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Gmail for the Real Estate Professional

Online Convenience Coupled with Other Free Tools Integration

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Our goal in this step-by-step tutorial is to show you how to operate efficiently as a real estate agent or broker with online tools that are free, but very valuable. I am not going to try to teach you all about Gmail, as we have a Guide here at About.com that has written all about it. What I want to do is to put it into context as a real estate management tool.

First, you want to set up a Gmail account for yourself. It's free and very easy to do. Check out this review of Gmail and use the link there to set up your account. Do the Gmail first, and the Calendar will be easier when we get to it. Gmail checks five email addresses for me besides the Gmail address. The instructions are very clear with Google help screens. You can have all your email arriving in this one box.

OK, you now have a Gmail account like "yourname@gmail.com." Why do I think Gmail is such a wonderful tool for my real estate practice? There are several reasons:

  • It checks multiple email addresses, as I have five of them.
  • It is online, so I don't need my computer.
  • It doesn't crash like Outlook seemed to do on a regular basis.
  • There is a way to have all my emails backed up on my hard drive.
  • The "Label" function categorizes emails instead of using folders.
  • Using "labels" and "filters" I can automatically file away emails for location later.
  • It keeps email conversations together in a string for easy following later.
  • It ties conversations to the Contact. It automatically adds contacts from emails.
  • With Google's search abilities, finding emails with keywords is a snap.
  • Multiple free Gigabytes of storage make this a free and ample solution for all.
  • Gmail's popularity makes for a lot of third party add-ons for more functionality.
  • Might I say right away that I use the Firefox browser for almost all my online activity. I only use Internet Explorer for the MLS, and a couple of other services that require it. Some of the things I may mention as add-ons for Gmail may not function in IE. Firefox is free, and most people in the know consider it to be far superior to IE. You might want to download it and give it a try. By the way, it will also display an IE window in place of its own, so it's not hard to keep on the one browser all day.

    Assuming you've now set up your Gmail account, let's go to the next step for the Calendar.

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