Cloud Storage – My Choice is DropBox
(Ed: As Matt mentioned in his comments Microsoft Skydrive is another very viable option)
As I am sure you can tell this post is about how I am utilizing DropBox in my business and of course ‘the why’.
Dropbox is Free. Am I cheap? Some might say…I prefer to say that I know a good deal when I see one and FREE is a good deal.
I am now up to 4gb of storage. Is that a lot? Yep. I also know of a guy that has 18.75gb of storage, a REALTOR® from Toronto that was able to get 5 times my storage capacity. If you want to know more, let me know in the comments or message me and I will let you know how he did it.
(Ed: There are paid plans as well for those who want to skip ahead to large amounts of storage immediatly)
It isn’t just because Dropbox is free. It’s also because it syncs well with all of my devices, across different platforms as well as with the apps that I use day to day in my business.
I can access all of my client files from the beach in Hawaii, or from a clients farm in Strathmore, Alberta. It allows me to be fully mobile. Do the other cloud apps do the same? Yes. I just prefer DropBox because it is what I have come to know intimately over the course of the past two years.
I have set up two folders in my DropBox, one for seller’s and one for buyer’s. Via WebForms I’ve downloaded every contract or document that I may ever need in either end of a real estate transaction.
They save as a fillable PDF file, they are this point, easily accessible via PDF Expert. A second app that allows for editing PDFs on an iPad – another post that is coming soon.
I then created a folder within the buyer’s folder called The Purchase. This folder has all the documents that I need to represent homebuyers. I did the same in my seller’s folder.
Why a folder with the key forms for each buyers and sellers? I am likely not going to need a Dower form, or a photograph consent form for every purchase or sale. I want just the ones I am going to need often, minimizing the time to find key forms.
As for my clients, they each have their own folder that get pre-loaded at our first meeting with Agency, Fintrac, Purchase Contract(Listing Contract), Remuneration Disclosure Form etc…
If they ever need any document after the transaction has taken place I can always email them a link to the document straight from my iPhone. In fact I just did this today.
This keeps me extremely organized. My clients are impressed with how seamless the process becomes due to incredible preparation on my end.
I Was Thinking About the Old Skool Way Today
Still not convinced that ‘Paperless’ is the way to go? Today was a holiday, in fact it was Victoria Day and my wife, kids and I were on our way to Bowness Park in NW Calgary for a picnic.
I handed my wife the keys and she did the driving as I needed to prepare an amendment and a waiver. If this were the ‘Old Skool’ way of doing things my WHOLE day would have been held up.
I couldn’t do it the day before because I didn’t know I needed these two documents until today. I couldn’t do it tomorrow(take the day off right? it’s a holiday after all) because today was ‘Condition Day’.
How would it have been held up? I would have had to print the document, fill it out, drive to south Calgary and have my clients sign the document, head back to my office at home (in NW Calgary), send it via fax. Wait for the other Agent to receive it, have her clients sign it and fax it back to me.
Oy, I’m tired just typing this.
I was able to send my client the document, they were able to print, sign, email it back to me, I was then able to save it to their file, and send it over to the other Agent. She then had her clients sign and had it back to me within an hour.
It took me a total of 10 minutes to prep the documents and an hour to have it all signed and forwarded off to my conveyancing dept.
This iPad ‘thing’, this paperless ‘thing’ likely saved my marriage today. For that I am thankful.
**Kelley Skar is a Northwest Calgary Realtor who has embraced technology and made it the core of his real estate business. Kelley is a regular contributor to our blog, other industry publications and a speaker at various industry events. Join Kelley as he takes you on his journey of implementing and creating success using technology to improve his business**