Sometimes it feels like Google is everywhere you look, and for good reason! Most people have a Gmail account because they know Gmail is a reliable and easy-to-use service, and almost everyone uses Google search because they know Google’s search results are better than other search engines. But Google has become much more than a search engine and email provider. Google provides a number of invaluable products to help webmasters manage their websites and run their businesses. Best of all, most of Google’s products are free for anyone with a Google Account. If you don’t have an account, sign up today and get started with some of these powerful Google tools.
Google Analytics gives you important information about the traffic your website receives. See how many people visit your website, how long they stay, and where they come from. This is extremely useful in making sure you’re reaching your target audience while monitoring for potential problems on your website.
Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, the Google Search Console is an excellent companion to Google Analytics. If ranking high in search is important to you – and it should be as a real estate professional with a website – you need to know how your site performs. The Google Search Console allows you to submit your website’s sitemap, monitor your website’s indexing stats, look for crawl errors, and even see which search terms people used to find your website on Google.
Most of us are familiar with Google Drive. After Gmail, it’s probably the most well-known Google tool. It allows you to upload, store, and access documents and files from any device with an internet connection. You’re also able to easily share documents with team members, lenders, buyers, sellers, and anyone else involved in the transaction you’re working.
Every Google account automatically includes 15GB of space on Google Drive but you can increase that for an extremely low price each month. As of the publication date, 100GB costs $1.99 per month and 1TB (that’s terrabyte) is only $9.99 per month. You could easily store all of your records from previous transactions, as well as other business documents for pennies and always have access to them wherever you are.
You may be familiar with Evernote and other note-taking apps. Google Keep is Google’s answer with all the connectivity you’re used to. You can type or speak your notes, reminders, and to-do lists. Next, share them with your team members or clients. You can even watch in real time as a list gets checked off. If you’re on the go and realize you needed to make a note in a file or add something to your assistant’s list, Google Keep lets you record the note and share it or access it from any device later.
We all have calendars – one on our phone, one on our computer, probably another in the car or on our desk. Keeping up with all of them can be a nightmare. With Google Calendar, you’ll have the same exact calendar in multiple places. You can access your calendar from desktop, tablet, or phone. You’ll also get reminders and be able to share meetings with clients or team members. Add an event to your calendar on one device, and it will automatically sync to all of them.
Our contacts are like our calendars. You have some in your phone, a few in your email, and probably some written down on random pieces of paper. With Google Contacts, you can organize all of your contacts without the need for an expensive client management system. Enter your contacts and organize them by groups like buyers, sellers, etc. You can merge duplicates and remove others as needed. You’ll also have easy access to email your contacts or have a quick chat or video call.
Google Meet is Google’s solution to the teleconferencing nightmare we’re all familiar with. With the free version, up to 25 people can join a call with or without video from their computer, tablet, or phone. You can share a screen and even mute people who have bad background noise. It makes meeting with your office easier or sitting down with clients from across the state, country, or world. Inviting people to the meeting is easy by email or text. You can also send a meeting notification directly to a contact by email. If someone doesn’t have wifi, they can call in and still participate.
For ease of use, connectivity, and a way to decrease costs, Google products can make sense. As long as you have an internet connection, you have access to your files, contacts, and appointments with the click of a button. You’ll also have information and tools you need to organize and build your business. Google can’t provide everything you need to run a real estate website or business (yet) but by using the tools they offer, you can save money and time.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.