In a digital age, the prevalence of new technology makes it difficult to keep up unless you are dedicating yourself to it full time. If you are a real estate salesperson; your time is better spent prospecting and meeting with clients. (If you are in any business, this tool is essential)
My main focus when I entered the real estate business was to enable my business to be run from anywhere that I might be at any given time, with the exception of the valuable face-to-face time with clients. Otherwise, I wanted to be able to do everything and anything I needed on the run.
With that said, let’s talk about Dropbox , the most useful tool I have used in this business.
What is Dropbox?
In the past few years, the ‘Cloud’ has become a common term in the world of technology. This ‘Cloud’ may seem like an overwhelming concept, but all it really is, is a bunch of computers that are connected in a warehouse somewhere, that allow you to store your files as you would on your computer. The key is that you can access it from any computer or device. Dropbox was the first ‘Cloud’ system I came into contact with, and my favorite.
How do I make the most of Dropbox?
Dropbox offers a free level of service, where you are given 2GB of data, or hundreds of thousands of files depending on their size. You are also given multiple methods to increase this space significantly. For the more advanced, those that use this product regularly as I do, for $99 a year, you get 1TB, which is all the space you will need.
I use this tool to store all of my files, those from all of my clients, so I have everything I need at any given time:
For example, I am on the road and get a phone call that a possible seller client would like to meet, I can pop into my office and print everything I have organized for a listing presentation (‘Listing Presentation Material’ in the example above). No need to go back home and collect yourself, it is already all organized in one place.
A step beyond that, are the sharing capabilities of this program. For a team of real estate salespeople, you might want to share a folder, or a file, or your whole Dropbox, and doing so is as easy as inviting your colleagues on the Dropbox website. This powerful aspect of Dropbox can turn an office of real estate agents into a cohesive salesforce, with access to all the same files in order to compete with those other offices in town.
The most useful aspect of this tool for me is for contracts and paperwork. I am able to directly input files into the Dropbox through email, from any device, from anywhere. As more and more aspects of business go online, we find that saving paper and having clients scan and fax documents (or use something like TurboScan), leads to a comprehensive folder of all clients and their important documents.
Why Dropbox and not some other Cloud service?
There are many new services that are trying to enter this Cloud space including Internet behemoths such as Amazon, Apple, IBM, and Google. However, Dropbox is still the best, for my use. The price is competitive, and the usability and flexibility make it a worthwhile product. Their goal was to make Dropbox as non-intrusive as possible, and it surely feels that way.
Sometimes I don’t even recognize that I am saving my files in Dropbox. I use it ten times daily and much more, because it has become ubiquitous for me.
How accessible is Dropbox?
Dropbox can be used in multiple ways:
The bottom line: Dropbox can be used anywhere from any device at any time.
This application is incredibly easy to use - think of it as the same usability for the folders that you have directly on your computer. There is a hierarchy, or folder structure, so you can create personal and work-related folders, and share them independently; you then avoid mixing and mingling these folders.
If I were to rate every tool I use as a real estate professional with 1 to 5 stars, this product would get a 5 star rating every time. I have never had any qualms with the software, and find that it is the most updated and perfect piece of software I have used.
For what it is worth, this blog post was created in Word, then saved in my Dropbox folder under Real Estate (private) > ~BLOG Content
It is the way I keep myself organized. Test the free version of this, and let me know what you think through Facebook.
We (Joe and Chris Balestriere) are Realtors in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our blog is meant to educate buyers and sellers and equip them with tools to get the most out of their Realtor, whether it is us or someone else. We focus on technology and how it enhances the work we do for our clients--we are not top CT Realtors by accident.