GOOGLE TOOLS FOR REALTORS SERIES - GOOGLE CALENDAR

By
Real Estate Agent with PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com

GOOGLE TOOLS FOR REALTORS SERIES

Google Tools for Realtors

In this Google Tools for Realtors Series, we will cover, review and provide how-to tips and strategies for Google's suite of productivity tools including such tools as:

  • Google Calendar
  • Google Alerts
  • Google Wave
  • Google Documents
  • Google Maps
  • Google Earth
  • Google Local Business Center
  • Google Adwords / G-Mail Ads
  • Google Blogger
  • FeedBurner
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Groups
  • Google Sites
  • G-Mail
  • Picassa
  • YouTube
  • Google Talk
  • Google Voice
  • Google Search
  • Google Toolbar

GOOGLE CALENDAR

In this first installment of the Google Tools for Realtors Series, we will take a look at how Realtors can effectively use Google Calendar in their real estate practice including such topics as:

  • Getting Started with Google Calendar
  • Working with Calendars
  • Using/Syncing Google Calendar with Other Calendar Programs
  • Mobile Google Calendar
  • Embed Calendar
  • Strategies for Using Google Calendar

GETTING STARTED WITH GOOGLE CALENDAR

WHY USE GOOGLE CALENDAR?

Google Calendar is a great tool for organizing your business meetings, marketing efforts and more.  The benefits to Google Calendar include:

  • Online Access - Available Anywhere at Anytime
  • Multiple Calendars - Ability to Create Multiple Calendars that Can Be Viewed Individually or as an Integrated Calendar
  • Sharing - Easy to Share and Coordinate Schedule with Others including Making the Calendar Public, Embedding in Website or Blog, or Allowing Others to Subscribe to Updates via RSS Feeds
  • Scheduling - Easy to Schedule Meeting, Events and More
  • Synchronize - Easy to Synchronize with BlackBerry's Calendar, Microsoft Outlook and More.

CREATING A GOOGLE CALENDAR

Google Tools for Realtors - Creating a Google Calendar

  Google Tools for Realtors - Creating a Google Calendar

 

Step 1 - Create a Google account.  Then go to http://calendar.google.com.

Step 2 - Click on Create.

Step 3 - Using the Create New Calendar input screen include:

  • Calender Title - Use a short distinctive name.  The calendar name should be short so that it can easily be viewed under the My Calendars section.  It should also be distinctive so that the title can be recognized by others with whom you may share the calender.
  • Calendar Description - Google calendar makes it easy to create public calendars and to share calendars with others.  The description of the calendar should be keyword rich so that others can find your calendar - especially if it is used by an organization.
  • Location - Similar to Calendar Description, the Location simply assists others to find your calendar.
  • Time Zone - Google Calendar allows you to share calendars across the world and syncs events on calendars in other time zones to the time zone for your account.
  • Public Calendar - If your calendar is for an organization or if you want it searchable by the public generally, click on Make this Calendar Public.  For organizations advertising their group events, this is recommended.
  • Sharing - If you want to share the calendar with a specific group of individual, enter their e-mail addresses.  Then set their permission settings such as view only, edit, etc.

TYPES OF CALENDARS

Google Calendars allow you to create multiple calendars.  The benefit is that you can create calendars for specific purposes and specific groups.  Once created, you can view the calendars individually or can integrate the calendars as a single calendar.  Events can be color coded based on the assigned calendar. 

We recommend creating calendars for specific purposes.  Here are some examples of the calendars that I have created for my use, the use of team members, and groups:

  • Personal
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Prospecting
  • Blogging
  • Listing Tracking/Showings
  • Training
  • Closings
  • Women's Council of Realtors - Events

CALENDAR VIEWS

Google Calendars can be integrated showing all Google Calendars, can be viewed individually or can be viewed as groups by hiding selected calendars (either by highlighting only the calendars to be shown or by clicking on hide calendar if already shown).

