Many real estate agents have moved to cloud solutions because they need something simple to use while on the go. But it isn’t enough to just have access to contracts in the cloud anymore. These days, you have to be able to collaborate, work with files seamlessly on your smartphone, and store scores of videos and high-resolution photos in the cloud. You also need to ensure that clients’ personal details are secure, especially with all of the data that you need to collect to close a deal. With increasing fines on data breaches being legislated at many levels of government and globally, keeping client data and emails safe is an even higher priority.
G Suite allows for seamless collaboration with your clients and other agents, unlimited file storage, secure access to sensitive contracts and other information, and email that keeps your client data safe and is instantly searchable.
JBGoodwin Increases Efficiency and Brand Image With G Suite
JBGoodwin Realtors is a real estate agency in central Texas and an UpCurve Cloud client. It realized multiple benefits by transitioning to G Suite. These benefits include:
- Google Drive centralizes file storage and eliminates duplicate files
- Checking a single calendar to see availability for all co-workers with Google Calendar
- Gmail increases data security by eliminating phishing attempts
- Agents use Hangouts Meet and Chat for videoconferencing and out-of-state buyers
UpCurve Cloud rolled out G Suite to 750 staff and agents in a 90-day staggered rollout for a migration that didn’t interrupt the important, high-value transactions that were taking place at the time.
JBGoodwin also needed to solve the problem of ensuring that the JBGoodwin brand was being used seamlessly by all of its agents, and part of that was email. When agents are using personal emails instead of emails on the broker’s domain, they look unprofessional and it tarnishes the brand image. Additionally, personal emails are far less secure, and that is more important now than it was even a couple of years ago with new data privacy regulations. Gmail made it simple to transition scores of agents to the JBGoodwin domain for their emails.
With G Suite, JBGoodwin’s agents can focus on closing deals without tech getting in the way, and their brand is consistently represented across the organization.
Read more about the success of the JBGoodwin G Suite implementation in Google’s own case study.
Rawson Properties Adds Value for Franchisees
Rawson Properties in South Africa works off of the franchise model for real estate. G Suite allowed it to offer collaboration software to all of its franchisees, allowing for easy collaboration between the head office and each franchise. It also increased the productivity of its marketing team.
The greatest challenge that G Suite solved for Rawson was the ability to expand its online storage. As every real estate agent knows, space for emails can get eaten up very quickly since high-resolution pictures are usually sent and received for each client, and these emails need to be stored for years to comply with most regulations and best business practices. Rawson was running out of space on its local email servers. The switch to Gmail through the adoption of G Suite solved this issue and allowed agents to store large numbers of pictures on Google Drive for their use. Now, franchisees pay no fees for productivity software since Rawson supports them with G Suite.
How G Suite Addresses Security
There are several key recent pieces of legislation that now open you and your firm up to massive fines if customer data is breached. The first is the General Protection Data Regulation (GDPR). While this law pertains to citizens of the European Union (EU), nearly every realtor and real estate firm has dealt with foreign buyers from the EU and may have sensitive data stored on their systems about them. The fines for not notifying an EU citizen of a data breach under the GDPR are astronomical.
California is also putting similar laws in place which will go into effect on January 1, 2020, and your data protection protocols should be up to date. Most of these regulations center around what to do in the event of a data breach and require individual notifications of what the breach was, what data may have been breached, and so on. But the best defense against a data breach is a good offense, and G Suite is updated daily by some of the most expert data security professionals in the world at Google.
Even setting these regulations aside, security is a huge issue in the real estate world. Phishing attacks are endemic. These attacks use spoofed emails to get ahold of your passwords, and once a hacker has that, they have access to escrow documents and other personal information. While some scams involve extorting a payment to restore this information, some may try to have funds for real estate purchases rerouted or conduct other similar fraudulent transactions.
While you should still train employees on how to avoid phishing scams, G Suite has many security measures in place to prevent security breaches. Two-factor authentication can be enabled, which requires a G Suite user to enter two pieces of information to log into their account. If you are managing several users, you can force them to use two-factor authentication to protect company data.
Gmail also offers many features to protect emails, such as TLS encryption, a confidential mode for an email, and AI that detects phishing scam emails before they even make it to a realtor’s inbox. You can also prevent users from emailing sensitive company data, such as docs relating to company financials or other confidential business information.
If you are required to keep documents for a certain amount of time in a way that they can be used for legal matters, you can do this with Google Vault. Vault allows your business to store timestamped files in a way that makes it simple to do ediscovery should any problems ever arise with any of your transactions. Google Vault can also store emails which have to do with transactions.
DocuSign integrated with G Suite helps to close deals
One of the most important functions that technology performs for realtors is the ability to digitally sign contracts online from anywhere with a mobile device. DocuSign integrates seamlessly with G Suite to provide e-signatures and contract approvals. DocuSign is one of the oldest and most trusted names in digital contract management, and realtors have been using it for years. A Gmail extension and add-on for Google Drive is available which allows realtors to dispatch and store contracts without ever having to log in to DocuSign separately - an absolute lifesaver when time is of the essence in a real estate deal, as it often is.
UpCurve: Google Cloud Premier Partner with Real Estate Experience
You do have the choice to purchase G Suite directly from Google. However, choosing a Google Cloud Premier Partner with real estate experience such as UpCurve will guarantee the success of your G Suite rollout. We have implemented G Suite for every type of real estate business from individual agents to entire brands such as JBGoodwin Realtors. You pay no more than you would have for your license than if you had bought them directly from Google and you get the benefit of having our support and expertise. If you have an issue, you are not just another ticket to us; you are our customer. We can also train your staff and offer custom integrations for G Suite, although those items may not be included in your per-user license cost. We can, in effect, make G Suite do nearly anything you want it to.
If you are interested in getting G Suite for your real estate business, contact Joey Maller at UpCurve Cloud today at firstname.lastname@example.org.