My post yesterday, Dear New REALTORS, generated some emails to me. As a friend send me, "Ok, Miss Smarty Pants, what do you recommend?"
I don't have a lot of programs and apps that I use. I'm pretty lucky in that the brokerage I'm with provides a lot of tools like buyer and listing presentation packets I can customize, a great postcard program, CRM, and more. But, since it doesn't cover everything, here's what I use. (Disclaimer: No, I don't get anything for my list.)
First off, I use Google a lot. Google Voice, Mail, Drive, Calendar. I have a Google number for my Arizona business. Google voice is amazing. Not only do I get a text of my voicemail but I also get a media file of that voicemail and the ability to save all of that.
Staying with Google, we use Google Drive as our main file sharing program. Yes, it's free and perfect for what we need. We also use Google Calendar.
Inside Google mail, I'm using an app called Folio. Talk about organizing! What this does is scan your inbox and look for emails relating to transactions, then it will file those emails into address specific folders. When that transaction is completed, you can archive that file.
My read receipt program is MailTrack. Using the free program puts a link at the bottom of your email but if you want to upgrade, it's $4 a month.
For walk thrus for clients, I either use DropBox to send them to clients or Google Drive. I rarely upload them to YouTube.
A word on Dropbox - I like it but with the limit on how much you can keep in there, it's limiting. Google Drive is much more forgiving.
Apps on my phone include Google Drive, FlexMLS, Realtor .com, Zillow, Google Maps. Your standard ones.
Those that aren't the standard ones include HiYa. It's a call screener with amazing power. If a scam or telemarketer calls, if the number has been reported as such, it will automatically block it. You can contribute to their database through the app and report scams. I haven't picked up a telemarketer call in at least 6 months. Trust me, it's been a real joy to have political calls blocked.
I also use Waze. This is a community based traffic reporting system. Sure, you can join in for points and so on but it's been really helpful in getting real time traffic info from other drivers. Dont' get distracted - ask a passenger to keep an eye on things for you.
I have a shortcut to one of my favorite lenders' rate page, too. A quick click and I can show my clients rates when needed.
Make sure that you have an ICE program on your phone and a shortcut on your home screen. ICE = In Case of Emergency. Input your medical info like blood type and allergies, your emergency contacts and other pertinent info...just in case.
Bottom line is this: As I said yesterday, investigate all of those shiny offerings. Tammy Lankford had a great comment yesterday - ask in the Q/A section here on AR. Ask in the groups that you belong to on Facebook, too. Google the product along with the words "reviews" and "complaints". Make sure you get specific info about cancelling the contract if you aren't satisfied. Most products will give you enough time to check them out in a demo period. DO NOT FORGET TO CANCEL BEFORE THAT ENDS!!!! Make a note on your calendar.
Last thing: All of these apps and programs I've listed here are FREE. YES. Free. Gratis. I'm cheap that way .