Your smartphone can be a thing of beauty. Luckily, it can also be a thing of productivity, especially for busy commercial real estate brokers.It’s not hard to get organized, stay efficient and increase timely communication with these five tools that can make every broker’s job easier.
Jot down a note from a conference, create a to-do list once you get back to the office and bookmark that latest industrial market report all within one productivity app. Evernote can get you (and keep you) organized as you go from your home to your office to client meetings, lunches and back to your desk.
The app will also let you share documents and files with others, as well as scan and store items like receipts or business cards. Evernote syncs across all your platforms for a seamless transition between devices.
2. SkypeSometimes a phone call isn’t the best way to handle a complex or uncomfortable conversation. You want to meet face to face...but your potential buyer is traveling in China for the next few weeks.
Skype is the answer. And it’s not only great for video chat, it can also help you show a property on the go. Take buyers through a quick tour of a retail space or a short jaunt through the neighborhood, hitting upon adjacent tenants, the traffic patterns at the major intersection and the center’s signage. You can even use Skype to show off the latest tenant improvements or upgrades to an out-of-state investor.
Every broker should know where the bulk of his or her budget is going. Whether it’s travel for conferences, marketing or client dinners, it’s vital that you understand what you’re spending where (and if it’s even paying off). Mint can help you track all these spending habits, making it an important tool as you enter a new year complete with new budgets.
It can also help you keep track of your personal spending habits and how they affect your business. That $6 Starbucks order you place every morning? Mint knows. What about that $95-a-month gym membership you’re not using? Or the happy hours with colleagues that extend well beyond 6 p.m.? Mint can help you see where funds are best allocated, and where you might be letting money slip through the cracks.
It’s probably one of the biggest problems facing commercial real estate professionals: you have a document, and you have a person who needs to give a signature. You do NOT have both in the same location. Even with scanning apps, email and laser printers, the number of steps it takes to send a document electronically for a signature can be tedious and time consuming.
Enter SignNow. The app lets you upload a Word, PDF or text document from your phone that can be signed electronically with the swipe of a fingertip.
The app’s developers tout that it can be used for real estate contracts, financing agreements, sales contracts and non-disclosure agreements, among other things. SignNow works just like the iPad screens you’ve probably seen at your local coffee shop or mom-and-pop retailer. You just sign your name under the dotted line on the screen with your fingertip.
5. SlackWant to eliminate the dreaded email chain and group text? Is “Reply All” the bane of your existence? We feel you. And so does Slack. Slack allows groups of people to send messages and files in an organized fashion without cluttering your inbox or pinging your smartphone every five seconds. In the era of collaboration, this app can be a sanity-saver. It can also help you keep track of your team’s progress if you organize by project and area of your business.
Slack also integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive and Twitter, making it easy to search for a specific task, person or project. Communication is key to getting deals done today. Keep that communication timely and organized with Slack.