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REI Tech

Appointment Scheduling Made Quick, Easy & Awesome

suspicious frey - busyIf you're like me, then setting appointments is kind of a drag, isn't it?

I mean, yes, it's a necessary evil. An essential, fundamental part of being in business. No two ways around it.

But still, it's also kind of a pain isn't it?

If you're with me, then I'm about to share something with you that'll make you go all squishy inside.

Let's talk about the "back and forth" game

You know the one, right? It's the “back and forth” game we invariably end up playing when trying to setup meetings. It typically looks kind of like this:

Email: “When would you like to meet?”

Reply: “Eh…how about Thursday or Friday?”

Reply: “OK, which is better for you? I could do either. Thurs after 2pm or Friday before 10am or after 3pm. Also, anytime Mon or Wed of next week.”

Reply: “Hmmmm… Thurs at 3pm then? Or I could also do next week if that’s easier for you. I’ll pencil it in for Thurs at 3 until I hear back from you confirming.”

Reply: “OK, sounds great! I’ll send you a Calendar invite.”

Reply: “Calendar Response: Your meeting has been confirmed.”

Man, I don’t know about you, but doing that a few times a week (or day) feels like an awful time-sucking brain drain. Isn't there an easier way?

Yes, three actually…

1) Hire a personal assistant (expensive)
2) Get your wife or kid to be your calendar slave (risky, not advised)
3) Time Trade

This one comes from our own DougO, as he shares how he’s been using this handy little tool to revolutionize his appointment scheduling – really converting the whole routine from frequently frustrating to nearly effortless.

Here’s a video from Doug talking about it…

{Mogul Elite: Download and MP3 and transcript of this video in the Power Pack tools for this lesson.}

How it works

Essentially it helps you plan all of your meetings by letting you define times when you will make yourself available to accept appointments.  You can do this with one-off time windows (like, I'll make myself available for appointments this Mon from 2-4pm) or for recurring time windows (as in, I'll make myself available every Mon weekly from 2-4pm)

Then rather than playing the back and forth game with someone, just give them your time driver link (like timedriver.com/billybob) and let them choose an appointment time based on times you've pre-set as open.

When someone books an appointment with you, it 1) sends you an email notification and 2) automatically adds it to your Outlook, Google Calendar, or whatever other calendar you've got it tied into.

Some cool, noteworthy features:

  • Appointments could be in person meetings, phone calls, Skype, etc. – you pick or give them a choice.
  • You can also designate parameters like meeting only in a specific place (Starbucks close to your house) or a certain phone number (your Google voice number etc.)
  • It connects to your digital calendar (Outlook, Google Calendar, iCal) and based openings you've made for yourself, it allows others to be able to set appointments with you. And when they do, it puts the appointment information directly on your calendar.
  • It also sends friendly reminders to the person who setup the appointment with you, to remind them of their appointment.
  • If your calendar says you’re “busy” during any of the times you claimed you were available for appointments, it won’t allow people to book appointments at that time. I.E. your calendar will override Time Trade when necessary – this prevents overbooking!
  • Free 30 day trial, then only $30/year for the professional version – that’s nice!

Take a look

Here’s a quick, 2-minute video from Time Trade visually illustrating how it works...

Bottom line

TimeTrade's online appointment scheduling is the perfect solution to streamlining your appointment setting world. If you hate appointment scheduling like me and Doug, the it’s an easy, inexpensive no-brainer.


Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps
  • Get going: Just create an account with TimeTrade, set up an appointment type, tell TimeTrade what days and times you will accept appointments, then send people the link to your TimeTrade calendar for that specific appointment type.
  • Suggestion: connecting your iCal, Google, orOutlook calendar to your TimeTrade account.  TimeTrade will add any new appointments to your calendar, and once an appointment is made an email is sent to you and them confirming the appointment. It’s pretty sweet!
  • Redirect: So instead of asking people to book a time with you “manually” over an email exchange, send them a link to your TimeTrade account and decrease the number of emails swelling up your inbox.

Ideas for using this in your REI:

  • Reserve a vanity domain name, like www.meetwithbillybob.com, and redirect it to your personal time trade scheduling link.
  • Set time blocks you're willing to designate specifically for speaking with colleagues, sellers, buyers, tenants, etc.
  • Whenever someone might want to set a phone or in-person meeting with you, direct them to meetwithbillybob.com to set an appointment from your available time slots.
  • Also put a "schedule an appointment" button on your website, in your email signature, on your website, the landing page after some opts-in to your website, and everwhere the heck else.
  • If you have an assistant or VA working for you, screening leads, etc., you can have them use your time trade account to set appointments for you, based on the specific open windows you've pre-set.
  • Bam!

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