Armed with our motto - "Don't Create More Paper Today", we had to decide what steps to take next. The challenge to go paper-less involves substituting for the printer and copy machine.
First, listing information. Everyone in the Real Estate industry has printed out volumes of paper on listings. Sometimes, with great regret, the Client informs us that their copies are forgotten at home! So - we started there - e-mailing data sheets as attachments instead of printing them out. That accomplished two things at the same time - both paper-less and the information is always at hand on any Internet ready device.
We applied the same method to driving directions as well. Now maps are sent as links or embeds in an email. That orients the Client to the area before leaving home. In 2011, once out and about, it is common that folks have GPS. Perhaps the Client even has a smartphone with a Navigation feature. Second paper-less step accomplished.
Third, we are using links to send detailed information about the neighborhoods, the schools and recreation in the area. That way we haven't printed reams of paper about recreation when the Client wanted to hear about schools. As each of us knows, every link leads to other links. Going PAPER-LESS allows the Client to decide where to delve further.
Fourth, an amazing benefit from Google: Google Calendar. Everyone in the office has access to the same Google Calendar. Access levels within the Google Calendar are relegated on a simple "need to do" basis. AND BEST OF ALL - the Google Calendar is available wherever anyone has access to the Internet. Nothing to forget at home or at the office.
Fifth, we directed our office email address to a Gmail address. The "Settings" control allows reply from inside Gmail as if written from the COMPANY ADDRESS! Same professional appearance - more convenience as now Google calendar appears on our email screen! So cool!
Sixth, we save paper-less memos as DRAFT emails on Gmail. Memo retrieval is so simple: In the SEARCH box, type the subject needed. Gmail sorts and presents relevant ones in a neat list. No more lost or mis-filed items!
Next, and not yet instituted, we plan to use QR codes on business cards, house signs, flyers and the Internet.
DIFFICULTY with going PAPER-LESS? The ActiveRain/Kodak challenge required some serious thinking. Trying to write cogently without a printed outline. So much back and forth to the computer file! NEVER AGAIN! Non-negotiable! Well, maybe negotiable. I guess the outline document could be sent to the smartphone ...
Have a happy day –
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
- "This post is written as a submission to the ActiveRain & Kodak Paper-less Challenge contest. I have the chance to win the high speed KODAK SCANMATE i1120 Scanner, great for helping real estate professionals reduce their stacks of paper by scanning contracts, photos and business cards in seconds."
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