Posted by: realestatewebtrainer | June 27, 2011

Cloud Computing and Real Estate

The latest hoopla is about Cloud Computing and many are trying to wrap their mind around what it truly means; you need not worry because you already understand it.

Back in the Sixties Mainframe Computers were the only computers around; what businesses did back then was to buy time on these giant number crunchers; Do you remember the days when you would walk into a travel agency or bank and the operators had a small terminal and a keyboard but nothing else; well those terminals here physically connected to large computers and were sharing time to access Stored information, or perform a FORTRAN IV Spreadsheet Computation.

Cloud Computing and Real Estate

Well, Cloud Computing is a twist on this idea using the internet as the means to access to these giant computers. Instead of relying on your hardware to store the data and perform the computation; you use your devices as gateways of shared computation on Mainframe Computers residing in far away locations; the term Cloud is just a Sexy Marketing term.

Many have been using “The Cloud” for years – namely Google Gmail. Not only can you check and manage your emails online, but it comes with Google Docs where you can write Word-Like Documents; Use a Spreadsheet, and even build Presentations without having to buy any software; Yes, you can say goodbye to Microsoft Office. (PS: The majority of Real Estate Agents who use Office use it for the Spellchecker – NOT for what it was intended to; which is Long Document Management and Advanced integrated Reports.)

But have you also noticed that the percentage of users of such services is very low? A recent survey found less than 9% actually used services like Google Docs. We have been used to holding on to our objects – and the idea of our data residing on someone else’s hardware frightens many of us, and conjures a fear of loss of control. I know many advanced Techy users who use Dropbox to store their Data and Share it; yet they make sure they make a copy on a backup computer just in case…

In case of what?

We have become a Marketing Society where Breaking Promises is a National Sport – what we tell you today cannot be counted on because as soon as the company feels like it the terms will be changed. Have you read your Credit Card Agreement? How about the thousand Page Software Agreement you have to accept before you can download any piece of software. The agreements were written by savvy lawyers for the benefit of the businesses – Not you; and they always add a clause such as this one: “These Terms and Conditions are subject to change without notice. New Terms and Conditions are applicable from the moment they are posted.

How about Security?

My philosophy has been, and continues to be today, that if you put it on the Cloud be prepared to lose it; and since I am prepared to lose 99.9% of all my Data I stopped worrying. I use Cloud Computing when it makes sense – let me explain: If I am performing a High Resolution Graphic Design project forget the Cloud – the files I end up generating are close Multi-Gigs and it would take Days to upload them. Remember what I wrote in earlier Blogs about the Upload Speed of the Internet in our nation is pathetic.

The Cloud and The Real Estate Agent:

1. The best Cloud Service a Real Estate Agent can use is YouTube. Yes, YouTube is a Cloud Service – you create videos; you open an account, and then you upload your videos to share in all your platforms – your Website; Link in Emails; to Mobile devices and Tablets.

2. Dropbox – Don’t leave home without it; In essence you can store your important documents and share the ones you want with specific clients; No more emails of giant PDFs. Get yourself an account and start using it.

3. Google Docs for writing and Presentations – Organized Listing Presentations are important for all Real Estate Agents; you need not spend hundreds of Dollars on Office – when you can have GDocs for free.

4. Of course the best Cloud you can use is your website – I will let you think about this one!

In conclusion Tablets, iPads, and Mobile Devices lack storage and “Cloud Services” do and will make sense; why store your music on your device when you can aggregate it all online and access it from multiple devices; there is no doubt a movement is afoot to divorce Data from Devices, but much more needs to be done to ease fears of security and haphazard changes in terms.

Happy Blogging 🙂 – Key Yessaad, Real Estate SEO Trainer

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