How Can You Lose Data on Your Computer?
Well, we all know the obvious hard drive failure problem. It just dies, and even if the data can be saved, it's an expensive and time consuming proposition.
Many don't think about it, but you can also lose files due to other software-related issues that corrupt a file, or in some way make it inaccessible later.
What About The Loss of the Computer?
Some of us have a false sense of security because we're using external drives for backup, and we know we can restore our data to a new computer or drive if there is a failure. What if there is a break-in and your computer is stolen? Do you think they'll be considerate enough to leave your backup drive on the desk? Or, what about a fire or other physical damage that takes out your equipment?
Off-site Backup is the Safest Solution:
Having your important files in a safe place separate from your computer is the most secure solution. Some are using flash drives and taking them away from the office, but it's a pain and not that many are doing it on a very frequent basis.
So, we need something easy, and something that happens in the background to copy our files to a safe place online. They will be there when we need them, safe from theft and physical damage. Even if our computer is stolen and not returned, we can start up a new one, load software, and have our documents restored in hours.
Sugarsync Provides Easy Off-site Backup of Your Real Estate Files:
Sugarsync is an online service that requires a download of their software, but once that's done, your important files will be kept in sync between your computer and the online versions. They are actual synced copies, better than a backup file, as you can go and get them from any computer on an individual basis if you want.
I set up the service to copy all of My Documents. It took a while the first time around. After that though, the files stay synced as I make changes. If I need to access a file, but don't have my computer, I can get it online.
If you do work on files from different computers regularly, such as your home computer and one at work, you can use Sugarsync to keep the files synchronized on both if the software is installed.
When you work on a file at home, Sugarsync monitors the changes, and then syncs the online file. But then, it also syncs the file version up on the office computer as well. Now you don't have to be involved at all, but you can work on files from home or work any time without fear of file confusion, over-writing, or data loss.
You Can Share Files With Others:
Even the largest files can be shared with others if you give them access. You restrict the access to the files you specify. It is a good solution for sharing images, as they can be quite large in file size.
What Does It Cost?
Pay $24.99 per year for a 10 GB account, which should be enough for most real estate agents. I have a huge My Documents folder, so I pay $49.99 per year for 30 GB of space.
Peace of Mind Plus Functionality at a Reasonable Price:
I no longer have to check on the last time I backed up, nor do I need to worry about my backups being in a drive on the desk with my computer. If someone steals one, they'll steal the other, so that solution was always a bit scary.
The seamless operation in the background takes my time out of the picture. A small icon in the system tray will let me know with a right-click that all my files are currently synced and up to date.
Using this inexpensive and large storage space, I can share large files with others, or access my documents in a pinch. I can even send files with my web enabled mobile phone. If I'm on the go and need to get a document to the title company, I can access the account with my cell phone and send it.
Technology is stressing out some real estate professionals, but there are others of us who embrace what it can do for us. Peace of mind about my thousands of documents is just one benefit that is well worth the cost.