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Podcast

EPISODE 8 – Pt. 1: 20 Life Changing Productivity Tools To Add More Hours To Your Day

The Level Up Your Business Podcast

Show Notes

Episode 8 of Season 2

Clickable Show Highlights:

[1:25]  The topic of today’s episode
[3:24]  Definition of productivity hacks
[4:03]  Four categories of productivity tools
[4:57]  COMMUNICATION TOOLS to increase productivity
[5:04]  1st Communication Tool: Line2
[5:57]  2nd Communication Tool: Zoom
[6:48]  3rd Communication Tool: Screencast-o-matic
[8:00]  4th communication tool: Viber
[8:52]  MARKETING TOOLS to increase productivity
[9:00]  1st Marketing Tool: ClickFunnels
[11:07]  2nd Marketing Tool: BIGVU
[12:44]  ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS to increase productivity
[12:48]  1st Admin Tool: Asana
[13:49]  2nd Admin Tool: Todoist
[14:53]  3rd Admin Tool: GSuite
[15:57]  4th Admin Tool: Snipping Tool 
[16:36]  5th Admin Tool: Droplr

Quotes:

 "If you don't have some way to track who's doing what, when it's due, and how tasks are progressing - things will start falling through the cracks - costing you time and money."

Resources:

COMMUNICATION TOOLS
  • Line2 - Adds a second phone number and a complete cloud business phone system to your smartphones and computer that's robust, yet affordable
  • Zoom - Conduct online meetings and video webinars with ease
  • Screencast-O-Matic - Record your on-screen activity for tutorial videos, visual presentations, and demonstrations
  • Viber  - Make calls, send messages, exchange images and files - freely and secure
MARKETING TOOLS
  • ClickFunnels  - Website builder that allows you to create everything from: lead generation pages, sales funnels, membership sites, landing pages, and e-commerce systems - all with the ease of a drag and drop interface
  • BIGVU  - A teleprompter on your phone that scrolls while you record so you can speak candidly with no need to memorize lines.
ADMIN TOOLS
  • Asana - Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work—and get results.
  • Todoist - Maximize productivity by giving you the ability to see all tasks assigned, completed, updated, relevant notes, and shared files in a user-friendly interface
  • G Suite - Marries your calendar, with your email, with cloud storage and additional cloud editing capabilities all in one package that works from your computer, phone or tablet
  • Snipping Tool - Easily capture a screenshot, or snip, of any object on your screen - and then annotate, save, or share the image
  • Droplr - Share files, screenshots, and screencasts to get your point across.

THE LEVEL UP YOUR BUSINESS BLOG

 (PT. 1) 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.


Are you looking to “level up” your productivity in your real estate business?

Do you feel like your days are too short and your task list is too long?

If so, my new series on Productivity Hacks for Busy Real Estate Entrepreneurs is the cure for your productivity-blues.

I just finished a series of posts all about
Using Virtual Assistants To Level Up Your Real Estate Business, which you need to check out if you value your time and desire to learn how to work on instead of in your business.

But, now I’m shifting gears to show you how to reach new levels of productivity in your business and personal life so you can…

  • Get more done
  • Gain more time
  • And, be more efficient

To kick things off, I’m going to share with you 20 of my favorite tools that are absolute game changers that’ll make you more productive and add hours to your day.

These tools are broken 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, especially if you're someone that always has ideas floating in your head

My ultimate goal is after you read this you’ll identify some tools that you can apply to your business in order to LEVEL UP your productivity.

(By the way, since we’re going over 20 tools, I’ll discuss half the tools this week and then the other half will be in next weeks post)

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

Click to Tweet

COMMUNICATION TOOLS

LINE2

LINE 2

Line2 adds a second phone number and a complete cloud business phone system to your smartphones and computer that's robust, yet affordable. It’s the software we use in my business to handle all of our incoming and outgoing calls.  

How’s It Increase Productivity?

Line2 allows you to be more productive since you'll have a business phone line that can be answered on any device. That means you don't have to take all your incoming calls yourself - but instead your virtual assistant or local staff has the ability to answer and transfer calls remotely.  

So basically, you they can be your gatekeeper - saving you time from answering unproductive calls.  

ZOOM

ZOOM


Zoom is the preferred video chat app in my business. It allows you to conduct online meetings and video webinars with ease. To start an online video meeting is as easy as sharing a link. One-on-one meetings are free - while meetings of 3 more people are free up to 40 minutes. And there are no time limits on the paid plan.  

How’s It Increase Productivity? 

It's a real time saver when you can convey an idea to someone on video as opposed to having to write out instructions. In my business, if I'm trying to explain something that would be too complicated to convey in writing, my virtual assistant and I will get on a zoom video call and I'll record the video using Zoom as I give her a demo of what I need done.  

