Gmail and Outlook are the two major players in the email and productivity space for a wide variety of personal and business uses. For real estate agents, productivity and organization are the keys to running a successful business and serving both buyers and sellers.
Gmail is part of Google’s G Suite which offers paid plans that go much further than the standard free email and apps that Google is known for. Google’s brand is known for their cloud based services accessible from anywhere.
Outlook is part of Microsoft 365’s suite of products and apps which has a variety of plans for both personal and business usage. Microsoft began as a server-based service before adapting to the times to build a cloud-based solution in Microsoft 365.
As you move into utilizing a productivity suite to align your team, check out the breakdown below to compare G Suite and Microsoft 365 for real estate agents. Each service is priced per user per month and while there are many similarities in what they will accomplish for you and your team, they each have their own standout features.
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Gmail with G Suite
G Suite can be paid on a monthly basis, but the first 14 days are free regardless of the plan you choose.
Each G Suite plan also includes a Gmail business email, a professional touch that is a necessity as a real estate agent.
G Suite begins with a basic plan priced at $6.00/user/month and has access to all of the same applications as the two higher-priced plans. The main difference between the included apps is that the Business ($12.00/user/month) and Enterprise ($25.00/user/month) plans include unlimited cloud storage.
In addition, the Business plan supports Cloud Search, a smart search across G Suite, and the Enterprise plan supports Cloud Search within and outside of G Suite.
To compete with Microsoft Teams and Zoom, Google offers Google Meet video and voice conferencing. Google Meet differs from Google Hangouts which is available to anyone with a free email account. It includes Google’s robust and secure global infrastructure.
Google Chat is also included in all three plans to help teams collaborate.
All G Suite plans include 24/7 support. From there, the security features are more extensive and robust the higher the plan. Depending on your needs, additional security could provide peace of mind for you and your team.
Gmail includes certain features that will make real estate agents’ lives easier, including:
- The option of adding extensions and add-ons that allow you to customize your email to your exact needs. For example: Zoom for Gmail lets you start Zoom meetings from within Gmail as well as check schedules, upcoming meetings, and webinars. While Microsoft 365 supports add-ons as well, the ecosystem is smaller and there are fewer options.
- Adding multiple labels to emails which allows you to organize emails into more than one category.
- Customizing email notifications by only allowing alerts for emails of high-priority.
Outlook with Microsoft 365
Rather than being billed monthly, Microsoft 365 requires an annual commitment (but at the time of this writing, the Business Basic plan comes with the first 6 months free. This offer ends on June 30, 2020). All plans include an Outlook business email.
The Business Basic plan priced at $5.00/month includes web and mobile versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel while the two higher plans include desktop versions of the Office apps.
The Business Standard plan ($12.50/month) includes Microsoft Teams. The Business Premium plan ($20.00/month) includes advanced cyberthreat protection and device management as well as Microsoft Teams.
Outlook incorporates some unique features that help real estate agents stay organized, including:
- @ Mentions: If you’re emailing a large group of people but only need a reply from one or a few of them, you can add an @ before their name. This alerts them to their need to reply by adding their name to the subject line and their name is highlighted in the body of the message.
- New item alerts that tell you when an incoming message meets certain criteria, so you won’t miss an important email, and you won’t spend all day opening your email.
- The ability to ignore email threads that you don’t need to read but may get sent to you anyway.
Choosing the best productivity suite
Choosing the best productivity suite for real estate agents may come down to comfort level and the services ability to keep up with changing times and technology.
If you have been using Gmail and the various Google apps that are tied to it, Google Docs, Google Slides, etc, sticking with the Google product G Suite may make the most sense.
If you and your team have been utilizing Microsoft products such as Word, PowerPoint, etc, then continuing to use what the team is familiar with makes sense.
In 2018, Microsoft 365’s set of cloud-based services dominated productivity suites, holding 87.5% of the market as compared to Google’s 10.4% (source). From there, however, G Suite saw a 15.6% growth in 2018 as compared to Microsoft’s 8% (source).
Microsoft has been a player in the productivity suite space for longer than Google, but as Google catches up, they continue to innovate and change the playing field.
Folio works with both Gmail and Outlook to provide email organization services that make staying on track simple and streamlined.
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