The new year is the perfect time to reassess your business and the way you run it. New technologies can improve your productivity, particularly mobile apps that can make everyday tasks simpler and faster.
There are the obvious mobile app complements to commercial real estate tools and platforms like LoopNet and Yardi -- but then there are also those apps that allow you to run your brokerage business more efficiently.
Here are the top five mobile apps you’ll want to become familiar with in 2016.
Couriers and snail mail take up substantial time, money and patience nowadays, and by now we all know there’s a better, quicker way. We’ve all used Docusign on a desktop, but did you know there’s an app, too? Put those smartphones to good use by downloading the DocuSign app, which safely and simply secures electronic signatures with a mobile device.
The app’s real-time push notifications will alert you once a contract has been inked. DocuSign is also compliant with the eSign Act, which means all signatures received through the app are legally binding. You can even store your mobile signature for even faster delivery. The app can also add your contact information, date and other pertinent information.
DocuSign is free, though some advanced features require a subscription.
An app that scans, stores and organizes your business cards is especially useful after the holiday party season. The commercial real estate industry loves to network it up during the last two months of the year, which can leave you swimming in piles of sharp-edged paper by January.
CamCard can instantly read these business cards and automatically store the information as contacts. It can even allow you to send an e-business card to someone if you’re out of physical ones, as well as add notes and reminders about the leads you have generated.
CamCard is $0.99.
Ever have a bright idea about how to market that latest office listing while driving to meet a client? There are plenty of scenarios where we don’t have the immediate ability to physically write a note.
That’s where Dragon Dictation comes in. The voice recognition app will jot down what you say, enabling you to send it as a text or email. It can also store the note as a reminder and post it to social media if you like.
Dragon Dictation is supposed to be up to five times faster than typing on the actual mobile keyboard, so it saves you time even if you do have your hands free. And speaking of free, Dragon Dictation is complimentary to use!
Anyone who works for a large (or small, for that matter) commercial real estate firm understands the hassle of collecting and submitting paper receipts. They’re a necessary part of any sales job, unfortunately, if we ever want to get reimbursed for that pastry we purchased at Starbucks on our way home from a conference. Digital Receipts can instantly scan, organize and send electronic copies of your receipts. This very convenient app means you never again have to worry about locating those tiny pieces of paper when you go to complete your expense report a month from now.
The app can also calculate your monthly spending reports – a wonderful feature if you’re analyzing your monthly expenses and budget. Outside of expense reports, Digital Receipts can be used to make in-store exchanges or returns, too. The app is free.
5. Google Drive
Let’s face it, we’re human, and we’re not likely to remember every document we need, every time we need it. Searching through hordes of emails on a small screen can be tedious. So, too, is carrying around a portable storage device like a flash drive.
That’s why they invented this thing called the cloud. Put it to good use by organizing and storing your work documents, including past, present and potential projects, on Google Drive. This system also allows you to back up your files in case your computer ever crashes. The Google Drive app gives you up to five gigabytes of free storage space, plenty of room for photos and documents to co-exist with ease.