Real estate investors are constantly on the go, and the majority do not have an official company office space to use as home base. That means, for most, their cell phone, laptop, tablet, or some combination of these is their mobile office. I usually carry my laptop with me when I’m out checking on properties and networking, but I find the best way to respond in real time in real estate is on my mobile phone. To that end, I use systems that are mobile-friendly and that offer apps that are proven secure for private documents as well as easy to use on my phone.
Here are seven of my favorites:
For Team Organization: Trello
Use Trello to share images, attachments and checklists to keep everyone engaged in team-based operations. We even use this system to help our team stay focused on long-term goals.
For Mobile Meetings: Zoom
Zoom offers one of the best mobile-meeting experiences possible. With this app, you get a great video meeting experience from your desktop, your mobile device, or your conference room. Zoom’s basic user level is free, so asking others to upload the app onto their phone will not cost them anything. You can host meetings up to 40 minutes with as many as 100 participants at the basic level.
For Legal Documents: Docusign
There are several well-known options out there for “eSign” software solutions, but I personally find Docusign is the easiest for both parties to use. Not only was it in TechRadar’s “top five” for garnering electronic signatures on potentially sensitive materials, but it is incredibly easy to use. A few taps on your mobile phone or iPad, and you’re done. This is particularly useful for working with tenants both for their leases and to verify that maintenance requests have been addressed to satisfaction.
For Social Media Management: Hootsuite
Keep your business’s social media presence alive and well even while you’re out and about. Let’s face it, those “in the field” videos tend to be some of the best material anyway even though you aren’t necessarily camera-ready! Now you can post, comment, like, tweet, and share from one convenient dashboard. My favorite feature is the simplest: the single-click reply. We use this to track performance and constantly grow our audience of investors, potential clients, and potential residents for our properties.
For Planning & Logistics: G Suite
There are so many options for automation, efficiency, and streamlined coordination just in Google’s free online offerings, but it can get complicated to manage each facet individually. G Suite puts Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar all in one package that works together (and updates together) on your computer, phone, or tablet. Add in Google Assistant, and you are carrying everything you need to set up shop any time, anywhere.
For Email List Management & Marketing: MailChimp
MailChimp is the world’s largest marketing automation platform, but it’s also one of the easiest I’ve found when it comes to email marketing and email list management. The full application works on mobile devices of all types, and you can even build new email campaigns from your phone if you want or need to do so.
For Materials & Supplies: Home Depot Mobile
Did you know that Home Depot and most other “big box” DIY stores have mobile apps that will guide you directly to the aisle of every item on your list? Save vast amounts of time by plugging your list into these apps, then review detailed information about a product or visualize how the item will look in your space using a 3D image. Most of these apps also offer receipt and order tracking to help with your records.
Of course, remember that any time you start using a new system (or an old system on a new platform, such as your mobile phone), you must be prepared to allow yourself a little grace period for learning. It’s just like training someone new or learning a new system on your computer! Taking your mobility to this level, however, will be worth the “sweat equity” you put in when you first get started.