Real estate agents today using video are turning to efficient ways to meet with clients and online video is fast becoming a favorite amongst clients to communicate with their agent. Online video has been around for years, but it has come a long way recently and has become mainstream as industry giants have adopted the technology and incorporated it into their products.
Recently Facebook added video using the Skype service to its online chat, and Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft all have video chat and Instant Messaging. Video chat is now available on smart phones as iPhone and Android have incorporated video into their handsets.
The picture shown in this article is a video application called QIK that allows smart phones on the Sprint network to place video calls, record and share videos, upload videos to a library that can be shared, or just send a video mail message. Skype has similar features, as do Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc. We use video conferencing over cell phones to host quick meetings amongst agents on our team when one of our agents is out in the field or can’t be face to face.
Similarly, clients love to video call as we can talk about contracts and even place items on the whiteboard for each of us to look at and talk about. Sometimes clients have specific questions about a form or contract and it helps to have it on screen and talk about where to initial or how to sign a document. Clients can also ask specific questions relating to a contract.
Photos can even be shared so we can talk about inspection items, details about what needs to be done with a repair, and bring all of the issues into proper context and perspective.
Agents can also use the technology to participate in webinars, and learn from other top agents from all around the country. We’ve done video sessions where we discuss recent short sale trends regarding specific lenders, or shared foreclosure information to assist each agent’s clients obtain the foreclosure. Agents can now share information regardless of which city they’re in and we find this useful in assisting clients. Clients are not only hiring one agent in a particular town, they’re now getting expertise from all around the country as agents have speedy access to talk to one another about particular issues.
In the old days agents would pick up the phone and call one another, or share information on groups and wait for other agents to respond. Now agents who belong to powerful networks can video chat with one another instantly in many cases.
Agents can also post timely information up to YouTube. Our YouTube channel is located at http://www.youtube.com/brettellisfl Many agents these days have YouTube channels in addition to websites and Blogs and are finding video is an important way to educate and communicate. Today’s sophisticated webcams make joining a service relatively easy, and adds two way communication versus the standard way agents communicated via video on YouTube or websites.
We really believe video will replace much wasteful travel time in the future. There is no replacement for seeing a home, but once the home is viewed an agent and client cannot always be in the same place at the same time. For instance, a client make work odd hours, or have to go out of town for awhile and yet they may not want to wasted time waiting to return home. Now that client can meet with their agent wherever they are in the world if the just have a webcam and an Internet connection, or simply even a smart phone. Today’s technology is making video chat so easy and it’s free, and one day soon we’ll all look back and wonder how we lived without it for so long.
Don’t be surprised when we hear people say, “Remember the days when people used to call each other on the telephone? Yeah, how crazy is that?” I remember the days when fax machines were a novel idea, and people used to ask back in the mid 90’s “What’s the Internet?” Thank goodness Al Gore invented it. Young people today just don’t recall what life was like before the Internet, and in a few years people may have a hard time remembering life before video phone calls.
If you haven’t tried it before, the time may be now. It’s not only a big time saver, but it’s free and fun. We hope you have as much fun communicating with people online as we do.