There is no denying the fact has COVID-19 has changed the landscape of how we do business, and I believe that a lot of those changes are here to stay.
As Realtors, how we communicated and interacted with our clients has changed. I’ve been working on adapting my work life and my personal life to the changing surroundings as of late. I’ve also realized that there are a lot of people trying to reinvent the same wheel, and I wanted to share a collection of apps that I have found help me and just might help you. First let’s identify some areas where technology, apps in particular, might be able to make an impact with this market shift. The main three areas related to work are: filing/documentation, meeting/connecting, and presentations. And then I wanted to share some apps that have helped my personal health. Let’s start with work.
- Scanner Pro: there are a lot of apps that will turn your phone into a high impact document scanner, and I personally like Scanner Pro a lot! While using these apps it is very important that you learn how to use them well. You should always use your flash, and try to limit any and all shadows on the documents for your scans. It is also very important that you know how large your file sizes are (1 page should be less than 1 megabyte), and which format you are scanning in (ie: letter vs legal size), which can be edited after you scan typically on a phone. When you get enough practice you can teach your clients to take pictures of documents to send you that can then be turned into documents with Scanner Pro – be careful though, a large number of your clients will likely zoom in too close and you will be unable to get a good document. You can always zoom in.
- Dropbox/Google Drive: Having a platform that allows you to manage files digitally can be of great use, and it might be difficult to explain this clearly if you don’t know at all what I’m talking about. If that is you there a thousands of millennials and members of Gen Z near you who can help explain this. You can sync a cold on your computer to these services, and that will likely make it much easier for you to share files with members of your office/team.
- Zoom/Google Hangouts: If you haven’t been on a zoom call yet you can find out more about this service from the millions of people across America who have been using it everyday. Both of these services provide the ability for multiple people to be on a video conference at the same time from a phone, tablet, or a computer. Download these and play with them, there is a whole lot to say on this topic, and a lot of other services that can help with this need.
- YouTube/Bombbomb: If you are trying to find ways to send people video messages that they can watch over and over again, like a walk-through tour of the house, YouTube is a great option! This is a free option that comes along with a Gmail account, and you should learn how to make the video links unlisted if you are sending them to a particular person. Only people with that link will be able to see that video. There are other premium services out there that can help you connect with people via video, and I personally like Bombbomb. If you contact them ask for Sterling, I sat down with him for a few hours last fall in Colorado Springs, and they have some great functionalities to help you connect with people.
- iMovie/PocketVideo: if you are an Apple product use iMovie is a great way to very simply put something together for a client if you are wanting to spice up how you connect with them. If you are wanting to show off a new listing and can afford to hire someone to shoot a professional video to go along with your pictures that would be a wonderful way to serve your clients in working to sell their home, and to keep them and the public safe from further spreading COVID-19 when it could be helped. However, if you are just wanting to do quick walkthrough videos, or wanting to send an update to someone you could start by making videos to send to your friends, family, and clients. You can also download apps like PocketVideo that will allow you to edit video content. You need to know which platform you will be sending any videos that you edit in iMovie or PocketVideo, these apps are only used to edit videos, they are not the host (ie: YouTube).
Health – “Rule of thumb: Eat for what you’re going to be doing, and not for what you have done.”
You are possibly not moving as much as you are used to, and it’s possible that you might want to consider changing how much you are exerting yourself, and also how much you are putting in your body to then need to burn off. I have a close friend who is a professional trainer and he has changed my life. Not everyone is ready to hire a trainer, so let’s talk about some other ways to stay focused on your health.
- My Fitness Pal: There are a lot of different ways to keep up with a health plan, and My Fitness Pal is a great option! It does have premium services, you’ll be fine just sticking with the free stuff for now. The app has several features, but maybe just start by logging your meals to get an idea of what your caloric intake is in this new world we are living in. If you don’t know what is going in you’ll never know how much you need to burn off.
- Map My Run: this is another great tool for tracking your routine, and if you want to make this a reality you might need to start by putting it on the calendar for the same times each week.
- Fitbit: I would love to just share free stuff, however I am a recent convert to Fitbit to better track my sleep. My Fitbit watch stays on all of the time and I have to charge it about once per week. I have been laser focused on tracking my sleep patterns and finding out how to make sure I’m well rested. The watch actually tracks: light sleep, deep sleep, REM sleep, and when you are awake. I could go on, I just wish someone would’ve told me sooner!
- Pocket Yoga: If you are used to going to a studio for Yoga this is worth a shot on your phone or tablet – I do recommend getting some bluetooth headphones that will allow you to move around and see the screen.
- Headspace: Mental health a very underrepresented topic in our society, and I think right about now a lot of people are probably seeing that, or unknowingly experiencing a shift in them or their family. I have a hard time stopping and slowing down, and I recommend finding a way to let go more. Headspace might be able to assist you with this.
The last thing I’d say about apps is that you should probably put your phone down! If you are tracking your screen time this would be a good time to find some accountability on how much of your time should be spent staring at a screen right now. If you are great at holding yourself accountable you are in the minority of society, and I am jealous. If you are like me and could use some honest feedback this is a great time to start making some changes in your life both personal and professional, and maybe it’s time to find that external accountability. Hiring a coach has helped me personally and professionally because I need that kind of external feedback. You know your own limits and boundaries so please take this time to find some shortcuts with things like apps, and also make sure that you are letting go of your phone and walking around the block. This would be a great time to call someone to tell them that you love them!