it for three years. It makes voice-mail professional, can be personalized, addresses my clients by mane, and I can pick up my voice-mail from all my devises.
10. For a Cloud Based forms management. We use www.Appfiles.com We Love it. You can mange your transactions , sign and fill out forms on the run, and track all your projects,