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  1. #1
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    Somewhere in the Hills
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    MtnMan's latest great adventure

    This week has been eventful for me. I met with a local real estate broker, applied for my real estate salesperson's license, got word back from the state the license was approved, and am now getting ready to start work as soon as the procedures and paperwork have been expedited.

    This left a few loose ends for me to address.

    1: I've been mulling for months over getting a new cellphone. (My current one is an old-style flip-phone) I will be borrowing a family member's cheap, old smartphone because text messages are part of the biz. (It's an old LG Android Tracfone; pay-as-you-go minutes-based, very quirky and very slow 3G phone) It's barely up to the task, but it's all I have to work with right now.

    2: I am a longtime user of Quicken, although I also have training with Quickbooks. I've been advised by family members to track every penny. I'm wondering how I can use either a smartphone or a tablet (I have an iPad Mini) to record receipts and track all income, expenses, and the cost of doing business (including business meals). I've never had to track everything with this level of detail before.

    3: My broker is in kind of yester-tech position. No cloud-based services yet. Everything done with thumb drives. I've heard Evernote is ideal for this kind of work. How secure and reliable is it? What about cloud-based storage like Google Drive or DropBox? Where is the best "bang for the buck"?

    4: Google Maps is great for GPSing when you travel to an unfamiliar destination, but it is really slow to activate on the old LG. When the money starts flowing and I get a new smartphone, how well does Google Maps or Apple's Maps, work on newer models? (I think this old LG has only 1 GB of RAM).

    5: My home computer is a late-model iMac running Yosemite. Would it be a good idea to create a new user account for all real estate documents, work, records, and communications, and keep all of it separate from my personal stuff? (The broker's office looks to be all old PCs, which flavor of Windows is not clear.)
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  2. #2
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    Congrats on your new adventure!

    I think the iPad Mini has a built in spreadsheet program. Why not record all expenses as they occur on it, then upload them every evening on quick book. Keep daily/weekly receipts in a Double OP, transfer them into a single OP color coded for that month after the expense has been written into the daily and/or weekly spreadsheet.

  3. #3
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Well, it's all personal preference but if it were me I'd put everything on Google docs; you can get gmail, maps, docs, photos, and drive all free, all cloud, and all standardized, secure for you and your clients, accessible from any device with an Internet connection. This gives you max flexibility for minimum cost and you can easily scale up on devices, or down, with no loss of data, documents, or functionality.

    With docs you'll get the equivalent of word, PowerPoint, and Excel and each document can be private or shared with a client or associate, and you can both work on the documents simultaneously from any location and see each other's changes live in real time. This would give you the ability to work on proposals and crunch numbers with others as well as share photos of properties and easily create navigation links and exchange directions on maps.

    Plus you'll also get Google hangouts to do live chats, voice or video, including via WiFi.

    You can get some good android smart phones for cheap (like the nexus 5 or 6s), and you could also buy a dirt cheap chromebook brand new for $300 which will instantly link in to all of the above and they store your profile so if it's lost or stolen all you have to do to be back 100% is get another for a few hundred.

    Basically a cheap chromebook (or use any laptop or pc} will get you an entire backoffice, fully secure and fully backed up for disaster recovery and business continuity. Add a decent phone and you've got the fully mobile front office.

  4. #4
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
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    I second everything @GrussGott has said - I recently helped a friend set up her home-based small business using everything Google. She got a really decent Chrome desktop and a new Android phone to round it out. Two months in, and she couldn't be happier.
    Eat well, travel often.

  5. #5
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    What about Quicken, or a substitute for it? Is there any good finance software that will run on Chrome and a cheap PC laptop?
    Owner of: Brain Bag backpack (Black), Field Journal Notebook (Blue), Snake Charmer (Small, Orange), Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

  6. #6
    Forum Member GrussGott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnMan View Post
    What about Quicken, or a substitute for it? Is there any good finance software that will run on Chrome and a cheap PC laptop?
    You can use Quickbooks Online or Freshbooks which will each run you about $20/month - they're both cloud-based and both run in browsers and have free trials so you can see which would work best

  7. #7
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    As a freelance consultant I charge for everything. Remember get an android or iPhone whichever you prefer. It is tax deductible. There are many apps that take care of your millage and expenses just look for the one that is right for you. Get a business credit card that you can charge all your expenses to. American Express gives you a year end summary with all the expenses broken down. I am not sure if Visa or master card has that service. With the business card you don't need to put the company you are working for you can name it anything you want such as MtMan reality or whatever you think of. If you use quickbooks or the like be sure to save all your receipts for your tax records. Pick a day of the week to record all your expenses. I hope this helps

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