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Podcast

EPISODE 9 – Pt. 2: 20 Life Changing Productivity Tools To Add More Hours To Your Day

The Level Up Your Business Podcast

Show Notes

Episode 9 of Season 2

Clickable Show Highlights:

[00:52]The topic of today’s episode
[02:37]Definition of productivity hacks
[03:06]6th admin tool: Last Pass
[04:52]7th admin tool: Genius Scan
[5:40]8th admin tool: HelloSign
[06:34]9th admin tool: Airtable
[08:54]0th admin tool: Calendly
[09:45]4th category of productivity tools: CREATIVITY TOOLS
[10:03]1st creativity tool: Evernote
[10:53]2nd creativity tool: Workflowy
[12:12]3rd creativity tool: Xmind
[12:49]4th creativity tool: Draw.io

Quotes:

"Sometimes, just writing things out isn't good enough to convey your ideas. That's when you might need to use the right tool to get your point across to your team."

Resources:

LastPass - Stores all of your passwords so that whenever you visit a site, it will log you in without the need to enter your username and password.
Genius Scan - A mobile scanner in your pocket, allowing you to quickly scan your documents on the go and export them as JPEG or multi-page PDF files.
HelloSign -  A cloud-based electronic signature tool that enables users to sign, fill out, send, retrieve, and save documents paperlessly.
Airtable - Software that uses a spreadsheet format which makes it incredibly easy to organize stuff, people, ideas and anything else you can imagine with your team.  
Calendly  - Helps you schedule meetings without the hassle of back-and-forth emails.
Evernote - allows you to collect and share ideas across desktop and mobile platforms so your thoughts are always accessible and always in sync. 
WorkFlowyOrganizational tool that helps break big ideas into manageable pieces so you can focus on one piece at a time. 
XMind - Mind mapping and brainstorming software that allows you to capture ideas, clarify thinking, manage complex information, and promote team collaboration for higher productivity.
Draw.io - Free online diagram editor built around Google Drive that enables you to create flowcharts, network diagrams, mockups and more.

THE LEVEL UP YOUR BUSINESS BLOG

 (PT. 2) 20 LIFE CHANGING PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS TO ADD MORE HOURS TO YOUR DAY

  • productivity hacks: shortcuts, tricks or strategies that help you get more done in the same amount of time, or less.


If you feel like you never have enough time in the day to get things done - or you’re not running your business nearly as efficiently as you’d like - then maybe the right productivity tool will give you the breakthrough you need. 

In my last post, I shared the first half of my
20 Favorite Tools That Are Absolute Game Changers That’ll Make You More Productive And Add Hours To Your Day. 

In this post, I’ll finish up the second half of the list. Just as a reminder, I’ve broken these tools down in 4 categories: 

  1. Communication tools to help your productivity
  2. Marketing tools to increase your productivity
  3. Admin tools to make you more productive and save you considerable time
  4. Creativity tools that will make you more productive


I covered communication, marketing, and half of the admin tools in the last post. So, I’ll finish up admin tools as well as some of my favorite creativity tools.

There's a few tools that I’ll cover that you’ve likely never heard of. But if you use these tools, I GUARANTEE they'll increase your productivity and level up your business. 

Today on the Level Up Your Business Podcast, catch part two of the 20 life changing productivity tools to add more hours to your day.

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Quick Navigation (click on a link below to go directly to the productivity tool shown)

ADMIN TOOLS

Here’s a continuation from my last post of some of my favorite admin tools that will significantly increase your productivity.

LASTPASS

LASTPASS

LastPass is a must-have time saving tool for those of us who have trouble keeping up with passwords. Prior to LastPass, I can't tell you how much time I wasted trying to remember passwords to log into various websites.

LastPass stores all of your passwords so that whenever you visit a site, it will log you in without the need to enter your username and password. The only login credentials you'll need to memorize are your username and password for LastPass.

How’s It Increase Productivity?

As far as productivity, one of the best uses of LastPass is if you're working with people remotely, such as virtual assistants. Let's say you you want people to access a secure site to do some work for you (i.e. accessing the back end of your website to update properties) - but your site requires a username and password.

However, you don't want to share your current login credentials or spend the time creating a new login - which can be a time consuming pain.  

