I had the opportunity to speak at the NAR convention on “Google Tools for Real Estate” and wanted to share some of the neat tools that I found. You probably know some of them but it is nice to be reminded of others. Plus there is a great new tool that the the people at the Google booth showed me that you will just love. Here is 5 of my Top Ten Google Tools for Real Estate.
Google Gmail offers email with up to 25 GB of storage per custom email address, mail search tools and integrated chat. It is the poor mans’ synch with an email enabled phone. Aggregate all your email accounts to Gmail and then send them to your email enabled phone with the special program you can download on your phone. There is less spam, plus Gmail groups all replies with their original message, creating a single conversation or thread. So much easier than searching your Inbox for related messages.
Google Docs – Create and share documents without managing attachments. Upload PDFs, PowerPoint, Word and Excel documents. It is a great place for online storage for all digital documents. Always have access to your important real estate documents even when you don’t have your computer.
Google Maps and Google Docs Build a map in seconds, Identify locations of schools, recreation, highways for online visitors. Then, in Google Docs, open an excel spreadsheet and list all the addresses of the homes you want to put on the map either for buyers to tour, or for a listing CMA. Insert a Gadget called Google Maps and select the range of data from the excel spreadsheet to populate the addresses of the map. Publish the map to its own web page or to a blog. Sound complicated? It is not, but email me for a PDF with full instructions. Mailto:email@example.com
Google Alerts – Set up alerts for key words, like your name, your business area. Google will email updates of relevant Google search results based on your choice. Great way to keep tabs on the competition. Every time someone mentions me in their blog or website, I get a Google alert. I then go to that blog and comment on their post. Great “PR”.
THIS IS THE NEW ONE! – Google Sites allows you to collaborate Google gadgets like picasa to add photos, google calendar to show Open House dates, and a file cabinet to store documents related to the property. All of this is secure in the Google environment where you can control who has access to the site to both collaborate or to just view. You can equally use these sites to create public pages that ANYONE can access, even WITHOUT a Google account. Single listing websites anyone?
You can get more information at sites.google.com
November 16, 2008 at 7:36 pm
I took a lot of notes during your portion of the panel at NAR last week, and I went to see the Google guys for a demo on Google sites – told them you had sent me! Thanks for all the info you shared in this post and at the convention.
November 16, 2008 at 11:28 pm
In Google Docs, open an excel spreadsheet and list all the addresses of the homes you want to put on the map either for buyers to tour, or for a listing CMA. Insert a Gadget called Google Maps and select the range of data from the excel spreadsheet to populate the addresses of the map.
November 17, 2008 at 6:51 am
One of my favorites is google notebook. I store all sorts of things in it. Can’t live without google alerts either. Our MLS already maps the listings onto google maps and my clients really like it.
November 17, 2008 at 11:51 am
Lots of great ideas – a few I already use and now more to check out. Love the Google sites idea.
I have seen a few Google maps on other sites and really like the information you can supply about a certain neighborhood and area; parks, shopping, golf, etc.
November 19, 2008 at 10:55 pm
I echo Paula’s comment. I was already familiar with and use Google Docs, but Google sites opens up all kinds of new possibilities. I just jumped in and started using it with a buyer to help track the homes we are viewing, and ultimately the same site will be a warehouse for the multitude of closing docs.
Thanks for the awesome tip on Google sites!