What is an intranet and why would you be interested in such? Well, if you’re running a one-man or one-woman operation, you (probably) wouldn’t. So what exactly is an intranet?
Basically, it’s a small computer network used within an organization, whether it’s IBM or a local real estate office. It allows employees to share files, emails and other data within their own system. Sometimes the computers in an intranet share an identical desktop, email client, data structure, and other configurations. The idea is to increase efficiency and productivity.
What are some of the benefits of setting up an intranet within your office?
- Document sharing: You (or your guru) can easily set up a file structure that allows everyone to access and share key documents. You can set permissions on folders or documents to allow only certain people to view their contents. This is a great way to share operations manuals, personnel documents, training manuals, and marketing materials.
- Individual/Group Calendars: Most intranet setups allow employees to sync their Outlook or smartphone devices with the calendar function. Tasks, meetings and the like can be viewed by anyone with access. Individual items such as meetings can be set so that only designated employees can see them. And, employees can RSVP to a scheduled meeting or conference.
- Shared and Individual Tasks: Like with the calendar, employees can share tasks, maintain private task lists, and sync their email and mobile devices. Brokers can assign tasks to agents, or agents to assistants. You can enter and assign tasks for closings.
- Announcements: Instead of having a corkboard to tack up handwritten announcements, your intranet can have a virtual bulletin board that you and your employees can use.
- Shared email folders: Makes it simple to share emails among network users.
- Home computer use: It isn’t difficult for you to have your home laptop or tablet, or those of your employees, hooked into the intranet.
Is it worth the cost? Depends. Most online intranet service providers start with a cost of around $30/month for three users, and go up from there.
You can view a demonstration intranet set up for a dummy real estate office at WebOffice.