By Paperless Pipeline
Real estate agents handle a ton of paperwork for a multitude of clients, and order is essential for maximum efficiency. Thus, your organizational skills should be impeccable, but traditional methods of storing physical real estate files can be a daunting task for any agent. However, as technology advances, more efficient methods are emerging that greatly simplify the organization of files. Here are some tips for organizing your real estate files.
Paperless mode; Use PDFs
The most useful tip for organizing real estate files in 2021 is to move away from paperwork. File cabinets and foil envelopes are a thing of the past, and using digital files is a necessary step that will make organizing your files much easier.
To get started with your transition to a paperless real estate office, you will need real estate PDF software. PDF is a portable document format that can represent your text and real estate images as well as printed documents, and Adobe Acrobat is the industry standard for reading and editing PDFs. Consider subscribing to premium services so you can edit and organize your digital documents.
Transaction management software is also required to go paperless. Transaction Management Software for Real Estate Agents helps to close deals and also provides transparency between the parties involved. In addition, such programs should also allow you to upload your PDFs directly or through third-party document storage software. (More on this below.)
As you may have noticed, digitizing your real estate transactions is the main method of organizing your files in 2021. From managing important documents to using software for your referral marketing strategies, it is worth using modern methods to make your company more effective.
Develop a unique filing system
Organize your digital real estate files with a file naming system that works for your company. By setting a standard pattern for the names of your digital files, you can easily find what you are looking for and place them in the appropriate place.
For example, you can use a file template like [last name]_[first name]_[account number]_[general file description]_[yyyy/mm/dd]… In this case, the file name of your document will look like this: “Cole_Natalie_01950_invoice_20200609”. Then every file associated with this client will have the same codes at the beginning, making them easier to find and place in the designated folder.
What’s more, this system also ensures that no file is lost. This is because any lost file will have a similar filename format, so you can simply move the lost file to its correct location. Meanwhile, as far as file locations are concerned, you can also assign numeric codes to your file folders so that they appear on your computer in numerical order rather than alphabetical order.
Of course, there is no universal rule for creating a file system and naming system for files and real estate folders. Rather, the goal is to organize your files so that you can understand them and so that the rest of your team can easily digest and follow them.
Invest in document filing software
Document filing software is essential for your real estate company to manage files easily. In particular, these systems allow real estate files to be stored in the cloud, thereby making them available anywhere and anytime. Essentially, document filing software takes saving files on your computer to the next level by making them available across multiple devices. And since your files are stored in the cloud, you can access them from any device that can connect to the Internet. Here are two useful document filing software options that you can invest in to organize your real estate files:
- Google Drive: This file storage and sync service is Google’s answer to cloud storage. Google Drive is user-friendly and can integrate with other Google products such as Google Maps and Gmail. In addition, with immediate access to other Google products, you can also optimize interactions and communications using only one service provider. All of your real estate files will be in the cloud, allowing anyone on your team to access and share your files if they have Google Drive installed on their devices. Finally, while Google Drive has 15GB of free storage, please note that other Google products like Google Photos and Gmail use it.
- Dropbox: This file hosting service is one of the most popular on the market with at least 500 million registered users. Dropbox is a industry standard cloud storage service that allows you to quickly and securely share files through the cloud. Plus, Dropbox users can save local device space by saving files directly to the cloud. Plus, Dropbox syncs well across devices with installed software, making it easy to access real estate files on both desktop and mobile.
However, despite its flexibility and security, Dropbox may not be the most user-friendly software. Its business interface can be difficult to navigate and manage, especially in large teams. Another downside might be the small amount of free storage: Dropbox only offers users 2GB of free storage. It also has paid plans that offer up to 2TB of file storage.
Systematization of real estate files in 2021 will require the introduction of paperless methods. Organizing digital files is much easier than organizing physical documents in filing cabinets. PDFs are standard tools for digitizing real estate files. You need Adobe software to manage these PDFs.
With real estate documents as PDF files, you can further improve your organization by assigning them unique name codes so you can arrange them the way you see fit. Accordingly, you can give your digital folders unique names to make them easier to identify.
Finally, you can store these digital files in the cloud to make them available to anyone who needs them. Google Drive and Dropbox are popular cloud storage services. Cloud storage services automatically organize files by name, creating the unique file naming system required for your real estate files.