Many have touted the virtues of cloud computing for small businesses. Chief among them: increased storage, reduced hardware and software costs, and accessibility from any machine.
But what about consumers? How will shifting to Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive, or any other cloud service affect them? Here are four concrete benefits your real estate clients will see immediately.
Turnaround and trust
When you save files to the cloud and share them with your clients, you give them the same instant access you enjoy. That means no waiting for you to email them an attachment, or confusing an old draft with the most recent one. Once you share a document, your customers will always be up to speed.
You can take this even further by creating a document specifically to track your progress on a deal or transaction. Best of all, your customers can check it anytime, regardless of whether you’re in the office or at the computer.
Fewer technology issues
You have a desktop PC, an Apple laptop, an HP printer, and a fax machine from God-knows-what-company, plus a host of other devices, all running different software. Clearly, the traditional office setup is a nightmare when it comes to compatibility. This only becomes more of a headache when you’re trying to send a file from your iPhone 5 to your client’s Galaxy SIII (if they’re tech savvy) or desktop PC running Windows XP (if they’re less so).
Luckily, cloud solutions are accessed through a unified web application, which means that as long as it has an Internet connection, pretty much any device anywhere can access the same files without problems.
We hear a lot in the news these days about hacking, identity theft, and security leaks. But a recent study suggests your customers’ data is actually more secure in the cloud than it would be in an on-site server or system.
How could a third party protect you better than you could protect yourself? Remember, IT and security aren’t your top priority as a real estate agent. Meanwhile, cloud service providers have to focus on security, reliability, and scalability every minute of every day. That means you and your customers can feel comfortable storing and accessing documents with sensitive financial information in the cloud.
More one-on-one time
While you’re not exactly passing your monetary savings onto real estate consumers by switching to the cloud, you are passing on your time savings. With a cloud solution, you can spend less time on all the operational work that comes with running a real estate office: making copies, filing physical documents, etc. This allows you to spend more time doing what’s really important — namely, communicating with your clients to determine their needs.
How else could switching to the cloud benefit your customers? Share your perspective in the comments!