Living in the cloud

Is your real estate business in the cloud? Find out how relocating your digital assets can boost the value of your rent roll.

Have you heard the term ‘the cloud’ but ignored it because you don’t feel as though tech is your thing?

While it may initially sound like digital jargon, the cloud makes it easy for any real estate business to simplify and streamline operations. It can even be less complicated than previous tech solutions.

What IS the cloud?

Traditionally, businesses used hard drives, servers and printouts to keep records and store data. In the past, retrieving information has meant plugging in a hard drive, going to a specific computer or rifling through a filing cabinet.

The technology of the cloud brings your information online so it can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. Instead of being stored on a physical computer or disc/drive, the data is now stored on an online server and backed up several times to prevent loss.

Remember the excitement of being able to access your hotmail from any computer? The cloud makes logging into your work systems to retrieve information just as simple.

Five ways to use the cloud as a real estate agent

The cloud makes accessing information faster and easier. It also allows for more streamlined collaboration within your business and with clients.

Here are five ways the smart solutions of the cloud can benefit your business:

Simplify your day using G Suite

G Suite is Google’s collection of online business tools and is now used by over 5 million businesses. It includes email, documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations and calendars, all of which are accessed via online links.

Using G Suite costs around $5 per month, per person. In return, you can share and collaborate on documents in real time instead of having to save and send back and forth.

Google Docs, Gmail and Google Calendar are simple to get the hang of and easy to use. You can also incorporate your business name to your account, e.g. instead of the far less professional

Store and back up data

You have reams of valuable client and rent roll information and data. Store it in the cloud to prevent the risk of irretrievable loss due to theft or physical damage to your office.

Having data in the cloud can save your business from being held hostage by equipment failure. What’s more, a great deal of cloud-based software now requires two-step authentication, meaning it is more difficult for digital hackers to access your data.

Instantly access client and property information

When your client and property details are in the cloud, you’ll never have to head back to the office to find out what you need to know. Using your iPad, laptop or even your smartphone, you can access sales history, client profiles and suburb data to reinforce your sales pitches or buyer negotiations.

Share with your colleagues

Sharing documents via G Suite or a similar cloud-based app can make teamwork smoother and easier.

For example, you can message your admin team to mock up a signboard for a client and be able to show it to your prospect the moment it is ready.

Manage leads

Cloud-based software Agent Box can make lead management easier by providing instant online access to your CRM.

Agents use this technology to send emails, track what has been opened and get an instant visual on where clients are in their lead funnel.

Many real estate agency partners and clients expect their services to be delivered via the cloud and view this technology as ‘everyday’ rather than ‘cutting edge’. Transitioning your agency does not require a huge financial investment and has the potential to pay off by reducing costs and making your task-list more simple to manage.