This also makes increases productivity because instead of explaining the same concepts over and over again to new people, you can actually record your instructions once, and then refer people to that video next time you need the tasks done. 

SCREENCAST-O-MATIC

Screencast-O-Matic

Screencast-O-Matic is a handy tool  to record on-screen activity for tutorial videos, visual presentations, and demonstrations. The free version allows you to record videos up to 15 minutes long, while the paid version allows you to make longer recordings - and gives you video scripting and editing tools to aid in your video creation 

How’s It Increase Productivity? 

One of Screencast-O-Matic’s features that will help your productivity is the ability to easily upload videos that you record (with the click of a button), to a video hosting platform like YouTube - or you can use  Screencast-O-Matic’s platform to host your videos. This makes it really easy to create a demo/training library - saving you a ton of time in training your staff or bringing new people up to speed. 

One of the things you should consider is this: if you're already doing a task (i.e. running comps for properties), then all you have to do is record your screen while you're doing it and narrate your steps if you feel that will be helpful. Then that recording becomes part of your training library that you can refer people to when you want to teach them to run comps. This is a huge time saver! 

VIBER

VIBER

If you've been listening to my Level Up Your Business Podcast, then you know I talk about Viber quite a bit. Viber allows you to communicate via voice, message, video and “walkie talkie.” You can also exchange images, recorded video and audio messages. 

How's It Increase Productivity

Here’s an example of one of the many ways Viber increases your productivity: if you want to relay a quick task to your virtual assistant or local staff to complete, instead of having to call or compose an email -  there's an option where you can press a button on the Viber app and speak into the recorder.

Your staff will immediately receive your audio instructions in real time. This is incredibly useful when you're driving, or you have a spur of the moment idea/task that you need taken care of. 

MARKETING TOOLS

CLICKFUNNELS

CLICKFUNNELS

ClickFunnels is a website builder that allows you to create everything from: lead generation pages, sales funnels, membership sites, landing pages, and e-commerce systems - all with the ease of a drag and drop interface.  

Clickfunnels is pretty much the backbone of my business and what I use to create almost all of our lead generation pages and websites - including my main site at ryansjohnson.com

There's 2 things I really like about Clickfunnels. The first is how simple it is to use - even if you are a complete non-techie and have no design skills. I'm not a programmer nor a designer, and I'm able to put up any webpage I need for my business easily, without having to go through the hassle of hiring someone to do it. That's a big deal to me. 

The second thing I like is that ClickFunnels is all-in-one system to manage your marketing funnels. Here’s the thing - just having a brochure website page that tells people about your business isn't enough. You need a way to engage with visitors to your site, capture contact info for leads, and easily follow up with them. 

ClickFunnels provides you with all the tools to capture leads; automatically follow up with them via email, text, or voice broadcast; and even accept payments if you need to do so.  

How's It Increase Productivity

The most obvious way that ClickFunnels makes you more productive is that you don't have to piece together multiple marketing softwares that may or may not play nice together. I used to use WordPress and a bunch of plugins to try and do half of what ClickFunnels can do, and it was a nightmare. But with clickfunnels you have one system that allows you to easily create web pages for your business, track your leads, and follow up with them. 

I'm really only skimming the surface on Clickfunnels, so I’ll write a future post where I’ll dig into the software in more detail for you to show you the best ways to use it to level up your business. 

BIGVU

BIGVU

Not too many people have heard of this next tool I’ll discuss. BIGVU is a teleprompter on your phone that scrolls while you record. It allows you to speak candidly with no need to memorize lines or glance down to consult written notes. This means you can keep your eyes on the camera and read your script with ease as it scrolls up the screen, and it can automatically adjust to your cadence. 

So why is that important and how does it make you more productive? Well, in case you haven't noticed -  having a video presence in your business is HUGE right now. It allows your clients and prospects to connect with you more, since ultimately people decide to do business with people they like - not faceless companies - especially if you're a small business.  

If you don’t have some type of video of presence in your business, you should strongly consider it.  

How’s It Increase Productivity?

BIGVU is an incredible time saver if you’re using any type of on-screen video to market your business.  All you have to do is put together your script in the BIGVU app, turn on your phone, look in the camera and read the script as it scrolls on your phone. Videos that used to take me an hour or more to create can now be done within minutes. BIGVU is by far one of my favorite under the radar tools.

ADMINISTRATION TOOLS


Now I’m going to talk about my favorite admin tools that will significantly increase your productivity.

ASANA

ASANA

Asana 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 your team members accountable. 

