my|assistant – real estate virtual assistant

with my|assistant, it’s done!

Preferred Vendors

Many times I am asked to give a recommendation for a product or service. This page is intended to give you a Best of the Best list. I have personally used or currently use each of these services and highly recommend them. Please leave a comment below if you have a service you’d like to recommend or if you have any comments on those I’ve listed.

Database Backup Systems

Carbonite – with Carbonite, you do an initial backup and then you never have to do anything again!!! I like that. Set it and forget it. Plus, it’s only $50/year! Nice.

 

Printing

I’ve ordered business cards with rounded edges from Overnight Prints and found the quality of the card to be superior to many other printing services. The gloss coating was impressive and the costs for my run were very competitive. Great quality and cheap pricing.


Free 14 Day Shipping $50+ & 30% Off All Products
 – We’ve all heard of Vista Print and seen the ads for free business cards. Honestly, the quality isn’t as nice as Overnight Prints but Vista Print is great if you want to play around with designs, order temp cards or just get free stuff. Once you send in one order with Vista Print you keep getting offers for more free stuff – no strings attached. Free magnets, free stamp pads, free letterhead, free free free. I like free. Oh, and when they say the shipping time is going to take 14 days, I wouldn’t believe it. It took my order around a week to get to me.

 

Email Marketing

Emails for Small Business with Constant Contact
– With Constant Contact you can email your database with listing updates, personal updates, market updates, etc. Start building your email list today and you’ll be ready to use it tomorrow. Plus, Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial. You don’t have anything to lose. I’ve used it to market listings and send out my personal company newsletters. Takes a bit of getting used to but it is a pretty self-explanatory system to use.

 

Hosting Solutions


www.godaddy.com
 Registering your domain is pretty easy with most any host and really you get the same service. The great thing about GoDaddy, however, is the ease of ordering and how well they respond to customer service issues. Sometimes the ordering process can get a bit tricky, as they want to sell you more than you want sometimes. If you need web hosting, GoDaddy also allows you to pay monthly instead of yearly like some other hosts, although paying yearly can save you some money. Stop dragging your feet and get your own domain nametoday. While you’re there, pick up an email address to go with it. Nothing say ‘unprofessional’ like an @yahoo.com or @hotmail.com account. Sorry to say it but it’s true.

 

Communications

Rapid Fax – Rapid Fax allows me to receive faxes via an 888# instead of my phone line. I receive my faxes via email in a PDF format.  I can also send faxes out via Rapid Fax. No more printing out what I need to send, faxing, then throwing away my paper. Hey, looks like I just did something green.

Hardware

Dell Vostro laptop – nice business laptop with all the bells & whistles you need for not a whole lot.  Dell’s support teams for their computers is now based overseas but hey, isn’t everyone’s?

Dell 5110cn laser printer – GET THE WARRANTY! Great printer. Super printer! Had to have it replaced 4 times in the last year but apparently that was because I had it plugged into an outlet with something else also plugged in and I was running jobs larger than 20 copies at a time. I haven’t had a new printer in 6 months now since they figured out the problem. Each time, though, they sent me a new printer with toner. Not cheap. I was really happy with their level of service (Dell’s printer service teams are based in the USA and much easier to understand). Now, on to to the printer. This is in my opinion the best user laser printer for the money. Running at around $1400, the 5110cn prints at high speeds and produces great quality on paper, cardstock, coated paper, and labels. The toner is always the kicker. Heck, many times it’s smarter to just buy a new printer than to buy new toner. Dell toner for the 5110cn runs around $800 for a set of 4. Now, that’s not easy for me to swallow. So, I purchase my toner on ebay (genunie Dell brand new toner in the box) for around $350/set. Always check ebay to see what your toner is going for. And from my experience, DON’T buy generic toner. You’ll pay in the end.

Finance Software

Quickbooks – are you still not using Quickbooks? If you need to invoice then you need to have Quickbooks. With QB, I can track customer costs, items costs, track time, mileage, expenses, and create fantastic reports. Tax time is easy – Quickbooks just tells me what to do and I do it. Quickbooks is available as a desktop software or an online version.

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