Google Calendars can also be viewed by day, month, custom setting (set in your general calendar setting screen) or by using an agenda showing a list of events in chronological order without the calendar.

 

Google Tools for Realtors - Calendar Views

Google Tools for Realtors - Calendar Views

 

 

 

 

 

WORKING WITH GOOGLE CALENDARS

ADDING EVENTS - VIA GOOGLE CALENDAR

After you have created a Google Calendar, add an event to your calendar.

Google Tools for Realtors - Events Google Tools for Realtors - Events

Step 1 - Click on Create Event.

Step 2 - Using the Add Event input screen include:

  • What - Enter the name of the event or action.
  • When - Enter the start date/time and end date/time
  • Where - Enter the location by general description or address.
  • Calendar - Before hitting save, make sure that the event is being added to the correct calendar.
  • Description - Include a description of the event or task.  For example, for a meeting, include the agenda or action items to be discussed.
  • Attachment - Upload and attach a Google document (e.g. agenda) to the Event.  People viewing the Event can then download the document.  The document can be in any format supported by Google Documents such as Word, Excel Spreadsheet, PowerPoint, PDF and others.
  • Repeats - If this is a reoccurring event, you can make a single entry and create a reoccurring event selecting daily, weekly, monthly or annually.  If you have a repeating event with different topics, you can create the event and then go back clicking edit on the edit shown on the calendar.  This will allow you to edit all of the reoccurring events, the future reoccurring events, or the specific event only.  This is helpful where you have reoccurring events with different topics, speakers or action items.
  • Reminders - See below.
  • Privacy - Privacy determines who can view the event.  Whether your calendar is public or private, there are times when you want other to see some or not all of the events.  For example, if you have a public calendar, you may want the event to be shown (e.g. meeting).  However, you may want to hide the items or deadlines that you entered on the calendar associated with event (e.g. send out invites/agenda). 
    • Default allows you to set the event's privacy to the same setting as the calendar's privacy setting. 
    • Private allows the event to be viewed by you and anyone else with whom you have shared the calendar and have the permission setting to make changes to the events.  For example, if a private event is placed on a public calendar, it can only be viewed by you and the other people who have an administrative setting allowing them to edit events. 
    • Public allows anyone to see the event - even if the calendar itself is private.

Step 3 - Editing Events.  If you need to edit an event, simply double click on the event to open and edit the event.

ADDING EVENT - VIA G-MAIL

Google Tools for Realtors - Events

You can also add events to your calendar via G-Mail.

Step 1 - Open E-Mail.

Step 2 - Click on More Action Tab.

Step 3 - Click on Create Event.

Step 4 - Repeat actions described in Add Event - Via Google Calendar above.

SET GENERAL GOOGLE CALENDAR SETTINGS

Google Tools for Realtors - Settings

For Google Calendar, there are four general settings:

  • General - The general settings relate to time zone, format and related items. Set "Automatically add invitations to my calendar:" to "No, only show invitations to which I have responded."
  • Calendar - The calendar settings include a list of calendars, notification settings and sharing for each of your calendars covered below.
  • Mobile - The mobile settings allow you to enable texting of daily agendas, reminders, etc.  Enter your cell number.  Receive text.  Enter code to enable texting.
  • Lab - The lab settings allow you to include add-on items to your calendar.  Click enable or disable.

SET INDIVIDUAL CALENDAR SETTINGS

Google Tools for Realtors - Settings

Google Tools for Realtors - Settings

Google Tools for Realtors - Settings

For individual Google Calendars, there are three general settings:

  • Calendar Details- Change "Auto-accept Invitations" to "Do not show invitations."
  • Share Calendar - Allows you to share calendar with specific group of individuals.  Set permissions to approved level.
  • Notifications - Set when you want to be notified.  If you select Daily Agenda, you receive a daily e-mail with a list of the day's scheduled events.

