16 Life-Simplifying Chrome Extensions REALTORs will Love

As much time as we real estate agents and brokers may have spent decorating our brick and mortar offices, let's face it, we are on the go and have to have a mobile office that can keep up. I have previously covered some tried and true mobile device apps but I would be remiss to ignore apps/extensions that work wonders in saving time on our laptops for all the Chrome browser users out there.

Does your browser menu bar (the area near where you type in website names) look bare bones or robust?   If it is lackluster, you may not be optimizing all the benefits of Chrome in your real estate business, which means you may be spending more time online than you actually have to.

Warning: Before reading this list, know that I have not included any sexy, fly-by-night browser extensions because I want to share tools that will not cause your laptop to crash, your contracts to be inadvertently sent to the wrong parties or any other crazy thing that can occur when an extension has not been vetted over a sufficient period of time.  Also, I combined a few in the same bullet point so although the list is numbered to 13, there really are 16.  I didn't cheat :)!

Without further delay here are 16 extensions (these are also called apps but I don't want to confuse them with mobile apps since they do not all have a mobile counterpart) that have worked and worked well consistently over time that may help you spend less time working in your browser and more time with your real estate clients, family and friends:

  1. mxHero for Chrome - This is the ultimate email tracker! Go beyond tracking when something is opened and now start to track the URL clicks, etc. Do you want to send emails that will self-destruct or emails that look like they are to one person but you really sent it to a group, without logging into Mailchimp, etc.? This is for you!
  2. Unfriend Notify for Facebook - If Facebook has been your bread and butter in generating new clients, you will love this extension. Now you can know when that on-the-fence buyer or agent-shopping seller has moved on in case there is an opportunity for you to salvage the relationship.
  3. HelloSign & HelloFax - If you are not using Docusign, Echosign or any of the other e-signing programs, than you need to install these first!  These fantastic extensions will allow you to sign, edit, email and fax documents that have been emailed to you right in Gmail.  No more downloading the document than uploading the document to sign or edit it.  This is my favorite time-saver!
  4. RealtimeBoard - If you are a note scribbler, work with a team, or want to brainstorm with your clients, you can collaborate on ideas, closings and whatever else your heart fancies in real-time without the hassle of trying to meet in one location. Your client is on a business trip in Europe, this will help keep the ideas rolling. This whiteboard extends endlessly so no more trying to right up the edge of an actual whiteboard to capture your thoughts. You can pull ideas from not just Chrome but from your phone as well.  Here is a short video of its capabilities. 
  5. WordPress Commentify - You may get emails of comments to your WordPress blog but do you forget to reply?  I know I have let those emails drift to the bottom of my to-do list. This extension will have those comments pop-up in your browser so that you can be Johnny-on-the-Spot. If your WordPress site is a lead generating machine, this will definitely help with your response time and conversion rate.
  6. Sunrise Calendar - Real estate transactions require coordination among several parties and this calendar is a great way to keep clients and contractors on schedule whether they use Google Calendar or Apple's iCloud.  Plus, you can attach a location map to your appointments so no more of clients calling 5 minutes after the closing was supposed to have started saying they deleted the email with the directions to the closing office.  My favorite feature is that you can see the faces of the people with whom you are meeting, which is great when you are meeting with several new prospects or long-lost clients, who you may not know how they currently look.  Instead of looking lost, you can confidently greet them upon arrival.
  7. Read Later Fast - If you are reading an interesting webpage, like one of the business changing articles on Inman :), but you are running off to a client showing, Board CE class or any other right-now appointment, just right-click and select, Read Later.  Presto!  You will have a friendly outline/index of all of the articles/sites you wanted to check out, which you can review while waiting at a home inspection or for a client to arrive.
  8. Send from Gmail - This is my guilty pleasure.  Of course I could select, copy and paste the URL into a new email but this is one-click. Keep it simple! This also makes Gmail your default email browser so if you have not used Outlook in years like me, you will not continue to be annoyed by the pop-ups stating that Outlook could not be found, geesh.
  9. Cloudy for Gmail - Do you want to easily attach graphics, videos and files from your cloud storage (Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Github, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and even Gmail) but  have not had the time to download the offline folders of your cloud storage programs?  This is a good way to go! Instead of just inserting a link, this will actually attached the document.
  10. Cloudy Calculator - Sometimes we want to return to calculations we previously typed up and this is the extension to use to do it. Seriously, I have calculations from last year I was able to review so this may come in handy if you are presented with litigation surrounding you math skills.
  11. Chime - Instead of checking FB, Google+, Twitter, Email, and any of your other social accounts separately, all your notifications are in 1 place with this extension.  Let's all take a collective sign of relief... ahhh! 
  12. Awesome Screenshot, Clip to Evernote or Save to Google Drive - Instantly capture the screen you are viewing in Chrome.  Maybe you have seen unauthorized pictures from you listing attached to someone else's site or you want to capture the commission bonus being offered on a website since no one in the sales office seems to have the foggiest idea of what you speak, then these 3 extensions can get the job done.  The key is to use the one from the platform you use the most so that you can find things later.
  13. Wisestamp - This is an oldie but goodie that allows you to create fabulous email signatures in under 5 minutes to take your professionalism to the next level.

I hope these extensions save you time and help you further cultivate your client relationships.  Happy selling!
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