How to Best Use Evernote in Your Real Estate Business
It's all about capturing, saving and sharing of information all in one place.
Evernote can become one of your most valuable business tools if you develop habits and set up automation to save information, located it when you need it, and share it selectively with clients or other business contacts. Because Evernote can search within PDF files, and uses OCR to search text in images, just about anything you can get into Evernote from your computer, cell phone as text, or cell camera is searchable later.
It's a really efficient way to store information, but even more so, to locate it later. Here are 50 ways in which I use Evernote in my real estate business.
UPDATE OCT 2017: I'm still an avid user of Evernote, using it to also collaborate with clients. It's the one software tool that I've continued to use for more than 8 years.
- Email notes right out of Evernote to anyone.
- Take photos of plats, courthouse documents, etc. and send to Evernote from the field.
- Take photos & text notes to picture message to Evernote to remember caravan/tour property features.
- Document new home construction progress with picture/text messages to special Evernote address.
- Again in new home deals, take photos/text notes to document change order completion.
- As you move around the Web, clip images, pieces of text, or entire pages to a note.
- For Google Reader users, the "Send To" link can be set up to send the feed item to a note.
- If you're using a GPS enabled phone, text in coordinates to a note.
- Instead of email drafts, unclutter email by working on developing items in a note, then email the note.
Office, Time Management & Accounting
- Using both the onboard software and the Web version, everything stays synced between them.
- Using a Jott.com link, send transcribed notes with link to audio on to Evernote.
- Share notes with others by sharing entire notebooks securely.
- Use an Assistant Notebook to selectively share instructions and notes with an assistant.
- For brokers, use Agent Notebooks for the same purpose.
- Add task completion check boxes to notes to know when agents/assistant complete a task.
- Text notes to assistants and agents from the field, saving for documentation in Evernote.
- Take cell photo of receipts, text in for a record, and text is searchable.
- Use email rules/filters to auto-send invoices from email to Evernote.
- Take cell photo of checks before deposit, and deposit receipt after, text in to a note.
- Evernote can be set up to monitor and auto-sync with folders on your computer to copy documents to notes without hassle.
- Using filters/rules, have all emails mentioning buyer or seller names go to notes.
- Services like Google Voice, Callwave, Jott, or other voicemails with transcribed text can be forwarded to transaction notebook, and link to audio goes with it.
- If accompanying inspectors, use pic/text messages to document inspection issues.
- Use "before and after" cell camera images to document repairs completion to a note.
- Use a shared transaction notebook to share images and notes with remote buyers.
- Deliver documents via attaching them to notes in a shared notebook.
- Before they disappear, document survey corner stakes with pic/text message.
- Bring all emails, documents, notes, text messages and voicemails into one transaction folder.
- Take cell picture of electric and gas meters for numbers and readings for utility swaps.
- When transaction closes, save all notes in folder to html to print to one document in date order.
- Save closed transaction folder notes in Evernote format to hard drive and CD for recall later, deleting the notebook.
- Create an image and info notebook to share with prospective buyers via email.
- Keep up with all notes, tasks, seller comments, seller emails, etc. in one listing notebook.
- Document property check visits for remote sellers with pic/text messages, copy to Evernote.
- Call in notes with Jott.com from cell phone with lockbox codes, other property issues.
- Impress seller on first visit by taking cell images with text to save and remember features you'll want to market about the property.
- Clip property listings from sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, etc. to send the full page to the seller.
- When other Realtors comment or give feedback via email or voicemail, send to listing notebook to share with seller.
- Send immediate voice-to-Jott feedback to seller and Evernote when you're showing your listed property.
- Save time & trips by taking cell images of utility bills to file for verification of account numbers and utility costs...text searchable in the images.
- Clip marketing ideas from websites, or send links from feed readers to Evernote for use later.
- Share a notebook with your newspaper ad rep to share ideas and make ad changes.
- Do the same sharing thing with your website or blog person(s) to clip ideas from around the Web, like "Can we do this?"
- Work directly in notes, rather than other software, to make sharing or sending via email later easy and fast. Add to the note as ideas develop.
- Use Evernote's great search capability to pull together everything you've saved in the past related to keywords or people.
- Take photos of business cards before you lose them. Don't scan, as Evernote will search in the text of the card.
- Send Tweets to Evernote with special command right in the tweet. Keep important consumer Twitter interactions where you can find them.
- Evernote pulls together all types of information from various sources in a way that allows good organization and easy location of information later.
- Using online faxing, you can have faxed PDF documents automatically forwarded into Evernote for storage and retrieval.
- Using both the software and online versions, you have complete control of your synced notes, and redundant protection.
I'm sure you'll come up with other uses, as we're a document and task heavy business. I consider Evernote as one of my most valuable "stress reduction" tools. It makes me feel more in control of today's information overload.