CREATING REMINDERS/DAILY AGENDA FOR A CALENDAR

To create reminders for an entire calendar, click on the Notifications tab.  You can set up reminders (one or multiple) to send you an e-mail or pop-up at a designated interval prior to an event.  You can create a daily agenda of all of the day's events to be sent to you via e-mail.  If you have opted to receive a daily agenda from more than one calendar, it will be sent in a single e-mail received at 5:00 a.m. each morning.

Google Tools for Realtors - Reminders

Here is an example of a Daily Agenda received via e-mail:

Google Tools for Realtors - Daily Agenda

CREATING REMINDERS FOR AN EVENT

Google Tools for Realtors - Reminders

In addition to setting default reminders for a calendar, you can override the default reminder for a specific event by clicking on Options when creating an Event.  The setting for the reminder for the Event will override the default setting for the Calendar.

USING/SYNCING GOOGLE CALENDAR WITH OTHER CALENDAR PROGRAMS

IMPORTING OTHER CALENDARS INTO A GOOGLE CALENDAR

Step 1 - Open calendar in Microsoft Outlook or other calendar program.  Save file in an iCal format.  Same approach can be used for importing Facebook event to your Google Calendar.

Step 2 - Under Other Calendar / My Calendar list, click on Add.  Select import Browse to located saved iCal file.  Select the Google Calendar where the events are to be imported.  Click Import. 

Google Tools for Realtors - Import/Export CalendarGoogle Tools for Realtors - Import/Export Calendar

 

EXPORT GOOGLE CALENDAR EVENT TO OTHER CALENDAR

Step 1 - Go to Google Calendar Settings.  Click on Calendar Details Tab.  Scroll down to Private Address.  Click on iCal.

Step 2 - Click on URL. 

Step 3 - Click open with Microsoft Outlook.

Google Tools for Realtors - Import/Export CalendarGoogle Tools for Realtors - Import/Export CalendarGoogle Tools for Realtors - Import/Export CalendarGoogle Tools for Realtors - Import/Export Calendar

SYNC MICROSOFT OUTLOOK (Default File) AND GOOGLE CALENDARS (Primary File)

Step 1 - Download Google Sync Calendar file from http://dl.google.com/googlecalendarsync/GoogleCalendarSync_Installation.exe.

Step 2 - Run file.

Step 3 - Enter Google e-mail and password.  Select 1-way or 2-way sync.  Select time intervals for updates.

Note:  Only the primary Google Google Calendars will sync.  Secondard Google Calendars will not sync.

MOBILE GOOGLE CALENDAR

CONNECT TO GOOGLE CALENDAR VIA CELL PHONE

Step 1- Open browser on cell phone to www.google.com/Calendar.

Step 2 - Sign into Google Calendar.

RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS VIA TEXT MESSAGING

Step 1 - Go to general Google Calendar Settings.  Go to Mobile SetUp tab.

Step 2 - Enter cell telephone number to receive text message.  Enter Google code from text message.

Step 3 - Go to specific Google Calendar's Notification page.  Click on SMS to receive Daily Agenda.  Repeat for each Google Calendar.

CHECK YOUR GOOGLE CALENDAR VIA TEXT MESSAGING

Step 1 - Enable texting messaging as described in Step 1 above.

Step 2 - Send command to GVENT (48368):

  • nest - for next calendar event
  • day - for all event's today
  • nday - for all event's within next 24 hours

SYNC GOOGLE CALENDAR WITH YOUR BLACKBERRY

Step 1 - Point Blackberry browser to http://m.google.com/sync.  Download Google Sync.

Step 2 - Click menu button and select Get Link.  Click download.

Step 3 - On Blackberry Home Screen, click on Google Sync icon.  Sign into Google. Click on Sync Now button.

EMBED CALENDAR

Google Tools for Realtors - EmbedGoogle Tools for Realtors - Embed

To embed a calendar on your website or blog, take the following steps:

Step 1 - Go to Google Calendar Setting Page.  Click on Calendar Details Tab. Go to Embed this Calendar section.

Step 2 - Click on "Customize the color, size, and other options".  Then select options such as calendars to include, size, color, etc.  Click on Update HTML.

