COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | DONNA SANFILIPPO

Innovative real estate products to help you sell more homes

Look around you. The world you see is less like Andy Griffith’s Mayberry and more like the outer space world of the Jetsons. You can use your phone to talk face-to-face with people thousands of miles away, push a button to turn on your car, and connect instantly with your customers on Twitter and Facebook. In a world where technological upgrades can surface by the minute, two new innovative real estate products promise to be as simple to use as they are groundbreaking.

They’re called “RealtorPlus” and “Google Apps,” and the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors is helping agents and brokers tap into the new services. Recently, SDAR entered into an agreement with Google to make Google’s technology accessible and usable to the Realtor community. The tools I highlight below will revolutionize the way we do business and brand our companies, and it will help you sell more homes. And you don’t need to be a 19-year-old computer whiz to use them.

Google Apps’ cloud technology allows you to access documents, emails, contacts, calendars and more from any computer, phone or tablet. Have you ever been away from the office and regretted that you didn’t print and bring a document with you? With Google Apps, you can pull up that spreadsheet in an instant, and your business doesn’t have to wait. Google Apps lets you bring your office with you wherever you go.

Better coordinate with clients and colleagues using calendar functions, organizing contacts into groups, hosting conference calls and instantly sharing documents. The flexibility of being able to send a document to a client and edit it together in real time can help you close deals faster, communicate better and sell more homes.

With Google Apps, you can quickly create and update Web pages for each of your listings — pages that serve as the central location for anything and everything connected to your listing. You also can continue to use your existing email address or create a new Realtor branded email address, get rid of your landline altogether, and automatically back up all of your important files. You can reduce your information technology costs and storage space with the reliability and security of Google. No longer do you need mail servers or storage devices, which cuts down on archiving and deleting files. Google Apps comes with 25 gigabytes of mail storage and 5GB of file storage — that’s almost 50 times the average email storage capacity. Businesses are moving to cloud technology; it’s time Realtors did, too.

The easiest way to go Google is to sign up for RealtorPlus.

With RealtorPlus, you get the Google Apps at no additional cost. When you sign up for RealtorPlus, you also receive a professional portrait you can use on the Web or on business cards. You also receive free PC repairs — up to six a year. Where else can you find a deal like that?

RealtorPlus also gives you a range of other services and discounts that could save you hundreds of dollars or more a year. For $49 a year, you get all the benefits of Google Apps and RealtorPlus. The fee will pay for itself in no time. If you are not a Realtor, Google Apps is still available through SDAR.

Technology has forever changed the real estate business. RealtorPlus and Google Apps give you the tools you need to thrive in this new environment.

To register, visit sdar.com/rp or call Member Services at 858-715-8040.


Sanfilippo is board president of the San Diego Association of Realtors.

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