November 27, 2015

2011 Web Conferencing Solutions: Specs That Matter for Real Estate


2011 Web Conferencing Solutions: Specs That Matter for Real Estate

These are the key features and functions of Web conferencing products and services for real estate pros.

Compared to other, newer technologies such as mobile and social media, not many real estate professionals leverage Web conferencing solutions today. But with these applications, meeting online could one day be as common as virtual tours, for everything from consultations with clients to negotiations in the cloud across a virtual table filled with buyers, sellers, and their representatives, all miles apart.

Key to the process is the meeting host and other presenters’ ability to share documents, photos, software applications, or their entire desktop with all participants. Everyone logged into the meeting sees the same screen. With enhanced services, the host can highlight key ideas on a virtual white board visible to all while participants mark and edit documents, in a truly collaborative work space.

Think of the brainstorming and back-and-forth that’s always part of the process of mapping out a brokerage’s marketing plan or negotiating a counteroffer. Meeting online, you can accomplish just as much without the need for everyone to be physically present. Combined with the acceptance of digital signatures, such systems could soon allow those comfortable with the technology to conduct a closing with all interested parties in different locations, yet logged into the same virtual conference center.

If you’ve ever attended a webinar, you’ve already experienced some of the above benefits. Depending on the subject matter and audience, some are live, requiring attendees log into the meeting, while other are offered on demand as recorded webcasts. Webinars have gained acceptance as a way to deliver the specialized training or advice that once required physical presence at a trade association conference, workshop, or educational facility.

For professional development, real estate webinars may be available to help meet some continuing education requirements or gain updates on timely topics like short sales. A few real estate companies have adapted the webinar concept to their marketing strategy by developing and hosting sessions to educate consumers about their market area and the property sales process.

There’s a synergy to all these tools. The more people look to the Web to learn and interact, the greater their expectation that the tools will be available to make it a truly collaborative environment. This technology is available now; it’s up to real estate professionals to embrace it.

If nothing else, there’s the potential savings in time, travel, and scheduling as incentives. And with these Web-based solutions, place and space are not a factor in meeting with clients, collaborating with colleagues, and closing deals.