My partner and I were chatting about a few deals recently. He is a technology fanatic who knows every cutting edge application out there. I mean literally every. Single. One. Of. Them. And of course, I’ve tried my hardest to continue learning, using, finding, and doing everything he does. With some success.
Some of the applications he’s introduced me to are for document storage (we use Google Drive), some are for to do lists (Todoist), and some for CRM (Zoho)—and there’s one used for back and forth communication in real time: Evernote.
Evernote has changed the whole way I approach a property, how I walk through, how I do my workup, how I view communication with our team, how I share information, and how I gather documents, data and pictures.
4 Ways Evernote Has Changed My Real Estate Business
1. It Facilitates Faster Workups
In Evernote, when you open up a new note, you can gather documents, photos, and text all within the same note, and then share it if you like. Yesterday I walked a new property that is a potential rental deal and used Evernote to gather all my data. I used to use my notebook to write down the details for my workup and then transfer that information into our workup form from paper.
Now I get out of my truck, take a few exterior photos, label anything as needed within that property note, and ballpark the expenses for whatever I am looking at, such as tree work, a new roof, etc. I take the photos directly into the note, and then add all the information, like the trees and roof, as well as the approximate cost for each of them. I do the same thing on the inside, taking pictures, notes, and bam… all the information in picture and text form is completed and saved.
This information can then be shared with any team members and within our business, and now someone else can take that workup information, plug it into our spreadsheet, and within a few minutes, the whole workup is completed, and you guessed it, put back into Evernote to view and make any necessary requests to change it.
2. It Allows You to Remember Where Your Pictures Are From
When you take a picture, your note will also automatically add the location, nearly always 100% accurately. So you view 10 properties in a morning? When you walk out, take your picture and create the note for that property, and Evernote will automatically save the location. So you’re at 1234 Main Street, and it will automatically save that address as the name. You can change the name of the note if you like, but at least you know which property it was from, and you can easily go back to remember.
This is also AWESOME for collaboration. Now everyone who is on the note (you can share either a note or a whole group of notes in a “notebook” from the app) can see the property address.
3. It Provides For Easy Collaboration
Need to share receipts with your bookkeeper? When you take the picture of your receipt in the “receipts” notebook, you’ll have a date associated with it (on the receipt and the picture), and Evernote will also save the file differently, depending on what IT thinks and what YOU assign it as. A picture saves as a jpg. If you save the receipt, it saves as a document file and cuts out anything on the background, saving the receipt part automatically.
Want to share your wholesale lead with your associates? Create a new note, add the pertinent information, and boom… shared. We use this all the time now for wholesale leads, listing pictures and information, new deals under contract, potential rental deals, etc. Create a new notebook and save the information there.
Do you find that you need to change what the note is, say from a wholesale lead to a deal you are going to keep and flip? Just quickly change its “note location” within Evernote, and it’s saved.
4. It Allows For Easy File Searching
I meet people all the time. I have notes to remember. I have a notebook. And a laptop. And a cellphone and another notepad. The center console of my truck has everything (that I may or may not need), like receipts, business cards, etc.
What if you could put it all in a place where you could find it, view it, share it, and SEARCH the text in it?
Yeah, Evernote does all of that. So you meet a new client? You now have a searchable business card and could make notes about that person to remember the kind of deals they are looking for, etc. You can also look back for receipts on a particular day or from a particular store.
Although we use a lot of different tools in our line of work, Evernote has quickly become MY go-to application for everyday use. It’s a little bit complicated to get into at first, but as you start to use it, you can figure out how to best set it up for your purposes. You can also use the chat feature to converse with whomever you are sharing documents with, if you have a quick question on something that was just shared.
All in all, after a week or so of playing with it, learning, putting a few pictures into it, there was no doubt it in my mind that it would be a life saver, brain saver, and life organizer for me. Not to mention, it’s so easy to use. I can’t imagine not having it.
How do YOU use Evernote for your business? Any other apps you have found to do something similar?
Leave your comments below!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.