Are you ready to work less and get better results? If so, making your business more fun and efficient is now easier than you ever dreamed.
1. Play the Headline Analyzer game
Coming up with great headlines for your ads, marketing materials, blog and social media posts can be a pretty challenging business. The problem is that most agents have no way to evaluate the strength of their headline. Now there is a fun way to beat the problem with an online Headline Analyzer. This powerful tool will help you write more effective headlines for your print and Web marketing.
Begin by entering your headline to see how it scores. Play with it until the score is 40 percent or more to help you design a better headline. (Some tips to score higher are to use the words "you," "your," "secrets" and "strategies," and to use numbers.) This fun tool is free. Be forewarned, however, it’s also addictive.
2. Work less, post more
For anyone who produces his or her own newsletter or blog posts, coming up with fresh content is a major challenge. The National Association of Realtors has just started a new Realtor partner program through HouseLogic.com that provides a whole host of consumer-related articles for Realtors to legally republish on their website or blog, or use in print advertising. There is no charge for this exclusive service for NAR members.
3. Never e-mail a file again
Are you tired of having picture or video files bounce because the file is too big? If so, there’s a simple solution: Dropbox.com. To share a file with a client (or anyone else for that matter), set up a private Dropbox file for each person. Then, merely drag and drop it into the appropriate Dropbox file. You can also use Dropbox to share files with multiple users.
Dropbox is super simple and much faster than uploading and downloading files via e-mail. Moreover, Dropbox is an easy way to import and export data from your iPad. If you store less than two gigs of information, Dropbox is free.
4. Remember everything!
At least that’s what the home page for Evernote.com claims. Evernote has hundreds of uses. For example, if you’re tired of cutting and pasting articles, or forgetting the grocery list, Evernote will make all those little sticky notes go away. Evernote also allows you to grab articles from the Web that you would like to read later.
To save an article on Evernote, simply open your Evernote file, click on the article, and the article is saved for future reference. Furthermore, even if the articles are locked down in a PDF format, when you add them to Evernote they immediately become searchable.
Like Dropbox, Evernote is a cloud solution that allows you to sync all of your data automatically to your smart phone, iPad and/or computer. This means that you can easily obtain your data when and where you need it.
5. Manage your money in one place
You know you should be on a budget, but it’s a pain to use an Excel spreadsheet. Now there’s a terrific solution from Mint.com that enables you to manage your money from a single platform.
Mint.com also generates charts based upon your current spending so you can quickly assess where you are in terms of your budget. Instead of waiting for your bookkeeper or accountant to run your numbers each month, Mint.com updates daily. Best of all, this tool is free.
6. Get rid of those pesky receipts
Let’s face it, tracking all the receipts in our business is a nuisance. If you’re like most agents you probably have your receipts stuffed in a drawer or a shoebox. What’s the solution? Check out Shoeboxed.com. All you do is send them your receipts, they scan them, organize them, and they’re ready to go to your account. They can also scan business cards. The basic service is about $10 per month.
7. Avoid having to talk to irritating clients
Do you miss calls from clients or friends and wish you could just call them back and have your call go immediately to their voicemail? If so, check out Slydial.com. Slydial can be a real time-saver, especially when you need to leave a message for a client and a text won’t do.
It’s also a great way to avoid talking to a windbag when you have other things to do. Simply dial your Slydial number, enter the number you want to call, and leave your message. The free service is supported by ads. The pay service is either 10 cents a call or $2.95 per month.
8. Fun online greeting cards
While there are plenty of great sources for online greeting cards, if you would like to have some fun while providing a customized card for your clients, check out JibJab.com. These are the folks who let you "elf yourself."
To take full advantage of their services, you will have to be able to cut and paste the heads of your recipients into the program. (If you don’t already have a "snipping" program installed on your machine, check out Snagit.com. If you’re using a Mac, the snipping function is holding down the Command, Shift and "4" keys together.)
Once you have snipped your "heads" and saved them to your photo file, you can then upload them into the JibJab system. After you upload, Jibjab creates a customized, animated movie that you can e-mail to your clients. The basic annual membership is $12 per year. You can also save your movie or have it placed on a DVD for less than $10.
If you’re ready for a little less work and a lot more time, any of these tools can help you have fun while being even more efficient.