Meyer says that being productive is never an accident, but is instead always due to a combination of factors including a dedication to doing well, being thoughtful in one’s planning, and working hard.
I agree with this quote–being productive is not something that happens without effort. Even when market conditions are good and there is high demand for housing, it can be difficult to be productive all the time.
The reason that some people are not as productive as they could be is not always because they are lazy or complacent. In many cases, it is because they do not have the right tools, knowledge, or systems to help them get things done.
Since we are in more difficult circumstances and many of us are quarantined, it is harder to stay focused and give our real estate responsibilities 100%.
We updated our list of productivity tools to help you and your team stay productive.
What do we mean by productivity tools?
Basically, they’re anything that will:
- Help you get more organized
- Get your work done faster
- Waste less time
We’ve found that these tools are very effective and we use them often.
Productivity Tools For All Agents
If you are a solo broker/real estate agent or are part of a team, these tools will help you be more productive.
Many of these services offer a free trial or free version, which allows you to test them out before deciding whether to pay for the upgraded version.
Best General Productivity Set Of Productivity Tools: G-Suite (Now Google Workspace)
The extent to which Google controls the internet is both amazing and at times concerning. However, we cannot deny that Google did not achieve its current level of success without good reason.
Google provides amazing tools through Google Workspace that excel compared to other similar tools.
Google Workspace is made up of the following 12 main productivity tools:
- Gmail – Google’s free email solution. You’re probably well acquainted with it already.
- Google Drive – A cloud-based data storage solution.
- Google Docs – Google’s take on word processing.
- Google Sheets – Google’s version of Excel spreadsheets.
- Google Slides – A Powerpoint alternative.
- Google Forms – A tool that lets you create questionnaires and surveys.
- Google Sites – A wiki and web page creation tool.
- Google Calendar – Google’s time management tool.
- Google Hangouts – A voice over IP (VoIP) tool, similar to Zoom and Skype.
- Google Currents – A tool for internal business communication, based on Google+.
- Google Keep – A note-taking tool.
- Google Vault – A searchable, long-term media archiving storage solution, useful for eDiscovery, investigations, and forensics.
These are all web-based tools that can improve productivity and communication among team members, and they’re also available as apps on iPhone and Android.
While we won’t go into depth about every single Google Workspace tool, we still wanted to mention a few that we use on a daily basis here at AgentFire. G Suite is such a great set of productivity tools that it would be impossible to write about all of them in just one article. Some of our personal favorites include (but are not limited to) Docs, Sheets, and Hangouts.
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are a response from Google Workspace to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Although Word, Excel, and Powerpoint may offer more functions and features, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are still quite capable.
Google Workspace biggest advantage is its integration of various tools. All Google Workspace documents can be saved on Google Drive and inserted into one another.
Google Drive can be used for more than just Google Workspace documents. It can be used like a web-based hard drive for any kind of document.
Best Note Taking App: Evernote
Google Keep is Google’s note-taking software. However, it only offers basic features like most of Google’s productivity tools.
If all you need is a simple solution, then go ahead and use it. However, if you want a more robust solution, Evernote is a great option.
It’s a versatile tool for managing your life and work on any range of devices Evernote is not just a digital sticky note board like its name suggests. It is a versatile tool that you can use to manage your life and work on any device.
Evernote makes it easy for you to access your notes and to-do lists from any device, as well as attach PDFs, receipts, images, entire websites, and record voice notes.
The search function allows you to easily find what you need, and you can use it to collaborate with your team members in real-time.
Evernote was one of the first apps of its kind to be developed and has been around for a long time. This has given its developers the opportunity to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
Best Content Marketing Graphics Creation Tool: Canva
If you’re serious about your content marketing and social media outreach, you know how important visuals are for attracting attention to your content. But creating graphics from scratch can be very time-consuming, even if you have graphic design skills.
We recommend that you use sites such as Fiverr to order any graphics that you need for your content from a freelancer. However, sometimes you need graphics immediately and cannot wait for a freelancer.
This is where Canva can help. Canva is a web-based graphic design platform that lets you create charts, prints, presentations, infographics, and many other types of graphics you may need.
Canva is a user-friendly version of Photoshop and Illustrator. It offers a huge amount of templates for you to make use of. The best part is that it’s free to get started.
Canva allows you to save custom templates for yourself or your team to use in the future. This way, you can delegate the task of creating social media posts to others, and they can do it quickly and efficiently.
Best Social Media Management Tool: Hootsuite
It’s essential to have a social media presence as a real estate agent, but it can be time-consuming to post on every site every time you need to update.
HootSuite helps you to schedule and post on all social media accounts simultaneously. If you have an idea for the frequency, type, and time of posts, you can use HootSuite to set it all up.
In just two days of work, I was able to schedule 6 months’ worth of posts using HootSuite, which is quite efficient.
Best Landing Page Creation Tool: Instapage
Re-wording: Instead of calling Instapage a “tool”, it would be more accurate to describe it as a “landing page creation platform”.
With Instapage, you can create great looking landing pages for your online marketing campaigns using a simple WYSIWYG editor.
