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May
1

7 Apps to Help You Stay Connected While Social Distancing

Apps to Stay Connected

Staying connected in a time of social distancing is no easy task. Yet, with all the new challenges our world is facing, we continue to find ways of maintaining our ties to one another. We think staying connected with loved ones is more important than ever, and our real estate agents are thrilled to share some of the apps we've been using to stay in touch. 

  1. Zoom
    Over the last couple of months, Zoom's popularity has skyrocketed, and not just for virtual business conferences, but social gatherings as well. The app can host up to 1,000 video participants in a session, making it great for getting large groups of friends together. Sessions under 40 minutes are free, but beyond that, you'll need a subscription. 
  2. Netflix Party
    Chances are you've been watching more TV than ever in 2020, but you're not alone if you miss having friends to binge your favorite shows with. Luckily, there's a solution for anyone who has a Netflix account and a Google Chrome web browser. Netflix Party is a Chrome extension that makes it possible to sync up your Netflix account with your friends' accounts, so you can watch TV in tandem, and even communicate back and forth. 
  3. WhatsApp
    A longtime favorite for folks who need to send text messages to international friends and family, WhatsApp has a lot of other features that are making it a popular app in the social distancing age. WhatsApp offers text messaging, audio, and video call functions and is compatible with Apple and Android devices, as well as Windows PCs. 
  4. Google Duo
    Chances are you know what Google is, but do you know what Google Duo is and how it can help you stay connected? Compatible with Apple and Android devices this helpful app lets you make video calls with those you love. Plus, you can make groups of up to 12 people and chat and make video calls within the group. 
  5. FaceTime
    Anyone with an iPhone has probably been using FaceTime since long before the pandemic struck, but this classic app is now more useful than ever. You can use it to video chat with friends and family around the world (as long as they also have an Apple device), and it even works over regular cellular service if you're not connected to the internet. 
  6. HouseParty
    One of the things we miss the most about how the world used to be is just hanging out and chatting with a few friends. HouseParty is a great option for fostering the easygoing vibe of a small get-together. It's a fun app that lets up to 8 people hang out in a virtual space. It also has screen sharing options and the ability to play virtual games. 
  7. Facebook Live
    Facebook has always provided a wide range of tools for staying connected, from sharing photos and videos to messaging with friends. But Facebook Live has become more useful than ever in recent times. It's been used to stream meetings, live music, stand-up comedy, even weddings! Our team has even found Facebook Live to be a great real estate tool for creating "virtual tours" of Bradenton homes for sale and Sarasota homes for sale.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can all stay connected while social distancing. At Wagner Realty, we still believe in the importance of human connection, and we're here to help you keep in touch while you're finding your dream home. 

April
10

How to Stay Productive While Working From Home

Working from Home Tips

As we shelter in place, many of us are working remotely from home. While for some, this may be an improvement over the office with its obvious distractions and interruptions, but for others, the home environment offers its own distractions. With schools closed, you may have kids to look after, or if you live alone, the laundry and other tasks call to you as you're in the midst of dealing with your work email backlog. Here are some tips that may help you as you navigate your new work environment.

  1. Start Early.
    Get up, get dressed, and get ready for work. Dress for comfort, but get out of your pajamas. Dressing for work puts you in the mood to work. 
  2. Set Your Schedule
    Be sure your family, friends, and colleagues know your work hours. While you'll of course be working your regular hours, working from home makes it easier for work to invade personal time during nights and weekends. If you have children, try to share responsibilities with the other parent, or look into getting some help with the kids during work hours.
  3. Take a Break
    Setting a schedule isn't just about working – breaks are necessary too. Plan for breaks and lunch – away from the computer. 
  4. Keep Distractions at Bay
    At home, we often hear the call to do laundry, sweep the floor, or fix something that's broken. Resist these temptations during working hours. Likewise, just as you would at the office, avoid diversions such as working with the tv on, texting, chatting on the phone, or indulging in social media.
  5. Have a Designated Work Space
    Whether it's a corner of the dining room table, an unused closet in a spare bedroom, or the entire bedroom itself, create a specific space as your office. Even if you just need a place to plug in your laptop, it should be your place during the time you work, and ideally, be a room where you can close the door.
  6. Personalize Your Work Space
    You spend eight hours a day at your desk, so you might as well make it appealing. Have fun with it! Go online and search for tips for making your home office space light and bright. Paint the walls white to lighten up the room. Use pops of color, like a colorful chair, some greenery, or art to inspire you. Save space with modular shelves and bins for your supplies. Put some personality into your home office and you'll enjoy working there. 
  7. Create an Environment for Concentration
    Unless you live alone, working without disruption can be challenging. If you don't have the luxury of a quiet space, try some noise-canceling headphones. Play classical music or sounds of nature to create an environment that makes it easier to concentrate.

Need a home with just the right office space? Our team can help you find Bradenton or Sarasota homes for sale that offer a better home office space when the time is right. Contact us today. 

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