March 2019 - Netlines

Apps for Real Estate Agents: Increase Productivity and Profits

As a real estate agent, you spend more time at showings and client meetings than in the office, which means your phone is your number one tool of business. Whether or not you consider yourself to be tech-savvy, apps can be an easy and smart way to enhance your business.

From apps developed specifically for realtors to common multi-use apps, here are our top picks for apps that make your business more productive – which we all know means more profitable.

5 Top Apps for Real Estate Agents

1.     RPR Mobile

RPR Mobile is a property research app designed exclusively for REALTORS ®. It connects to MLS/CIE and public records to display market statistics and property data, create branded reports, search properties, and more. You can even add and save your own photos, text, or audio notes to any property. With RPR mobile, you have all of the property data you need whenever you’re in the field.

2.     Dotloop

Dotloop is an end-to-end transaction management solution designed for real estate. And since speed is a necessity in the real estate industry, dotloop is the answer for making transactions quick and streamlined. Everyone involved in the negotiations is included in one “loop” for contracts and paperwork. Realtors can modify contracts in the app, as well as use bank-approved eSignatures. This is one of the highest rated apps for real estate agents and was featured on Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

3.     Evernote

Evernote is a multi-purpose note taking app. Features include syncing notes with others, taking and storing photos of handwritten notes, transforming written text into computer text, scanning and saving documents, and searching for keywords. There is both a free version and a paid version of the app, letting you test before investing. Evernote wasn’t designed specifically for real estate agents, but using it may make you think otherwise!

4.     Buffer

Buffer is a social-media scheduling app for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Pinterest. Real estate agents know that social media is important for engaging and finding leads, but it can be time consuming to remember each day. With Buffer and just a few hours per week, you can completely manage your social media posts so you can “set it and forget it”. 

5.     NetLines

NetLines is a second phone number app that puts another number on your personal smartphone. For realtors, this helps separate work and personal life, while still remaining accessible to clients. Opening the app is like opening a second phone – you have a separate contacts page, separate voicemail, and separate messaging. You can keep all of your professional communication in one place for easy management.

With NetLines, you can stop plastering your personal number on ads around town. Hand out your NetLines number instead. And unlike some other second phone number apps, you can see when an incoming call is to your NetLines number. If it’s an inconvenient time, you know not to answer!

Interested in NetLines? Check out our Plans & Pricing or Features pages for more information.

Categories: Small Business

Why Your Business Needs an Auto Attendant

How do callers reach the right person in your business? Some companies list multiple phone numbers on their website, some use a receptionist, and some use a “whoever answers the phone first” method. But the best way for many businesses to route callers is through an auto attendant.

What is an auto attendant?

Not everyone is familiar with the term “auto attendant,” but everyone knows what it is. Some call it a virtual receptionist. It’s the automatic greeting that provides keypad prompts to direct callers to departments or people. It can also provide basic business information, such as store hours or current deals.

Using an auto attendant as your phone answering service is the easiest and most cost-effective way to not only improve customer satisfaction, but also to increase employee productivity. Here’s why your business needs an auto attendant:

More Professional

First impressions matter. An auto attendant greeting immediately gives callers a polished, professional impression of your business. Unlike a receptionist, the auto attendant works 24/7/365, never has a bad day, and always gives the exact same welcome message. You can even customize the message for after business hours or holidays.

It doesn’t matter if you are an established small business with 20 employees or a new start up (like you and a friend working from your garage) – with auto attendant, callers won’t be able to tell. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to immediately give your business an edge.

Save Money

Compared to other professional alternatives, a phone service with auto attendant is typically cheaper. Whether you’re considering a full-time receptionist or relying on an office manager or admin, an auto attendant eliminates that need. You’ll save employee time and money that can be better spent elsewhere.

Some companies also consider a live virtual receptionist. While these services are cheaper than a full-time employee, they still cost hundreds of dollars each month. For most businesses, it is a completely unnecessary cost that can be better handled with an auto attendant.

