An essential app that I highly recommend is Evernote. Evernote, as the name implies, is a note taking application that can be used on your mobile phone, tablet, and even your computer and laptop. Its power is that you can create a note, take a picture, perform voice recordings, or capture a web snippet, save it, and then access it from any device that you have Evernote installed on. In other words, Evernote synchronizes all of your notes for you in the cloud.
I’ve been using Evernote for a couple of years now, and it’s one of my daily, “go-to” apps that I use both on my computer and my phone. I use it for work and personally to maintain notes on projects, to-do lists, customer notes, blog ideas, books to read, favorite wines, and more. The best part about Evernote is that I can use it anywhere. For example, I can create a note while I am out and about on my phone, and then access it later on my computer to edit it.
What’s the best part? Evernote is free, and unlike a lot of other applications, the free version is very capable for the majority of users. Personally, I pay the $45/year for the upgrade to Premium. I’m not even sure what all of the premium features I get are (you can find them by clicking here), but I’ve become so dependent on it, and use it so much, that it’s a small price to pay for such an awesome application.
To get started, create an account at the Evernote website, evernote.com. Then download the client to you PC or Mac and the app to your phone and tablet. After that, you’re off and running. They’ve created a useful Getting Started guide that walks you through the setup, but the interface is pretty self-explanatory and easy-to-use.
Using Evernote in Real Estate
In addition to the generic items I listed above, here are some ideas on how you can use Evernote in your real estate business to present a more organized and professional image to your clients:
- Client showings
After showing buyers multiple properties on a Saturday, or any day for that matter, it an be hard to remember the details of everything you saw, at least it was for my wife and me. I could never remember which property had the great pool or the outdated kitchen in need of a remodel. Evernote is a great way to document the properties you show clients by taking notes, pictures, and even voice recordings of your (and your client’s) thoughts. Then during follow-up, you can remind them of the properties they saw and what they did, or didn’t, like about each one.
- Listing presentations
Evernote works for listings as well as buyers. When you go on a listing presentation, use Evernote as you walk around both the inside and outside of the property taking typed notes, voice notes, and pictures to help you remember key points. This way, you can provide your prospect with a more complete market analysis including ideas on how they can improve the presentation and value of their home.
- Property notebooks
Once you secure the listing, setup a notebook for the property and use it to track items related to it. Track all of the prospects and clients that have seen it, record their comments, what they did or didn’t like, and provide feedback to the seller without having to pull it from scattered notes or memory. Track open house dates and performance, marketing materials and leads. This way, when your client calls you, you can open your notebook (on your computer, phone or tablet) and share with them all of the latest information related to the sale of their property.
- Client notebooks
As you get more advanced, you could create notebooks for each client you are working with on the buying side. You could track properties that you’ve shown them, neighborhoods they like and why, and items that are important to them. You could also track personal notes such as kids’ names and upcoming events, like birthdays. Again, just like with your property notebook, when your client calls you, all of the key information will be right at your fingertips whether you are in or out of the office.
For more information
In addition to these starter tips, Evernote amabassador Krisstina Wise, CEO and Founder of the GoodLife Team Real Estate Brokerage in Austin, TX, has published some more tips related to the use of Evernote for real estate. I would highly recommend checking out these articles over at the Evernote site. Whether you are a novice or advanced user, I am sure it will help you find a couple of additional ways to get more from the app:
- 6 Real Estate Tips from Krisstina Wise
- Evernote for Real Estate: 5 Ways to Use Evernote with Your Buyers [PDF download]
Dean Ouellette has also written a comprehensive guide for using Evernote titled: Evernote for Real Estate: A Complete Guide. It’s $20 to purchase the book, but he also offers a newsletter and short eBook for free as well. If you’re serious about using Evernote, it’s not a bad investment.
There’s also another book about Evernote on the way co-authored by Evernote Ambassadors Stacey Harmon and Kristi Willis that is titled: Untethered with Evernote: Tips and Tricks for Independent Entrepreneurs. It isn’t specific to real estate, but I’ve been told there will be many applicable items for real estate agents in the book, which I would expect given Stacey’s experience in the industry. It is slated for availability in March, 2014, and you can check out the website for the book here to get updates on status and availability.
If there are any Evernote tips that you have, whether for real estate or in general, feel free to leave them comments. I’m always interested in learning about new ways to use the app!