Technology

Asana is a clean, easy-to-learn and highly affordable team task manager

Platform was built to make business easier through collaboration

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

The pitch

Our most recent technology survey showed us that you really like your CRMs.

I get it. Keeping tabs on past and present clients and managing listings are obviously paramount to earning a living in this industry.

However, you also need to oversee all the little things that sew together your transactions. This is why agents need to understand businesses management as well as they do open houses. You can’t let the seams split on that next deal.

Asana is a project collaboration tool that helps teams significantly reduce dependence on email and compartmentalize critical communications. Let’s check it out.

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The sale

Asana is part project management solution, part team-builder. Real estate agents can easily apply its universal task-based workflows to a home sale, from initial listing down to post-closing activities.

Asana excels in its ability to keep you out of your inbox for transaction-oriented content. You’ll still need to sign in to Gmail to find out when to pick up your daughter; however, if your client needs a ride to the closing, it’ll be in Asana.

Rooted in task creation and project fulfillment, Asana is highly granular, enabling users to burrow into deep detail on projects and tasks. Under each task, one can add notes, attachments, assign the task and connect it to a specific project.

You can also pull in people outside the office, “organization guests.” Inviting attorneys, lenders or other agents for their necessary transaction insight only enriches the team effort.

When a preclosing meeting needs to be scheduled, create the task, add the seller’s best times in the comment box, assign it to the “Stark Family Sale” project and move on to the next. It takes only moments.

Asana is contemporary software rooted in the need to share with a number of people a lot of different things. Its very reason for being demands an open, engaging workspace. That is without question achieved here.

Task lists are broken down logically, and it’s easy to drill down into what’s most recent and pertinent.

Asana stubs its toe lightly by allowing you to set alerts for task or project updates to your “actual” inbox. I envision this impacting user adoption, given the solution’s linchpin appeal of “teamwork without email.”

Thankfully, users can turn off this feature and use Asana’s native “Inbox” tab. Do that.

Asana’s Inbox is your foyer, so to speak: the place you enter to get a feel for what’s on your plate for the day. Any sort of notification will be listed and accessible, from new task attachments to a completed assignment.

I find myself referring often to Nekst, which used a series of preset common tasks to steer transaction management.

Asana does something similar by defining projects as a list of tasks. I suppose this is a pretty logical definition, but in this context, it augments the workflow because it keeps completion of the task and team interaction front and center.

Sometimes, great software isn’t great because of the sophistication of its coding. Careful integration of user engagement practices, the actual thought process people go through when faced with assignments and chores while under the umbrella of work, is equally important to the efficacy of a solution. It’s not all ones and zeros and linking to Salesforce and Facebook.

For example, we like to prioritize when given a project, so Asana gives users the ability to create sections within projects. More or less, these are headings under which the most critical tasks can be dropped.

In a real estate use case, under the “Stark Family Sale” project, staging activities would be more critical than scheduling the open house. Pretty easy stuff.

Tasks under each section can be parsed into subtasks and sent to individual team members with their own due dates, comments and notes.

Your tasks can be assigned to multiple projects and further defined by a tagging system, similar to how you use tags to expand the context of a social media post.

I’m a fan of tagging features because they bind all aspects of a project together, like an invisible swath of netting.

Asana garnishes this interconnectedness of tasks and projects with hypertext, a feature that uses the “@” symbol to reference other tasks, tags, people or projects. Yes, just like in social media. Sharp.

The close

Asana wasn’t built for the real estate industry, but it sure can help you. Teams of 15 members or less can use it for free.

Asana ultimately succeeds because it makes everything within its projects, sections, tasks and subtasks easy to digest. The visual cues and formatting take great care in walking us through their respective priorities. Everything is connected and naturally organized, even in its Apple and Android mobile versions.

This software is a great example of how the real world and programming overlap. It wasn’t software built for the sake of building software; it was built to do what it does: make business easier to transact through better collaboration.

Do you use Asana? What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.