April 27th, 2020
Ways to maintain company culture while working from home
In a COVID-19 world, many property managers face a new and unfamiliar reality: working from home. Having previously spent as much time on the road as you did in the office, it’s likely quite the adjustment. Coupled with a lack of hardware, software and infrastructure, the challenges posed by working from home are many and varied.
Luckily, there are a number of work from home tech tools for property managers that can make this transition a little easier. From video conferencing to noise cancellation, document signing to task management, let’s take a look at 46 of the most effective tech tools for property managers, and how they can ensure you uphold your customer service standards during these self-isolated times.
[F] = Free plan available.
When you’re isolated from your team and your clients, it’s important to keep up virtual communication to stay connected.
Zoom [F]: The most popular video conferencing software, Zoom is beautifully simple to use and allows for more than 10 participants.
Slack [F]: Designed to replace email, Slack puts all your communications in one place.
Google Hangouts [F]: Google Hangouts is a total (and totally free) communication solution for small businesses who utilise Gmail.
Microsoft Teams: Included in your Office 365 subscription, Teams almost acts like an intra-office social network.
Skype [F]: The original video conferencing tool remains one of the best offerings, and is used across the board.
WhatsApp [F]: A simple and secure messaging app, WhatsApp is a fantastic option for team and client communication.
PropertyMe: Cloud property management software that includes communication features such as @mentions for internal communication, and a wide variety of external communication functions like an inbox and outbox, Owner and Tenant Access and triggered messages.
Gmail [F]: The go-to email provider offers endless functionality at an affordable price.
GoToMeeting: Carry a boardroom in your pocket with GoToMeeting, a conferencing tool with market-leading functionality.
In-person inspections might be banned to contain the spread of COVID-19, but with the help of smart technology you can still check in on your properties and tenants to ensure that cabin fever hasn’t resulted in cabin damage.
Facebook Live [F]: Free and used by many, Facebook Live is a great way to conduct both inspections and walk-throughs.
Instagram Live [F]: Similar to Facebook Live, Instagram Live is another great tool to showcase your properties.
Skype [F]: This video conferencing tool is less public and more personal, making it great for private inspections, tenant assisted inspections and maintenance calls.
FaceTime [F]: This option is ideal for iPhone users who require a simple video call solution.
It’ll take more than a global pandemic to stop the paperwork. While you may not be able to place a pen in a client’s hand, there are other ways to ensure documents are completed.
DocuSign: Committed to banishing ink and paper to history, the pioneers of e-signatures now offer the world’s first Agreement Cloud.
DocHub [F]: Fast, simple and free to use (at a basic level), DocHub makes obtaining e-signatures easy.
FLK IT OVER: This powerful tool turns the leasing process from complex to instant—you’ll soon wonder how you ever got on without it!
REI Forms: Having assisted in the creation of over 25 million real estate forms, REI Forms offers simple and 100% compliant document management.
JotForm [F]: Build and send out online forms instantly and for free with JotForm.
TypeForm: Promising forms that are as beautiful as they are functional, TypeForm is for the more artistic property manager.
Google Forms [F]: The leader in elegant simplicity, and free to use, Google Forms is #1 for a reason.
Thanks to cloud technology, you can manage your properties from anywhere you choose.
PropertyMe: With your property management tools and data in the cloud, you can work from anywhere, at any time, provided there’s an internet connection. Collaborate in real-time, organise maintenance, automate trust accounting, perform remote inspections using Integrators and streamline internal and external communications with PropertyMe.
Faced with challenging market conditions, selling yourself and your brand becomes more important than ever. It’s time to get creative with your marketing efforts.
Canva [F]: Create professional-level marketing assets and graphics for free using a treasure trove of predesigned templates.
Plezzel: Target customers with automated, real estate-specific marketing solutions.
Mailchimp [F]: The long-time leader in small business email marketing has expanded its repertoire, and now offers a comprehensive suite of marketing solutions.
BoxBrownie: This is the site for all your visual listing needs, from edited photos to virtual tours.
Hootsuite: Ready to post? Use Hootsuite for simple and clever social media scheduling.
Adobe Creative Cloud: Nothing comes close to Creative Cloud in terms of photo and video editing capability.
Animoto [F]: While less packed with features than the Adobe offering, this free cloud-based tool makes video creation incredibly easy.
Gone are the days when Microsoft Office was installed on a single computer and data was stored on a single hard drive. Flexibility is now the name of the game.
Dropbox [F]: An ideal media storage solution for property managers, you can get 2GB for free!
Google Drive [F]: Either get 15GB of personal storage free or utilise an excellent value business plan on Google’s storage offering.
G Suite [F]: A worthy adversary to Microsoft Office, personal use is free, and business use is cheap.
Office 365: The original, MS Office can now be operated completely from the cloud.
Assaulted by all the distractions of home, time management has never been more important. Thankfully there are tech tools for that.
Toggl: Keep track of your professional hours with Toggl, a simple time tracking and productivity tool.
PropertyMe: PropertyMe’s Activity Feed and Insights features allow you to gain a greater understanding of your portfolio and team activity.
RescueTime: ‘Get more done (without working more)’—the sales pitch of this distraction-blocking software is tempting.
Google Calendar [F]: Sync with your Gmail for efficient and effective scheduling.
While you need to ensure that you have basic security measures like two-factor authentication on all accounts, you can also use clever password management tools to keep your accounts safe.
LastPass [F]: Securely store and automatically fill your passwords from verified devices.
Chrome password manager [F]: Chrome users get Google’s LastPass equivalent for free.
Without the traditional structure provided by the office, prioritising tasks can be difficult when working from home. So why not employ some technological help?
Trello [F]: Visualise and manage your workflow using the Kanban method.
Todoist: Shift tasks from your head to your device by creating these simple and wonderfully effective to-do lists.
Evernote [F]: Relieve your overladen brain and diary by logging, organising and retrieving notes instantly.
Google Keep [F]: Google’s Evernote equivalent is every bit as minimalist and functional as you’d expect from the tech giant.
Microsoft To Do: Microsoft also has an equivalent task manager, as part of its 365 package, that offers AI-driven insights on how to work better.
Asana [F]: A combination communication and task management tool, you get a lot of tech for free in Asana’s basic package.
A couple of useful work from home tech tools that fit in the miscellaneous category include…
Noisli [F]: The kids screaming, the dog barking, the partner cleaning; the value of a productive soundscape, like those offered by Noisli, is never more plain than when working from home.
Grammarly [F]: Write professional-level prose with this handy tool to ensure your message gets across.
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