Selling real estate for the last 10 years has helped me become an amazing remote worker. I can work from home, from the car, or from an open house! Some of you might be working from home for the first time so I put together a list of my favorite remote working tools. Let’s get to it!
Hi, I’m Heather Wright with RE/MAX Concepts. I’m a REALTOR in the Des Moines area and I love technology! You might be dreading working from home, or wondering how you’re going to do it, but once you get the right tools I think you’ll enjoy it.
First, you need the basic tools - internet and a computer.
If your internet connection is slow, you’re probably going to be frustrated. I’m kind of crazy about internet speed (I don’t want to wait one SECOND for an email!) so we have the fastest speed available at Mediacom. (Which will also help if you’ll have lots of devices streaming.)
Many of the following tools will work on a tablet or phone but I primarily work on my computer. And, I’m old school so I have a mouse too!
Slack is a great communication tool - it’s like AOL instant messenger, if you remember that. You can have different channels for various projects, topics of discussion or teams. And you can message each other 1 to 1. Or small group messages. It really cuts down on email overload. Some days we communicate only in giphys!
You’re going to want a webcam for the video conferencing you’ll be doing. It’s just easier than dialing in from your phone. Pay special attention to the angle of your webcam so it’s set at a flattering angle (and not giving you 7 chins!)
Speaking of video conferencing, Zoom is my favorite app for that! You can use Zoom on your phone, tablet or computer. You can “zoom” with someone and have a face to face conversation with them over the computer. You can meet with more than one person at a time too. There’s a webinar version that allows you to be the only one on camera and your participants to watch you speak or give a presentation. And, depending on the plan you have you can stream live on Facebook and now YouTube!
I really like Zoom because it’s easy to use and there’s also a “fix my appearance” setting, so it makes me look a little more put together on the days when I don’t have any appointments.
When you need to take a quick video of your screen, Loom is the go to tool. I use this to explain paragraphs in contracts. Or to report a problem to tech support and show them exactly what my computer is doing.
And it’s fantastic for giving directions to a project - you only explain it once on Loom and the recipient can watch the video as many times as they need until they get it!
You can record just your screen or include a video of you in the corner. When you’re done recording, the link to your loom video is automatically copied to your clipboard - it’s so easy!
I’m almost a little embarrassed to admit that I use Office 365 because I know that’s not what the cool kids are doing. But, I know what I know! This annual subscription gives us access to the old school Word, Excel, PowerPoint and my favorite - Outlook!
I think back to early days of the internet and I was like “it’s in the cloud” - what??? We use Dropbox and Google Drive for our cloud storage. Dropbox is probably the least “cool” of the two but it’s what I’ve used since being in the business and old dogs don’t learn new tricks. It’s easy enough to share a dropbox link.
Recently, Google Drive has been growing on me. You can share documents with people on your team and set settings so they can view only, make comments, or full on edit your doc. Plus documents you open on your phone are easily editable if you download the right apps.
G Suite is basically gmail for work. Our email is run through gmail which is great for searching, indexing, organizing and more. Your work email is likely not going to be through gmail or G Suite - but gmail for personal email is free.
We also get google docs, sheets, slides and a couple other programs we don’t really use with G Suite. Those are the google equivalent to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
And, if you have two people in one document at once, it doesn’t create duplicate files (like Microsoft Office!) so if you need to collaborate that might be a good option for you.
If you don’t already have a gmail account you can set one up to access the google goodies.
AirTable is kind of like a spreadsheet on steroids. We have a couple simple projects in AirTable to try it out so I don’t know a lot of tricks but it’s much nicer looking to sort your data than an old fashioned spreadsheet. And when you tell people you use it - they think you’re really cool.
Need to schedule a call? No problem, send a link by email for someone to get on your calendar! We use a similar scheduling software on our website but I think Calendly is much better and so much easier to setup. You could even add a link to your email signature so your boss will see how accessible you are while working from home.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
I don’t really use this software enough to have a long conversation about it, but I felt like a list of 10 things would be better than 9.
That’s it! Those are my favorite remote working tools that I think you might enjoy too. We use a lot of other tools that are specific to real estate - but sharing those wouldn’t make much sense to you!
If you have any questions, we'd love to hear from you. Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you ASAP!