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Op/Ed

8 ways Realtors can use Gmail to increase productivity during the busy season

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced Gmail user, there are ample ways to eliminate wasted time, critical as we enter the busy season.

productivity

No matter how hard we try, when the busy home selling season comes around, it may feel impossible to get it all done. From generating new leads to servicing your current clients, you could work nonstop and still have more things to do.

When this time of year is in full swing, you need to have the right tools to help you focus your day-to-day workflow, decrease inefficient business practices, and increase your productivity. To that end, Gmail can help more than you might think.

Gmail Can Streamline Your Productivity

  1. Unfiled inbox. Did you know that you can configure your Gmail account to receive email from all of your different email accounts? Long gone are the days when you check one email address in one place, and another somewhere else. Go to Settings > Accounts and you can set up all of the email to be received within your Gmail account. (Level of Difficulty: Medium)
  2. Labels. Labels are akin to folders, and they are a great way to keep each transaction, prospect, or project together. What’s nice about Labels is that once an email is labeled, the Label shows at a glance in the inbox. Go to Settings > Labels and you can create a label for each one of your current transactions, clients, or projects. (Level of Difficulty: Easy)
  3. Filters. Used in conjunction with labels, filters will increase your organization without taking any of your time. A filter is a rule (so to speak) that Gmail will follow for a group of emails. For example, you can create a filter which states that any past and future emails from your seller on Pennsylvania Avenue will automatically be labeled The White House. Or, you can create a filter for all of the invoices you receive to be placed somewhere else or even deleted. Go to Settings > Filters or use the search bar at the top of the Gmail inbox to create filters that will save you time and keep you organized. (Level of Difficulty: Medium)
  4. Signature Lines. You can set up a signature line for each email address you configure in Gmail at Settings > General. Previously unavailable, Gmail now allows for text formatting, insertion of hyperlinks, and other nifty features. (Level of Difficulty: Easy)
  5. Canned Response Lab. Do you always send the same to different parties? Do you waste time typing that message every time you send it? If so, then you need to enable the Canned Response Lab. Go to Settings > Labs and you can enable the lab there. One other cool feature of the lab is that it can be used to house multiple signature lines. While Gmail does allow a single signature for each email address you configure, users who want to use multiple signature lines from a single email address can use the Canned Response Lab to get the feature they need. (Level of Difficulty: Medium)
  6. Gmelius. This browser extension (according to their website) helps enhance privacy and boost productivity. With free and paid versions (a one-time fee for the paid version), Gmelius has many options for email inbox configuration. Generally, Gmelius helps users to configure a cleaner, more efficient inbox. Through Gmelius, you can select to have an ad free workspace, add attachment icons, remove Google+ activity, and customize navigation buttons among other things. (Level of Difficulty: Easy)
  7. Streak. Best explained, Streak is a CRM that lives inside Gmail (only for use on Google Chrome). With a strong pipeline management feature and the ability to customize fields, it is a quick and efficient way to manage your sales pipeline within your email (so that you do not have to jump between email and your CRM). While you can customize any pipeline, the folks at Streak recently added a Real Estate Pipeline, which is a good place to get started. Note that there is also a Streak app that you can install on mobile devices. (Level of Difficulty: Medium to Hard)
  8. Gmail app. If you are going to work hard on getting your inbox organized to increase your productivity, then by all means you should be using the Gmail app on your mobile device. Within the Gmail app, you can see the labels you created to control the enormity of your inbox. Considering abandoning the built-in mail product and install the Gmail app on your smartphone or tablet. (Level of Difficulty: Easy)

It’s true that getting organized to increase your productivity and streamline your business may take time. But, if you devote a few hours to the tips and organizational tools provided here, the time you will save on the back end will be ten fold.

Got any more cool Gmail productivity tips? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.

Melissa is an in-demand business success speaker and author, as well as a real estate broker with thousands of short sale transactions under her belt. She leverages her experience as a short sale insider to motivate thousands of business professionals to plan their careers better, execute more effectively on their plan, and earn more because of it.

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