Are you still using Internet Explorer? If so, you need to make the switch to Google Chrome as your new browser. Microsoft announced recently that it is replacing Internet Explorer with a more secure browser; code named Spartan. There is little known yet on its capabilities and features, but you can’t wait around to see what it is, you need to do business.

Google Chrome, first launched in 2008, is loaded with benefits, especially for those of you already utilizing Gmail. It is really simple to download Chrome to your desktop. The Chrome browser is technically a “cloud based” browser, the first of its kind, so anything bookmarked on desktop can be accessed on any device using either desktop or mobile app version. Personalization is one of the best offerings of Chrome and here are 5 ways it can be done:

  1. There is no end to the amount of extensions offered in the Chrome Web Store. Chrome can be personalized in many ways and this includes some incredibly helpful add-ons to enhance and even protect the information you are searching for. Ad Block is the most popular and free extension for blocking cookies and other tracking software. Many of you send many emails and aren’t sure if they are being received or read. Yesware is a free email tracking system that provides you “read” receipts with actual geo location and will even show you if the recipient forwards it. Rapportive enables you to collect many forms of data, primarily on social media, of the clients and leads you are interacting with; allowing you insight to build a strong rapport. Many cloud storage platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive offer their own extensions, so when installed you can quickly add any file or web link to that particular platform. Take a look at the Web Store for many more extensions, most are free while some have a small fee.
  2. Google apps are widely-used in real estate. These act as “shortcuts” to get to the most frequently accessed Google based programs such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, YouTube, Google Maps and so much more. Apps can exist in more than one location on your Chrome Desktop view. You can use these apps in the same way as you would on your own smartphone. In the Web Store there are thousands of apps. Like to shop on eBay? There is an app for that. Like to play games? There are many, many apps with games. Nine categories of apps are available from Business Tools to Lifestyle to News.
  3. You have all taken a lot of time to create profiles, post client reviews, set up your YouTube channels and social media presence, right? Well do you really know what a general consumer sees when they search for you? You can search your own name on Chrome of course, but often times you are already logged into your own profile and you aren’t necessarily seeing what others see. You can open a new Incognito browsing session to search randomly and see the “public view” of your online presence and your website. Incognito doesn’t recognize you or all of your saved passwords and log ins so this will help you to make sure what is out there is accurate, professional, and complete. You can access this feature on both desktop and the Google Chrome app on your mobile devices.
  4. You may not have ever heard this term but you definitely know what this is. The Omnibox is the term used for the main search bar on This serves as a pseudo command central for all information that you seek. There are some hidden tips and tricks you want to know about:

The Omnibox is able to convert units for you. Ever wonder how many days or years 10,000 hours is?


Omnibox is a calculator.


Omnibox will allow you to search the main tabs of a website without even clicking on that site link. Just type in the word “search” then space and the website domain. You can then go directly to the page you need to.


  1. If you are making the switch from Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari to Google Chrome, you can import all of your bookmarks directly into Chrome in the “settings” tab. A file will be created and displayed on the Bookmarks bar. There are 2 ways to save bookmarks on your desktop when visiting a particular URL. You can either click and hold on the URL itself and drag it to the Bookmarks Bar, or you can click on the “star” symbol on the right of the URL. There are 3 types of Bookmark locations you can save to: Bookmarks Bar, Other Bookmarks, and Mobile Bookmarks (only available if you have downloaded the Chrome app and logged into your Gmail account). The best part is, these Bookmarks are accessible to you anywhere you log in to your Chrome, desktop or app. Ever start reading an post or article and before you finish you have to leave for an appointment or are otherwise interrupted? Bookmark it, and then go back to it and access it from your mobile device on the Chrome app.

One of the best advantages to Google Chrome is that you don’t have “upgrade” or “update.” It’s always running in its most current version. Many of our real estate tools have been optimized for Chrome so there is not much of a learning curve involved. Visit or RISE via Launchpad for a multitude of help videos and tips on using Google Chrome and Gmail for your business.  You can also get some more helpful insights in this recent article in PC Magazine. Thank you and have a good, strong close to your Summer!

By: Michelle Hoyt, Training Specialist