Saturday, 12 October 2013

Ramblings on Saturday Oct 12, 2013 early morning and a steaming hot cup of coffee.  Pure joy.  I actually slept in a bit this morning, if you count getting up at 7 sleeping in.   So I've been rambling around the house for a bit, got some laundry on, coffee made...watched the sun come up.  And now the bluejays are fighting each other at the feeder outside my window.

I've played around a bit more with that new database/customer relationship manager program that I downloaded.  It's called RealtyJuggler.  I currently use Top Producer with my team but I needed to get a program of my own and I wanted to compare the features of both before I made up my mind.   Top Producer has more bells and whistles.  To be honest it has so many that it's a bit overwhelming and I just don't need them all.  It's also not as user friendly.  Putting in reminders for a client's birthday, anniversary, house purchase anniversary and other special dates is rocket science compared to how easy it is to do on RealtyJuggler.   However, RealtyJuggler has two major drawbacks for me.  It just doesn't look as good.  I know that sounds odd...but when I sign in to Top Producer the page I land on is a dashboard that shows all my important business at a glance.


As you can see (or maybe not) by the screenshots I land on a dashboard page that shows my "to-do's" for the day, my listings, my closings, and my prospects and a contact list all on the main page.
By contrast when I sign into RealtyJuggler, I see this:


So, I can get to the information but it's buried a bit in comparison to Top Producer.   I know, it's a little thing but it is a bit of a time saver to have it all there laid out for you at a glance.

The other major advantage Top Producer has over RealtyJuggler for me is the ability to input my income and expenses and have it print out reports.  I use that a lot at income tax time and for calculating my quarterly HST payments.   To be fair, I haven't played around with that function in RealtyJuggler but at first glance it does not seem as comprehensive as Top Producer does in what it can do tracking income and expenses.   So the jury is out on that right now.

However,  RealtyJuggler is so much more user-friendly.  Entering clients and contacts and their information is a breeze compared to Top Producer.  I can enter showings on listings and have the program automatically send Thank you emails to the showing agents with a form to complete and submit online requesting feedback.
I think what it comes down to for me will be the money right now.  Top Producer is approx $500 a year.  RealtyJuggler is $99 a year.  I just have to decide whether having all my info at a glance and financial reporting is worth the extra $400 a year.  Or I may take the time to seek out an alternative financial program and learn that.  No biggie.

A small group of REALTORS from my office got together last week and went over things in our own personal businesses that we'd like to improve on or have been procrastinating on or need to do.  It's just a little "support" group, for lack of a better name, designed to encourage each other and bounce ideas off of each other and to hold each other accountable.  My thing that I wanted to get done before the next meeting was to get my client database provider figured out so I'm well on the way for that.   In fact that was pretty much the goal for all of us, so it will be interesting to see how the other agents did with deciding what program they want to use.   There is one agent, a woman long-established in the real estate industry, who  has all of her clients on index cards in a little box.  And that has worked perfectly fine for her.  I think it's just about getting your own system down and sticking with it, be it recipe cards in a box or a big brand name software program with all the bells and whistles.

On the home front, today my 17 year old son, Ben, starts his first day volunteering with Hope for Wildlife.  He's so excited and I'm excited for him.  I dropped him off this morning bright and early.  I hope he has a great time and takes some pictures of the critters.

Matthew came home from university yesterday for the Thanksgiving weekend and we took him out to dinner last night.  It's good to have him home again.  I'm lucky he chose to go to university so close to home that I can see him so often.

After dinner we went to do a bit of grocery shopping.   I needed the fixin's for Thanksgiving dinner so we arrived home with a turkey and pies and the works.  I've invited one of my sisters over for dinner but I don't know if she'll be coming, she's so busy at work...which for her is a good thing.     Regardless, I'm looking forward to the day and the dinner and spending time at home with the family.

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