The simple solution is to have your remote people install LastPass on their browser (it’s free to install). Then, you’ll log into your LastPass vault (where all your credentials are stored) and add their email address to that specific site you want them to access.

Once they visit your site to log in, LastPass will automatically log them in - without showing any of your login details. Also, just as easy as you can grant access, you can also remove it with the click of a button inside your your LastPass vault. 

GENIUS SCAN

GENIUS SCAN


Genius Scan is basically a mobile scanner in your pocket. You can quickly scan your documents on the go and export them as JPEG or multi-page PDF files.  Download the app for free on your mobile phone from the iTunes store or the Google Play store. As a real estate entrepreneur, here's how it will help you be more productive...

How’s It Increase Productivity? 

Let's say you need to get signed documents to a title company, but you're on the go and it would be a hassle to find a local Kinkos to fax them. With Genius Scan, all you have to do is take a picture of the documents and the app turns your pictures into pdf documents that you can attach to an email with the click of a button in order to send to your title company.  

It’s incredibly easy to use and and more convenient that hassling with traditional scanners. 

HELLOSIGN

HELLO SIGN

Speaking of getting documents signed, HelloSign is my tool of choice for e-signatures. It's a cloud-based electronic signature tool that enables users to sign, fill out, send, retrieve, and save documents paperlessly.   

How’s It Increase Productivity? 

HelloSign increases productivity in your business since now instead of having to print, sign and send documents - and then wait for your recipient to also do the same before sending back to you - you can actually set up your document in Hellosign so that the entire transaction is paperless. 

You can sign electronically (it looks just like your signature), and then send the document to your recipients via HelloSign so they can do the same. You'll be alerted when they've opened your document, and you'll automatically receive the fully executed document once they're done signing. 

The time you'll save from getting documents signed using this tool is huge!

AIRTABLE

AIRTABLE

Airtable is a tool that not too many people know about. I started using it some months back when I was looking for a solution to easily organize my promotional calendar, my launch calendar, and my podcast schedule.

Very quickly I learned that Airtable could handle organizing all of those - and so much more. It’s so flexible that I also started using it as our CRM (customer relationship manager). 

Airtable is free to get started and there is nothing to download. The software uses a spreadsheet format to organize data. You can use Airtable on your desktop and mobile and it's easy to add and remove data, attach files and share tables. And it integrates with a ton of apps.  

How's It Increase Productivity

What makes Airtable an awesome productivity tools is that it makes it incredibly easy to organize stuff, people, ideas and anything else you can imagine with your team.

The other nice feature is Airtable already has a lot of ready-made templates you can use - even templates for real estate professionals in the business of buying and selling homes. One of the many ways I currently use it is to keep track of our clients, their buying preferences, and our transactions.  

I like Airtable so much that I’ll write a future post that covers some of the ways you can use it to optimize your real estate business. 

CALENDLY

CALENDLY

The last admin tool I'll discuss is Calendly. This is an online app that helps you schedule meetings without the hassle of back-and-forth emails. It has both a free and paid version, but the free version has plenty of great features to make your life easier.

How’s It Increase Productivity?

Calendly makes you more productive because of how convenient it is to use. It's so simple, but so incredibly useful. Instead of going back and forth with phone calls or via email, using up valuable time in your day to coordinate a time to meet with buyers, sellers, or vendors - you can now just send them a link.

Then, they can can choose a time that fits within their schedule based on time slots you’ve already predetermined. That means no more going back and forth to confirm availability. And if you need to reschedule or cancel, that can also happen through the same link.

CREATIVITY TOOLS FOR PRODUCTIVITY


That brings me to the last category of productivity tools - which I call “creativity tools” because they're the tools that you can use to capture all the million dollar ideas that are floating in your head, and easily refer to them later, or convey those ideas to your team.

EVERNOTE

EVERNOTE

Evernote allows you to collect and share ideas across desktop and mobile platforms. Your thoughts are always with you, always accessible, and always in sync.

It's a really good tool to use to make sure you don’t lose great ideas as they come to you - no matter where you are. I can't tell you how many times I've used Evernote in the wee hours of the morning when I wake up with a brainstorm.  

How's It Increase Productivity

One of the ways you can use it to save time is instead of writing out ideas that come to you in the middle of the night, or on your car ride home - you can audibly record your ideas inside Evernote.