Step 3 - Cut HTML code and paste into your website or blog.

STRATEGIES FOR USING CALENDAR

Strategy 1 - Google Calender is a great calendar for creating a dynamic calendar for your website, blog or Facebook Fan Page.  Change your Google Calendar and it automatically updates your website and blog.

Strategy 2 - Google Calendar is a great collaboration tool for groups or teams.  The calendar is live with data automatically updated.  There is no need to sync or e-mail calendars.

Strategy 3 - Google Calendar is a great tool for time blocking.  Plan your sales calls, your prospecting activities, your marketing activities and other reoccurring events in a single spot.

Strategy 4 - Google Calendar isn't a CRM product.  However, it can be used to track things like listing tasks, closing tasks, etc. 

Strategy 5 - Google Calendar is a good back-up system for proprietary calendar platforms.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT HOW TO USE GOOGLE TOOLS IN THE MARKETING AND SALE OF REAL ESTATE?  Contact Ryan Shaughnessy at 314-971-4381 or send an e-mail to Ryan@PREASignatureRealty.com.

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________________________________________________________________________________________________

PREA SIGNATURE REALTY

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PREA Signature Realty is a full service brokerage located at 1709 Park Avenue in the Lafayette Square neighborhood of the City of St. Louis.  PREA Signature proudly serves the following city neighborhoods:  Lafayette Square, Soulard, Benton Park, Benton Park West, Downtown Loft District, Forest Park Southwest, Central West End, Tower Grove East, Tower Grove South, Compton Heights, Shaw, The Hill, Dogtown, Carondelet, Holly Hills, St. Louis Hills, Dutchtown, and the Other Historic Neighborhoods of the City of Saint Louis, Missouri. 

The opinions expressed herein represent the opinions of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of PREA Signature Realty.  All photos and written content were produced by PREA Signature Realty.  All Rights Reserved - PREA Signature Realty (2009).  This content may not be reproduced or reprinted, except for Active Rain re-blogging, without express written permission of PREA Signature Realty.

For more information, visit our website at www.PREASignatureRealty.com or contact Ryan Shaughnessy at 314-971-4381 or send an email to Ryan@PREASignatureRealty.com

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lee & Pamela St. Peter 02/22/2010 05:43 AM
  2. Cheryl Ritchie 02/23/2010 12:06 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Location:
Missouri
Groups:
Realtors®
Gadgets, Tools, & Extras
Real Estate Rookie
Real Estate Technology
Free Tools For Real Estate Agents
Tags:
technology
real estate technology
calendar
google calendar
google tools
tech training session
technology presentation
google tools series

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Show All Comments
Rainer
229,238
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Travis - If you have any tricks or tips not mentioned above, let me know.  The odd part of this post is that it will probably be out of date 6 months down the road.  I forgot to mention Google Labs - they have add-ons which they are testing for future inclusion in Google Calendar.

Lee - Similar to your Twitter posts, I try to schedule blog posts and topics.

Feb 22, 2010 05:44 AM #5
Rainmaker
333,694
Rita Fong
RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 - Marion, AR
Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale

Ryan, you put a lot of work in this post, I bookmarked it, I have to re-read it to take all the info you laid out here, many thanks!

Feb 22, 2010 06:29 AM #6
Rainer
229,238
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Rita - I hope it helps.  Let me know if I missed something big.

Feb 22, 2010 06:32 AM #7
Rainmaker
346,001
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Hi Ryan, this is quite the series you are tackling.  Lots of work on your part.  I use a lot of the tools and will be watching to see what you have to say about others I haven't utilized yet. 

Feb 22, 2010 06:56 AM #8
Rainer
229,238
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Jenny - It is a month of posts... but I am speaking on Google tools at an upcoming meeting and we have covered most of these items with our agents so it is just a matter of writing a few posts.

Feb 22, 2010 06:59 AM #9
Ambassador
459,354
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Ryan ~ I will be following this series right along with you. There are so many google tools that I am missing out on and I just need to take the time to learn them. Thank you! And don't be surprised if I email or call you asking for help in the near future.

