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2008-11-26 17:12:05

Being Frugal With Google – The Free Office Suite


Do you have any idea how thrilled the Monks were when the printing press was invented? They could put up the quill pens and get over the old version of carpal tunnel. As a real estate professional in today’s Internet world, you should be ecstatic with the free tools available.

The suite of tools from Google just keep getting better. You don’t have to be a tech geek to use them either. If you’ll just take what you get from this article and implement it, you’ll save hours of your time every week, serve your clients better, get more business, and be an email guru. Let’s see what it’s all about.

Gmail

Gmail can be your base email solution, no matter how many addresses you have, or how you want to brand yourself. In some real estate technology courses they are very emphatic about having an email address that promotes your site or brand. No problem, as Gmail will allow you to check multiple email accounts for your other sites. Your prospect or client doesn’t even need to know about your Gmail address. The newest release even allows multiple email signatures, and it will reply from the same address that was checked to pull in the email.
 
Then there is the huge 7+ Gigabytes of free storage space for email. The labels and filters functions are so much better at filing away email than folders ever were! You can have a filter automatically label and file away emails when they arrive based on who sent them, keywords in the title or email and more.
 
The latest feature released is called “Canned Responses.” For those replies that you seem to send over and over to answer questions, you just create a canned response template email. When you need it, you just pull it up as the reply and send it out with a click. There’s lot more, but you’re getting the idea. Get your free Gmail account today!
 
Google Calendar
With a new gadget just released, you can see your Google calendar agenda in the left sidebar when you’re in Gmail. This calendar is easy to use, with the ability to track your tasks and appointments with multiple methods to remind you. You can get a text message reminder, an email, a screen popup, or a combination of all of them at the times you want! If you have a important phone call to make at a certain time on Wednesday, no problem. You may even need to make some notes before the call to make sure that you cover all you need to in the discussion. 
 
You can have an email sent on Monday morning to remind you to work on those notes. On Tuesday you can have a text message sent to your cell phone to be sure that you are on track with notes and keeping your schedule clear for that call.  Then that morning, another text message in case you’ve gone out, and a half hour before the call, a screen popup. Sorry, but if you miss it after all of this, you need a butler not a calendar.
 
Are you one who just can’t seem to get the time or energy to get those events, meetings and tasks into the calendar to start with? Google calendar allows you to import an entire list of transaction tasks with due dates all at once. Get 50+ transaction coordination tasks in from your spreadsheet in a matter of minutes.

Maybe you just can’t get the time to type in last minute appointments, or items that came up while you were out and about. Well, the calendar will also take voice entries from Jott.com. This low cost ($39/year) service lets you call in your items for the calendar. A typical call:

* You’ve speed-dialed the Jott toll free number and hear “Who do you want to Jott?”
* You say “Google” and wait for the beep, then "Meet inspector at Smith home next Tuesday at 9:30 AM.”
* You hear “Got It.”
* Back at the computer you see that the meeting is in the calendar with pre-set reminders already in place!
 
Google Reader and Alerts
This is an RSS news feed reader. It can keep you up to date with automatic receipt of your selected blog post subscriptions. If you want to keep up with NAR’s latest technology news, there’s a feed you can subscribe to. It will pop up each new post as NAR puts them out. 

The really great use for this is the ability to get news about your area that you can use for ideas for website content or blog posts. Couple this with the Google Alerts service, which delivers web content to you based on key words and phrases you’ve set up, and you’ve got your own personal custom newspaper online.
 
iGoogle
Tie them all together now on one screen with iGoogle. It allows you to display all of the Google services on a home screen, plus choose from hundreds of “gadgets” to display news, RSS feeds, horoscopes or just about anything you can think of.
 
Check out the Google suite of services, because they work and they are FREE!

Peyman Aleagha is the founder and President of . RealtySoft provides Realtors with Real Estate Web Design Real Estate Print Marketing and Free IDX solutions. Find out more about RealtySoft by visiting .RealtySoft.com 

 

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