Those recordings of your ideas can then be organized by title, date, or however you wish to file them. Then if you want to share your ideas with team members, it's as easy as a click of a button to email it to them from inside the app - even if your team doesn't use Evernote.   

WORKFLOWY

WORKFLOWY

Another productivity tool that I literally use every week is Workflowy. It’s my favorite tool to help break big ideas into manageable pieces so you can focus on one piece at a time.

Workflowy is also my tool of choice to use when brainstorming. And it's how I come up with outlines for all my podcast episodes, courses, and goal-setting.  

How’s It Increase Productivity?

Workflowy is an organizational tool that makes life easier when you have a lot going on. And, it's a surprisingly powerful way to take notes, make lists, collaborate, brainstorm and to plan.

Everything in WorkFlowy is part of a single giant list. Each item can have sub-lists under it, and each of those sub-items can have their own nested lists, and so on

The best part, though, is that you can “zoom in” on each item - double-click on a bullet point, and WorkFlowy suddenly shows you a new page for that item and all its sublists so that you can narrow your focus.

Believe me, you only have to try Workflowy once to really love it if you're a list person, or if you like to have organized notes.

XMIND

XMIND

If you're more of a visual brainstormer, then Xmind is the tool for you. This is a mind mapping and brainstorming software that allows you to capture ideas, clarify thinking, manage complex information, and promote team collaboration for higher productivity.

How’s It Increase Productivity?

Xmind is a great tool to use when collaborating in a brainstorm with your team. It’s also a nice software to use if you need to get ideas out of your head for a project but you're not sure how the ideas and concepts connect - so visually seeing the connections will help you and your team see the bigger picture.

DRAW.IO

DRAW.IO

The last tool I’ll share with you is Draw.io. Draw.io is is a free online diagram editor built around Google Drive that enables you to create flowcharts, network diagrams, mockups and more.

How’s It Increase Productivity?

Just like some of the other tools I mentioned, sometimes writing things out isn't good enough to convey your ideas.

Draw.io saves you time and helps productivity when you’re trying to get a point across to your team, but diagrams and mockups would work better than words.

Next Up In Season 2

One of the productivity challenges many real estate entrepreneurs face is that they get consumed working in their business, as opposed to working on their business - which is required if you want your business to go to the next level

In next week’s podcast and blog post I’m going to share with you what I consider to be the ultimate guide to alleviate some of that business fatigue you’re experiencing so you can start working ON instead of IN your business.

Resources Mentioned In The Podcast

ADMIN TOOLS

  • LastPass - Stores all of your passwords so that whenever you visit a site, it will log you in without the need to enter your username and password.
  • Genius Scan - A mobile scanner in your pocket, allowing you to quickly scan your documents on the go and export them as JPEG or multi-page PDF files.
  • HelloSign -  A cloud-based electronic signature tool that enables users to sign, fill out, send, retrieve, and save documents paperlessly.
  • Airtable - Software that uses a spreadsheet format which makes it incredibly easy to organize stuff, people, ideas and anything else you can imagine with your team.  
  • Calendly  - Helps you schedule meetings without the hassle of back-and-forth emails.

CREATIVITY TOOLS FOR PRODUCTIVITY

  • Evernote - allows you to collect and share ideas across desktop and mobile platforms so your thoughts are always accessible and always in sync. 
  • WorkFlowyOrganizational tool that helps break big ideas into manageable pieces so you can focus on one piece at a time. 
  • XMind - Mind mapping and brainstorming software that allows you to capture ideas, clarify thinking, manage complex information, and promote team collaboration for higher productivity.
  • Draw.io - Free online diagram editor built around Google Drive that enables you to create flowcharts, network diagrams, mockups and more.
Podcast

EPISODE 3: 5 Free Tools To Run Your Real Estate Business Using Virtual Assistants

The Level Up Your Business Podcast

Show Notes

Episode 003 of Season 1

Clickable Show Highlights

[0:51]  The topic of today’s episode
[1:47]  Working with virtual assistants thousand of miles away
[2:18]  Tools that I use to communicate and manage virtual assistants
[2:45]  Tool 1: Viber
[4:26]  Tool 2: Zoom
[6:33]  Tool 3: Asana
[9:01]  Tool 4: G Suite
[10:18]  Tool 5: Calendly
[11:40]   Putting the tools in action

Quotes:

 "The key to being able to manage a staff located across the globe is to have good tools in place that will ensure you're able to run your business as smoothly as if your staff were local."