Feb 22, 2010 07:17 AM #11
Rainmaker
241,988
Roger Johnson
Hickory Real Estate Group - Hickory, NC
Realtor - Hickory NC Real Estate

As usual, great detailed, and useful, information, Ryan.  Thanks

Feb 22, 2010 07:26 AM #12
Rainmaker
262,033
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

WOW Ryan! I just recently started navigating around the google calendar, but your tutorial here should help me get to the head of the class in no time! Fantastic! Thank you!

Feb 22, 2010 08:08 AM #13
Rainer
229,238
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

San-San:  It is a great tool.  With the ability to sync to Outlook and Blackberry, it is now back in the running for me.  However, what sold me was the ability to place the calendar in agenda format on a website.

Terrie:  It is amazing the amount of tech toys that Google tests/rejects.  Google Labs is an interesting place to find the latest tools.

Roger:  Thanks... I hope everything is well in North Carolina.

Mara:  From what I see of your marketing and blog, you already are head of the class.

Feb 22, 2010 08:27 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,079,273
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Ryan, just curious - why would you use Google Calendar instead of the one on your CRM? Is it because of the access to more agents? The functionality of it? I actually like the look of this better than the one on our CRM. Great to read one of your posts as always

Feb 22, 2010 01:57 PM #15
Rainer
166,615
Andy Chaudoir
Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown, TX
Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas

Hello Ryan - Thanks for the great post.  I need to start using this right away!

Feb 22, 2010 11:22 PM #16
Rainer
229,238
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Sharon -

There are several reasons:

  • Collaboration Outside of Company
  • Syncs to my Blackberry
  • Back-up or Redundant Systems.
  • Ability to Embed Calendar on Website

Andy - Thanks for reading... glad it helped.

Feb 23, 2010 12:11 AM #17
Rainmaker
453,646
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Ryan

What I really liked about this post was it was clear, concise and easy to follow. Thank you for taking the time to share the How-To mechanics of properly using this useful tool.

Feb 23, 2010 12:19 AM #18
Rainmaker
310,191
Monique Hailer
Schooner Bay Realty., Inc. & CENTURY 21 New Millenniun - Cape Coral, FL
South West Florida & Southern Maryland Homes

Ryan ~ Holy Moly.. Lots of great information here and thanks for all the time spent on providing all this. I have bookmarked and will play tomorrow.

Feb 23, 2010 01:13 PM #19
Rainmaker
214,748
Rita Minion
O'Brien Realty - Solomons, MD

Hello Ryan,

WOW!  What a great post with loads of wonderful information.  Thank you so much for all the time it took you to put it all together.  I appreciate it!  It will be a "huge" help.  I have also bookmarked it.  Thank you for sharing it with us.

Rita

 

Feb 23, 2010 01:40 PM #20
Rainer
229,238
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - www.preasignaturerealty.com - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

St. Cloud Realty - Thanks.  I hope the rest of the posts in the series are easy to read, understandable and provide assistance.

Monique - Let me know if you find any tricks or tips not mentioned in the post.

Rita - If you liked this one, come back for the remaining posts in the series.

Feb 24, 2010 08:28 AM #21
Rainer
118,327
Ginger Moore
Wilkinson & Associates Realty - Gastonia, NC

Thanks Ryan for all the valuable  information!  I love reading your posts:)  Looks like you spent lots of time on these and we do appreciate it!

Mar 15, 2010 06:40 AM #22
Ambassador
934,523
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

I have tried setting up the google calendar but one month does not have the reservations I put on it setting it up. Could there be a glitch in the google calendar.

Mar 29, 2010 08:51 AM #23
Rainer
264,127
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner

Excellent information

Apr 19, 2010 07:52 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,179,529
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Ryan~thaks for breaking it down, I didn't have any idea of all the features and functions available with the calendar such as adding attachments. Good job.

Feb 15, 2011 12:52 PM #25
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