Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine.
Screen-to-Screen Selling: 5 Ideas for Brokers
Screen-sharing tools are a cost-effective way to strengthen agent relationships.
July 1, 2015
From solving contract problems to answering agents’ questions in the field, screen-to-screen communication is a fast and easy way for broker-owners, managers, and team leaders to connect with agents and keep them on track.
Here are five ways screen sharing and conferencing technology is being used at brokerages today:
1. Collaborative Meetings and Training
Marsha Stanley Mitchell, technology coach at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in Houston, uses collaborative meeting platforms such as GoToMeeting to conduct presentations and trainings for 1,000 agents in 21 offices across eight counties.
More on Screen-to-Screen Selling
How It Works
Screen-sharing technology will help you communicate with clients more thoroughly while highlighting your market expertise.
Uses in the Field
Here’s how screen-sharing and video-conferencing tools have helped agents better serve their clients.
Tools on the Market
Agents and brokers alike will find practical business solutions from this list of screen-sharing, collaborative, and video-conferencing products.
“Our last two trainings had about 80 agents … so it saved a lot of drive time,” says Mitchell, who also likes Join.me for quick one-on-one screen-share meetings.
Stefanie Hahn, education director at Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS®, outside of Philadelphia, also prefers GoToMeeting for larger classes when she needs a classic webinar and screen-sharing tool to reach more than 400 agents throughout 10 offices. Sometimes she uses the video features as well. “We do a top-producer webinar that is just me and our top producer on webcams chatting about their rise to the top. I can broadcast it live to 1,000 people and record the interview,” she says.
GoToMeeting, Join.me, Zoom.us, and other screen-sharing tools allow the user to video conference with individuals or groups, perfect for brokers or team leaders who want to have remote meetings with agents, role-play during coaching or sales meetings, provide vendors with specific examples, or review documents. These platforms run on PCs, Macs, or any mobile device. (GoToMeeting plans start at $24 per month for up to five participants and go to $49 per month for up to 100 participants.)
2. Mobile Mirroring and Streaming
Trainers and office leaders are also finding low-cost screen-to-screen tools that provide benefits even in face-to-face meetings.
Instead of setting up a projection screen at your next office training session, use a TV (or computer screen for one-on-one training) with a media-streaming device such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, or Roku.
Chromecast ($35) lets you “mirror” or live-stream exactly what you’re doing on your smartphone or tablet by plugging a thumb stick into your TV’s HDMI port. Roku actually offers a choice of four streaming devices; one is a stick ($39.99) similar to Chromecast that works with a library of apps such as YouTube and Netflix, controlled with your smartphone or tablet. If your agents are watching training or webinars via YouTube, this would work. Amazon Fire TV also has a stick version ($39) for mobile app streaming. Apple TV ($69) works similarly, but you can also use AirPlay from any iOS device or Mac computer to mirror what’s on your display (like Chromecast).
If you solely want to mirror from a mobile device to a computer screen during a sales meeting or one-on-one coaching, for instance, then Reflector 2 is a good option. Stream exactly what’s on your device to your Apple or Windows computer: Share videos, photos, or presentations for a one-time cost of $14.99 for a single computer license. If you want to outfit your agents to use Reflector as a sales tool for listing presentations, five-computer licenses run $62.99; 20–74 licenses are $12 each; and higher volume pricing is available.
3. Video Broadcasting
Brokers or trainers who want to reach agents who can’t attend a training session or meeting have another option: Periscope. This free video-broadcasting app offered by Twitter lets the user publicly stream through the Periscope app and share to his or her Twitter profile. There’s also the option to send private viewing invitations.
Although not technically a screen-sharing tool, Periscope does fall under a similar genre of collaborative platforms. It could be used to live-stream speakers, panel presentations, interviews, and more. One of the most interactive features of Periscope allows viewers to leave comments, and the presenter and other users can respond in real time. This feature could help direct discussions and create an engaging conversation.
4. Troubleshoot Tech Issues
Sometimes it’s handy for your IT folks or trainers to temporarily control agents’ screens to fix a problem or give a quick demonstration. There’s LogMeIn for that. This tool gives users the ability to access a PC or Mac remotely over the Web or from a mobile device.
“Depending on the tech level of the agent, I may use this for a wide variety of things, from helping them with Docusign to e-mail marketing and everything in between,” says Hahn.
LogMeIn could also be used by individuals to securely connect to their computer from an iPad or iPhone to retrieve files. A pro account for two computers is $99 annually; up to 10 computers is $449 annually.
5. Video Conferencing
Brokers are using free screen-to-screen tools such as FaceTime, Google Hangout, and Skype to video conference with clients in the field. Joe Schutt, broker-owner of virtual brokerage Unit Realty Group, has sold properties sight unseen in downtown Boston using these tools to show properties and communicate with buyers and sellers. “It is about being as upfront, honest, and transparent as you would be if they were right in front of you,” he says.
Hahn says she’ll use Google Hangout to do an initial interview when hiring for a staff position. Fair warning: This platform does have a nine-person limit per conference call.
“It’s awesome for small groups. There is just something about seeing someone’s face,” Hahn says. “Plus we can share screens, watch a YouTube video, and chat instant-messaging style all during the Hangout.”