To use this tool, simply choose a template, customize it to your preference, and launch it. With its real-time A/B testing feature, you can compare the performance of two versions of a landing page and make adjustments for maximum impact.
We use Instapage as our primary inspiration for the landing pages on our ConvertPages tool.
Best Accounting Management Tool: Xero
Xero is an accounting management system. Its greatest strength is its ease of use. You can learn to use it quickly and it is easy to train a new team member on how to use it.
While Quickbooks may be easy to use, Xero offers more features and options that make it a better choice.
Some of its best features include:
- Bank reconciliation
- Free, unlimited email support
- Log-in from anywhere
- Contacts – Keep track of suppliers and customers.
- Ability to attach documents to your financial data.
Best Document Scanning Tool: Scanbot (iPhone Version, Android Version)
You’ve probably found yourself needing to send a document to a colleague, client, or home seller without a scanner nearby.
Simply take a photo of the document using your phone’s camera and it will be saved as a PDF This app is designed for people who need to convert photos into PDF documents. With Scanbot, you can take a photo of a document using your phone’s camera, and it will be saved as a PDF in your Dropbox or Google Drive.
This is the perfect tool for busy agents who want an easy and convenient way to stay connected.
Best Document Automation Tool: PandaDoc
PandaDoc is a document automation program that can create, manage, and sign documents electronically.
It’s an online tool that helps you keep track of your documents. This tool allows you to create, send out, and manage documents, as well as collect legally binding e-signatures.
PandaDoc can be used with Salesforce, Pipedrive, Paypal, Stripe, Google Drive, DropBox, Slack, and many other productivity tools.
Best Email Marketing Tool: Mailchimp
Mailchimp is an email marketing service that helps you create and send newsletters, drip campaigns, and other automated emails. It’s easy to use and lets you run entire marketing campaigns for your real estate business.
Email marketing campaigns can be very effective in gathering leads.
You can start using Mailchimp for free, and they have very affordable plans for businesses.
Best Productivity Tool: PomoDoneApp
The Pomodoro technique is a time management method that is used by many people to increase productivity.
This method involves allocating a set amount of time to work on a task, then taking a short break afterwards. The work intervals are typically 25 minutes long.
This technique was developed using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, and each work interval is called a pomodoro.
PomoDoneApp is a great app for tracking your time intervals.
This tool can be integrated with other productivity apps, such as Trello, Asana, Evernote, Slack, and Google Calendar, to help you track how you’re spending your time.
Productivity Tools For Real Estate Teams
These productivity tools are designed to be used by teams, not solo agents.
Best General Project Management Tool: Trello
But just in case you haven’t, Trello is a system that uses cards and boards to help you organize and manage your projects. Trello is a highly popular project management system that employs the use of cards and boards to assist with organization and project management. If you haven’t heard of Trello yet, there’s a good chance you will soon.
Here are a few things the app can do for you in case you are not familiar with its features.
Trello is a great way to coordinate marketing projects, sales pipelines, real estate systems, and just about any other type of multi-step organizational needs with your team.
Trello’s design is inspired by Toyota’s Kanban system, which uses cards to organize tasks on a virtual board (kanban means billboard in Japanese).
Trello is not as complex as other project management tools, but its simplicity is one of its best features. It is easy to use, so onboarding new team members is quick.
A free, limited version of Trello is available if you want to try it out and see if its features work for you.
Special Mention: Asana
AgentFire’s favorite project management tool is Asana, which is very similar to Trello in that it allows you to keep track of your tasks and share them with your team.
Asana is also better at managing deadlines and milestones. There are more features, bells and whistles in Asana than in Trello. Asana’s organizational model is more traditional and relies heavily on tasks being completed in a hierchical order. You’re able to break down tasks even further by adding sub-tasks under each task. Asana is better at managing deadlines and milestones than Trello.
Each task can be assigned to a specific team member and scheduled in the team’s calendar. Each team member will get a notification reminding them of upcoming tasks.
If you like Trello’s Kanban board approach with sticky notes, Asana lets you organize tasks in a similar way.
Although Asana is a great productivity tool, it unfortunately can only be used online. This means that if you have an unstable internet connection, you would be unable to use it.
Best Team Communication Tool: Slack
Slack is a communication tool that is similar to Trello in that it is a productivity tool. It can be thought of as Skype on steroids.
Slack allows you to share files and chat with others via text and video. It also has many integrations, such as with Google Drive, Zendesk, Salesforce, Zoom, and Asana.
This tool is ideal if you have a few team members and want to stay in contact throughout the day.
If you have employees who work remotely or from other locations, it can be helpful.
The best features of Slack include the fact that it is free to start, allowing you to search through 10,000 messages, use 10 apps and integrations, and make one-on-one video calls.
Real estate agents who want to be more productive should consider using these tools.
If you want to get more done, either by having less work or by producing more, these tools can help. They can automate tasks, let you assign work to others, and help you keep track of what you’ve done. Give them a try.
I’m wondering if you’re using any of these tools. Please let me know in the comments section.
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