Resources:

  • Viber  - Make calls, send messages and much more - freely and securely
  • Zoom - The #1 video conferencing and web conferencing service on the web
  • Asana - Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work—and get results.
  • G Suite - All you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet.
  • Calendly - Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails.

THE LEVEL UP YOUR BUSINESS BLOG

 5 FREE TOOLS TO RUN YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS USING VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS


I've been running my real estate business primarily with a staff of virtual assistants since 2009.

Most of my staff lives thousands of miles away. I've worked with virtual assistants in the Philippines, India, Italy, and also different parts of the United States. 

The key to being able to manage a staff located across the globe is to have good online tools in place that will ensure you're able to run your business as smoothly as if your virtual staff were working right down the hall from you. 

I'm going to share with you the tools that I use every single day to communicate and mange my virtual assistants. And the great thing is most of these tools are completely FREE - and even the paid versions of the tools cost less than your weekly Starbucks bill. 

Today on the Level Up Your Business Podcast, discover 5 FREE tools to run your real estate business using virtual assistants.

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VIBER

Viber is one of the game-changing tools that’s allowed me to be twice as productive and focus more on revenue generating activities since it makes it very easy to communicate and delegate tasks to my virtual staff - as well as easily share files in real time.

Like I mentioned, I have a virtual team located in different parts of the globe. With Viber, we’re able to communicate worldwide using video and voice calling as well as text messaging in real time...

...and by the way - IT’S FREE.

We also use the app to:

  • Send files - like contracts and purchase agreements
  • Send pictures - like rehab pics for properties
  • Send videos - like property walk-throughs that we need uploaded to a website

We even use Viber like a walkie talkie if I'm not a position to text or call.

For instance - if I'm driving and I want to provide some instructions to my virtual assistant but I obviously can't text and I don't want to make a call - I can choose to hold down a button in the Viber app that that will record my instructions and provide them to my virtual assistant in real time. 

The other nice thing is Viber syncs with your mobile, tablet and desktop so you have your messages and files across all your devices.

ZOOM

The second tool I use to communicate with my virtual assistants is Zoom.

Zoom is a video conferencing app. You can use it for video calls, voice calls, screen sharing, and to host webinars.

You might be thinking, why would I need to use both Viber and Zoom since there is so much crossover in their functionality - such as the ability to make video calls and the voice calls anywhere for free. 

Here's the difference in how I use them in my business:

I leave the Viber app open on my desktop and on my phone at all times. That means anytime my staff needs to message me, or I need to touch base with them, we receive a notification with the message on whichever device we're on at the time. 

I use Viber primarily for text conversation and quick file transfers. I also use it for really quick video calls on the fly.

But when I want to do a longer video call; share my screen to do a training or demo with my virtual staff; host a webinar; or record a video call that I can refer to later and use as a training reference - then I use Zoom. 

Also, the quality of the Zoom video conferencing is superior to Viber.

Some of the other great features with Zoom are:

  • check
    You can create a link in Zoom and send it to anyone in order for them to join you in a video or voice conference. Or you can send a link for a video/voice conference to be scheduled in the future. 
  • check
    Like I mentioned, you can record your sessions so you can refer back to them later. This is especially good if you want to create a video training library for your virtual assistant.
  • check
    You have the ability to remotely control someone's computer once you've been granted permission. This is good if you need your virtual assistant to take care of something that needs to be done on your laptop, such as troubleshooting.

And the other obvious benefit is Zoom is FREE. 

You can use unlimited Zoom video and calling time for one-on-one meetings, whereas conferences of 3-100 people are limited to 40 minutes under the free plan. There are no time constraints regardless of the number of people on the paid plan.

Download Your Real Estate Virtual Assistant Toolkit

Discover how to leverage virtual assistants to 

free up your time while growing your income!

Give Me The Toolkit!

As real estate entrepreneurs, we know there are a lot of moving pieces in our real business - rather it's keeping track of communication with buyers and sellers, making sure offers are progressing through each stage, or managing  vendors on a rehab project. 

That's why when you're managing a virtual assistant as well as local staff - it's important that you have a system in place to make sure everyone is accountable and nothing falls through the cracks.