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. 

How’s It Increase Productivity?

There's a lot of moving pieces in real estate deals. So, anytime you have to constantly circle back with your team to make sure things are getting done, it takes time away from other activities you need to focus on in your business. Asana provides you a way to track who's doing what, when it's due, and how tasks are progressing.  

Part of being productive is having systems in place that ensure things don’t fall through the cracks -  ultimately costing you time and money. That’s why Asana is my favorite tool for accountability.  

TODOIST

TODOIST

Before I got on the Asana bandwagon, I was using Todoist. Although I don't use it anymore, I mention it in this post because you might find you don't need a project management tool as robust as Asana. Todoist is still a very effective tool because it will help you manage your entire staff (both local and virtual) for less than the cost of a steak dinner (it costs less than $30 FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR!). It's hard to beat that value.

How’s It Increase Productivity?

Just like Asana, Todoist helps you maximize productivity by giving you the ability to see all tasks assigned, completed, updated, relevant notes, and shared files in a simple user-friendly interface. And, all communication is synced across your desktop, browser, and mobile app.

G SUITE

GSUITE

G Suite marries your calendar, with your email, with cloud storage and additional cloud editing capabilities. We use G Suite for just about everything that’s document-driven in our business.

G Suite includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. It also includes Google Drive, which is the most valuable resource for me in this package.

How’s It Increase Productivity?

You can't beat the G Suite package for productivity because regardless of what type of document you're working on - a word doc, spreadsheet, a powerpoint, or even a survey - you can collaborate on documents in real time with people remotely (this is what I do with my virtual staff).

It also saves time and helps you stay organized to store all your documents in Gdrive, so that you don't waste time looking on your laptop and usb drives for files when you need to access them

SNIPPING TOOL

SNIPPING TOOL

Snipping Tool is one of the tools I use most daily because it's just so easy and convenient. It allows you to easily capture a screenshot, or snip, of any object on your screen - and then annotate, save, or share the image.

How’s It Increase Productivity?

For productivity, Snipping Tool is great because you can grab an entire screen, or a section, and then copy and paste it in one of the other tools I mentioned (like Viber or Zoom), in order to share the image so it’s easier for you to get your point across than just using text.

The only caveat is Snipping Tool is only for Windows users. The comparable tool for Mac users is called Grab.  

DROPLR

DROPLR

Droplr is Snipping Tool on steroids. Droplr is an awesome tool to effortlessly share files, screenshots, and screencasts with your staff, friends, and colleagues. It's also very useful to create short demo videos or take annotated screenshots to get your point across. It's nice because you can save all of your screenshots and videos on Droplr’s online interface so you can access them at any time.

How’s It Increase Productivity?

For increased productivity, Droplr is awesome. Once you install the browser extension, anytime you want to do a screen grab or record a video you’ll just hit the icon in the top right of your browser - and effortlessly you’ll create a sharable link that has the image you captured or video you created. I use this tool quite a lot to get my point across to my virtual assistants when text won't convey my instructions as effectively

Next Up In Season 2

Next up I’ll finish up the second half of the list of 20 Life Changing Productivity Tools To Add More Hours To Your Day. There's a few tools that I’ll cover which I'm pretty sure most people have never heard of. But if you use these tools, I guarantee they'll increase your productivity and level up your business.

Resources Mentioned In The Podcast

COMMUNICATION TOOLS

  • Line2 - Adds a second phone number and a complete cloud business phone system to your smartphones and computer that's robust, yet affordable
  • Zoom - Conduct online meetings and video webinars with ease
  • Screencast-O-Matic - Record your on-screen activity for tutorial videos, visual presentations, and demonstrations
  • Viber  - Make calls, send messages, exchange images and files - freely and secure

MARKETING TOOLS

  • ClickFunnels  - Website builder that allows you to create everything from: lead generation pages, sales funnels, membership sites, landing pages, and e-commerce systems - all with the ease of a drag and drop interface
  • BIGVU  - A teleprompter on your phone that scrolls while you record so you can speak candidly with no need to memorize lines.

ADMIN TOOLS

  • Asana - Asana is the easiest way for teams to track their work—and get results.
  • Todoist - Maximize productivity by giving you the ability to see all tasks assigned, completed, updated, relevant notes, and shared files in a user-friendly interface
  • G Suite - Marries your calendar, with your email, with cloud storage and additional cloud editing capabilities all in one package that works from your computer, phone or tablet
  • Snipping Tool - Easily capture a screenshot, or snip, of any object on your screen - and then annotate, save, or share the image
  • Droplr - Share files, screenshots, and screencasts to get your point across.
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.

Click to Tweet
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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