No matter how good or professional your particular real estate agency may be, it is never a good idea to remain complacent with your success. To that end, it's always good to use every tool available as even the tiniest changes can generate huge successes. As an agency owner, you're probably aware of the aspects that your team needs to improve upon or maybe you're looking for ways to cut costs. The first problem is that there are so many tools on the web that it can be dizzying to figure out the gems from the dross. This article is written from the perspective of an agency leader, as we realize that such things can become mere annoyances that don't seem to merit actually correcting. It is also written with an understanding that good accounting software can greatly ameliorate the nitpicky process of accounting. The lists below cover a variety of wonderful tools that you may wish to utilize in order to better run your real estate agency:
• The Cloud Before we move on to the specific categories of tools, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the concept of cloud computing. The basic idea is that all of your data is stored on a virtual server, rather than on a physical drive connected to your machine. Cloud computing offers an exhaustive list of benefits for any accepting real estate agency.
• Accounting If your agency is still slogging through finances with Excel, it's probably time to re-consider your options. When compared to legitimate accounting software, Excel is a severely lacking option. Beyond the inherent potential of human error, any sort of manual system like Excel will costs hours and inevitably culminates in GST hiccups that will need correction at the end of the year. Rather than trying to put out fires, consider planning ahead as an alternative.
If you're considering upgrading, Xero is a wonderful system worthy of consideration. It's loaded with all sorts of tools and features that can be a lifesaver to small businesses. Xero's useful features allow you to share accounts between your team and account, link your books with your bank accounts, automate billing, integrate with PayPal and CRM systems, financial reports and even an interface that works regardless of the device you use to work with it.
• Remote Working and Collaboration If your team relies on Microsoft Office for e-mail, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, consider switching over to Office 365; it's the ideal solution for bringing work with you, sharing team documents via the Cloud and presenting a professional aura to your clients. Microsoft Office 365 is a subscription-based service, starting at a $15 monthly fee and rising with your license requirements.
Dropbox is a tremendously useful tool for storing files and folders within the Cloud and is simple enough for anyone to utilize. You can link folders and documents through e-mail, both within your system and outwardly. It's a great, FREE service for sending large files.
If your team regularly uses iPads in its work, consider using the Quick Office app. Thanks to the Cloud, you can use this app to edit Word documents, send them onward to your team members, or put them into your Dropbox account.
• Marketing If your agency makes use of any form of social media, be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc, it would behoove you to consider HootSuite. It is a piece of software that allows you to manage all of your social media accounts from a single, unified dashboard. MailChimp is a free e-mail marketing platform that lets you maintain a professional appearance to your clients, codify your database lists, while keeping all of your data clean. It's a great solution for even the most technologically impaired of leaders.
Vimeo and Slide Share are a pair of great resources for when your agency needs to give a PowerPoint presentation or otherwise provide video. Vimeo is an excellent video hosting site, as well as a replacement for YouTube; while Slide Share allows you to upload your presentations into the Cloud for the perusal of your staff and/or clientele.
Lastly, whenever you need some images for marketing or to spice up your agency's blog postings, consider using Shutterstock as your first stop for stock images.
• Security Robofrom.com is a password manager that lets you seamlessly sign in to your accounts and websites without the need to hunt down the relevant passwords.
Site hosting can be infuriating, with bad customer service and ticketing systems being the best of situations. After comparing the various site hosting services, we recommend and use www.greenlight-itc.com. This above list covers only a small portion of all of the various tricks, programs, and assistance available to inquisitive owners. For more information on running your agency, regardless of the facet that concerns you, feel free to reach us at 1300 667 286.