Optimize Call Handling

We’ve all been there – you call a business and you get the dreaded, “Let me put you on hold while I transfer you…”, only for the call to get dropped or to be transferred to the wrong person.

With auto attendant, this never happens. Callers get to pick who they speak to, getting them to the right person, the first time. And if you are using a completely virtual phone system, like NetLines, it can connect to employee’s cell phones, increasing call answer rate.

Auto attendant streamlines your internal communication, reducing caller frustration and optimizing employee time.

Increase Productivity

For any small business, time is a precious resource. Employees often wear multiple hats and juggle many priorities. Administrative tasks only take away from work on key growth initiatives and operations.

With an automated attendant, the call routing process is automated, freeing up employee time. Each employee or department gets the proper calls, on time. No waiting for transfers or for another team member to relay a message. Customer questions or problems are addressed efficiently, improving employee and department productivity.

Advance Your Business with Auto Attendant

Implementing an auto attendant is smart business sense: it is more professional, saves money, optimizes call handling, and increases productivity. Not to mention it’s inexpensive.

With NetLines, you get a completely virtual phone system on your existing smartphone. Its advanced auto attendant feature will elevate your business without costing you big bucks. Explore our Voice Valet and other features to see if NetLines may be right for you and your business.

Categories: Small Business

The Best Business Books of 2018 that Everyone Should Read

Business books aren’t just for CEOs and entrepreneurs. 2018 delivered tons of great business books that are must-reads for everyone. If you haven’t already grabbed them, now is the time to add these books to your 2019 reading list.

With new research, engaging memoirs, and educational how-to’s, this roundup of 2018’s best business books will help you at home, at work, and everywhere in between.

Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin

Fishkin is the founder and former CEO of Moz, a $45 million a year marketing software business. And Lost and Founder is his part-memoir, part-field guide to the startup world. Reviewers have raved about its honest, warm, and humorous perspective on the tech startup world, while still offering useful advice to anyone in the field.

Lost and Founder can serve as a guidebook for any aspiring tech entrepreneur, but for those of us not in that world, it still offers a fascinating story. Fishkin paints a tech startup culture that is very different from the picture-perfect Silicon Valley image that some companies (and Hollywood) would have us believe.

Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth by John Doerr

John Doerr, investor in Google, shares his secret to success in his new business book, Measure What Matters. Doerr uses a goal-setting system called Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), where objectives are broken down into goals, each goal with measurable actions within a specific time frame. Every individual’s goals and every team’s goals are transparent and align with the overall OKRs.

In Measure What Matters, Doerr uses stories of OKR success at over 50 companies from his time as a venture capitalist to inspire and teach. You can learn the ins and outs of the OKR approach, so you can apply them to any organization of which you’re a part.

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle

In The Culture Code, Coyle goes behind-the-scenes of successful groups – from SEAL Team Six, the San Antonio Spurs, and IDEO, the global design company, to figure out what makes them tick. Through his research, he identifies how people best work together and how leaders can develop a successful group culture.

Through stories and specific strategies, Coyle offers any leader insight and advice on developing a team that innovates, solves problems, and works well together. You’ll leave this book feeling empowered to transform your teams, at work and beyond.

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

While not strictly for business, this is one of those personal development books that can really help us in our time-strapped, always-on business world. Pink uses research to understand how timing, the “when”, impacts outcomes and how to use that knowledge to improve our productivity and our success.

When combines research and data with engaging stories to deliver insights and practical tips on how to use timing to improve all aspects of our lives. Pink will have you rethinking your routines and working to optimize your day.

Ask a Manager: How to Navigate Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work by Alison Green

This is the business book that every employee needs at their desk. Alison Green, often referred to as “the Dear Abby of the work world”, shares learnings from her past ten years as a workplace-advice columnist in her new book. From being micromanaged to getting drunk at the office holiday party, Green has practical advice for those difficult conversations that need to happen in the workplace.

Ask a Manager is a must-have resource that covers over 200 scenarios, helping you stay professional while communicating effectively throughout your career.

Categories: Small Business

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