Cloud computing is a hot topic lately as a newer type of technology that makes work, collaboration, and sharing information much easier. This is a quick and simple over view of what cloud computing is, how it works, and how it can specifically make your real estate business more profitable and easier to run.
The parts: Cloud computing is based on having a centralized server like a giant hard drive connected to the internet similar to the one in your computer but probably much larger. This stores information and allows information to be accessed off of it from anywhere that has internet. Any good cloud system is up 24/7 and is encrypted with great security features and also has an extra backup so the user’s information can never be lost or stolen. The other part is the portal and how you as a user accesses it. This is the platform that you will use to access your information and share the information. It will be formatted for some specific work like Real Estate, or pictures, or some other purpose. This is so all of your work doesn’t look like a big jumbled mess when you get to it. These are usually provided in the form of an App or website that will provide you with a great robust cockpit that is easy to understand.
How the Cloud works: When you access the cloud from the portal you can upload information into your files from anywhere that has internet, a lot of times from any device. From there the information is stored and backed up. Now your info and documents can be accessed from anywhere when you open your portal from any computer you want from any location which is why it is so easy and convenient. The reason it is accessible from multiple locations at the same time is because after information goes in only once. This is because the cloud will create mirrors of your file so when you access the portal, or share a link to the portal the cloud will mirror what is installed in multiple locations at the same time allowing you to download documents or edit the information. When anything is changed it automatically updates the mirror allowing any other viewers to see the changes within seconds. This now allows everything to be done at amazingly fast speeds and takes up little space. It’s like giving yourself and others a window to see into a central space where you can work together in real time like your all in the same room.
How does this help Real Estate: There are two main ways that cloud computing can help real estate agents. Real estate is a prime candidate for this type of technology because we all work from mobile locations a lot and the cloud will save you tons of time. We don’t spend all day in one location behind a desk so with cloud computing you now have a portal to your entire business from a cell phone if you want wherever you are at. This allows you to spend more time out showing houses while you can still access all of your files, contacts, and information without even needing to come back to the office, or have the work pile up on you. The alternative is to carry all of your files and big white board with you. It’s much more efficient to just carry a smart phone or ipad to share information or manage your escrows.
The cost: The best benefit in this economy is cost savings. The great part about cloud computing is that it will save you money because you only need one copy if you even print documents at all. Think about how much you spend on paper and printer ink. I recently read that the average employee spends $15,000 a year in paper alone. That will put a dent in the bottom line. Another one is storage costs which will be wiped out with cloud computing as it will be stored for you automatically. Lastly, with increased efficiency you can probably cut down on staffing with a lot of steps being done automatically for them with the cloud, which includes transaction coordinators. If you have help to manage your workload, they can access the portal for you to speed up work and spend more time gaining more business. An average real estate brokerage right now runs at a 5% profit margin. With cloud computing you can cut down overhead by about 40% and push those profits closer 10% doubling your revenue.
With cloud based technology you can easily manage all aspects of your business to save time and money. I think that with a couple years it will be almost mandatory as real estate brokerages won’t really need brick and mortar offices. The work will flow more easily cutting down on delays, human error and the time it takes you to get paid.
Manage your business from the ECP cloud free for 45 days with promo code: Free trial Escrow Coordinator PLUS. Only $15.00 a month after that.