At one point in our lives or another, we’ve taken a note. Whether we’ve jotted something quickly down on the back of a receipt or a scrap of paper, or meticulously kept journals and diaries to keep track of facets of our lives, note-taking in some form is an important part of our daily lives. Note-taking is equally important in the real estate business. Note-taking is a way of keeping track of things people said, when events are supposed to occur and notes to ourselves that serve as reminders.
And, of course, there’s an app for that.
Actually, there are several note-taking apps, but Evernote has quickly become one of the most popular and universally used, especially in the real estate world. What is Evernote? Evernote is an app (compatible with Androids, PCs and Apples alike) that allows a user to take notes, archive notes, organize thoughts, share ideas, clip things from the Internet for future use and many more extras. I like to call it “note-taking on steroids.”
Many people have written about Evernote in the real estate space and how they use it, including Krisstina Wise and Dean Ouelette. However, everyone has to start somewhere and that’s what this is about. Let’s talk about Evernote for real estate basics.
First, you’ll need an Evernote account. You can sign up on your PC or Mac using whatever browser works best for you at Evernote.com. There will be several large green prompts to “Sign Up.” Click those. To create an account, you’ll just need an email address, a user name and a password. You can also download the desktop version of Evernote from Evernote.com, and with your new login information, download the Evernote app for your smartphones and/or tablets. Why do you want to do this right now? Partly because right now you still remember your login information. Also, it’s important to have Evernote ready on all your available devices because one of the best features about Evernote is that it syncs across all the devices. This means if you enter information into Evernote on your phone, it will automatically pop up on Evernote on your desktop, online and anywhere else you have it downloaded. This can be incredibly useful if you are using an assistant or team member in your real estate business!
The other reason you’ll want to see Evernote for desktop and in an app is because, in my opinion, those versions are more robust. Evernote Web only gives you a snapshot of what this app can do. So, download the desktop version, because the next steps will be conducted from there.
Once you’ve downloaded and logged into Evernote for desktop, you’ll probably be prompted to walk through how to do some of the most important things in Evernote: creating a note and creating a notebook. Don’t neglect this! If for some reason you’re not prompted, or choose not to take the tour, you can create a note or a notebook from the uppermost file creation selection. (Click on File, then click on New Note or New Notebook.)
I’ve highlighted Note as well, because this is where you can control what to do with an Evernote Note once it’s been created.
I would suggest creating a few Evernote notebooks first. Why? Oftentimes we create a lot of notes, whether on paper or electronically, and let them pile up and overwhelm us. (This also happens in email!) Instead of allowing those notes to pile up and lose track of them, and possibly then get irritated and abandon the whole system, it’s easier to just create the notebooks in the first place. So, click on File and “New Notebook,” choose “Synchronized Notebook” and name a notebook. Some suggestions for a new notebook name for real estate can be: Buyers, Sellers/Listings, Real Estate To-Dos.
Next, let’s create a Note. Click on File and “New Note.”
Here is where you can enter information about your Buyer (initial information you’ve taken about them, listings they’re interested in, every listing you’ve shown them or are going to show them), Sellers/Listings (pictures you might have of the property, specific information, dates that you need to keep track of), or Real Estate To-Dos (when your CE classes are due, marketing costs, quarterly taxes, etc.). You can change the notebook that your note rests in by clicking in the upper left-hand corner and choosing the appropriate Evernote notebook. You can create a reminder for the note (emailed to the email address you used at sign-up) by clicking on the alarm clock that’s the farthest left of the choices in the upper right-hand corner. Once you’ve started to create the note, you’ll note a few more choices come up.
Besides the usual Font abilities, you’ll also see the ability to create checklists (the check box with a checkmark in it), leave an audio note (the microphone icon – VERY handy when out in the field and discussing real estate properties with clients!), leave a visual note (created with your computer’s web camera) or attach a file (documents and pictures). All of these can be used in your real estate business; take a moment, try them out and see how they fit with your best business practices.
Finally, note that Evernote has several options that may come up on the left-hand side. Notes will take you to all notes and Notebooks will allow you to look at, edit and create new notebooks. Evernote is highly searchable. You can search by terms used, Note names, Notebooks, words in pictures/images, and also by Tags that you assign to each note. Atlas allows you to see where each note is created (if you have your GPS/Location Services enabled when you create the note). Trunk is the collection of Evernote “extras,” of which Skitch is the most popular. Skitch allows you to quickly annotate, sketch or modify images, which can also sync into Evernote.
Evernote can be very beneficial to your real estate business, but the first step is downloading it and deciding how it works for you. One of the biggest mistakes that real estate professionals make with Evernote, and similar apps, is that they download it and forget about it and then ultimately dismiss it without trying to understand it. Evernote can truly simplify your life while amplifying your efficiency – try it out today!
If you have any questions about Evernote, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.