I've been through quite a few project management tools, but my hands down favorite tool to manage my virtual team and my personal life, is Asana.

First off, Asana is a tool for organizing personal or team work, basing the system on individual tasks framed into bigger projects.

It’s incredibly helpful when it comes to keeping up with deadlines, keeping track of projects, and making you and team members accountable.

The nice thing about Asana is you can get most of the functionality that you'll need in order to run your real estate business using the free plan. Although there are some features in the paid plan that make it worthwhile, in my opinion.

The plans are very affordable. There's obviously the free plan, but even the the monthly paid plans (as of the time of this post) are only around $6 a person to a little over $10 a person - depending the size of your team and the features you want.

Another nice thing about Asana is it allows you to create custom templates for your most common workflows and projects.  This is convenient because you can save time on setting up processes that are frequently repeated in your business, and ensure that everyone is taking care of their designated tasks.

For instance: With Asana, anytime you have a new deal under contract you can create an SOP (or standard operating procedure) in Asana for what steps are necessary and what should be done by each member of your team to bring that deal to fruition. 

Bottom line - if you’re using Asana it means you and your team don’t have to think through processes every time you have a repeated activity. Instead you'll look at Asana and follow the steps - with each person checking off their tasks as they're completed - so everyone is accountability, and you have one place you can monitor everything happening in your business

I'm not sure I can say enough good things about G Suite. This online app marries your calendar with your email, with cloud storage and additional cloud editing capabilities.

G Suite is the bread and butter in my business because it allows you to seamlessly run a business with a virtual staff since everything is cloud based

We use G Suite for just about everything that’s document-driven in our business. It includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. Those last 3 that I mentioned are Google's online version of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

It also includes Google Drive, which is the most valuable resource for me in this package. That's the tool my virtual assistants and I use to access documents we're collaborating on remotely - in real time.

I could literally write an entire article on how you can use G Suite to make your real estate business more productive while working with a virtual or local team. 

Trust me, getting familiar with G Suite and loading it on all your devices will drastically increase your productivity.  

G Suite starts has a free trail and then it's only $5 a month per user. 

CALENDLY

The last tool I'll talk about is one that will save you more time than you think.

The tool is Calendly. This is an online app that helps you schedule meetings without the hassle of back-and-forth emailsWhat makes Calendly special is convenience. It's so simple, but so incredibly useful. 

Instead of going back and forth in phone calls or via email, using up valuable time in your day to coordinating a time to meet with buyers, sellers, or vendors - you can now just send them a link. Then, they can can choose a time that fits within their schedule based on time slots you’ve already predetermined.

That means no more going back and forth to confirm availability. And if you need to reschedule or cancel, it can all happen through the same link. I'm telling you firsthand, this is a tremendous time saver!

Calendly syncs with your Google Calendar and other calendar apps in real time. This comes in handy if you or your staff handle scheduling appointments.

You may not think it takes much time to schedule appointments - but 5-10 minutes here and there on a daily basis can have a serious impact on your productivity.

Now Is The Time To Take Action


So there you have 5 of my favorite online tools that will help you run your real estate business and manage your virtual assistants as if they were working down the hall in your office. 

The next step is to evaluate your business needs.

  • If you’re looking for a free, versatile tool to communicate with your staff via voice, message, or video as well as easily transfer files and pics - then you have to give Viber a go.
  • If you want to have the ability to conduct video chats, screen sharing, webinars, and create training videos - Zoom is an excellent tool.
     
  • If you need to keep track of to-do lists, assigning tasks, and you want to hold your team accountable - then Asana is the tool for you.
     
  • If you’re looking for a more efficient way to collaborate on files with your staff - or just a way to more easily organize all the documents in your business - then you have to give G Suite a shot.
  • And lastly, If scheduling meetings and calls with buyers, sellers, and vendors has been a time-suck in your business – then ​try Calendly.

Next Up In Season 1


Next up I'll give you a detailed behind the scenes look at my real estate business and my work day using virtual assistants. Hopefully it will get your wheels turning as to how you can also use virtual assistants to level up your business. 


Resources Mentioned In The Podcast:


  • Viber  - Make calls, send messages and much more - freely and securely
  • Zoom - The #1 video conferencing and web conferencing service on the web
  • Asana - Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work—and get results.
  • G Suite - All you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet.
  • Calendly - Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails.



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