Learn Something New: Take the Video Chat Challenge

By
Real Estate Technology with realtor.com®

We’ve given you our take on the best video chat apps out there, and shown you five different ways you can use video chat to up your services to clients. But… you haven’t fired up FaceTime or ooVoo with a client yet, have you?

It’s alright to have some nerves, but it’s time to move past them so you can delight and surprise every client, no matter how near, far, busy or slow-moving.

So. It’s time. For the video chat challenge.

Step One: Buddy Up

When you’re intro-ing any new technology, it’s important to do as many test runs as you need before taking the new tool or app into “prime time.” So first, find a buddy who also wants to learn how to use video chat. It can be a fellow agent, your broker or office tech liaison, a listing coordinator… and if all else fails, it can be a spouse, your teenage kid or a personal friend.

Step Two: Choose One App

Review our top five video chat apps and decide which one seems the most suited to your business. Ideally, you and your buddy will want to try the same app (so you can give each other pointers). But if you feel that different tech would work best, then tackle one app one week, and the other app the following week so everyone wins.

Step Three: Make a General Plan

Got a new listing? A flurry of showings? An upcoming open house? Perfect. Ask your seller if they’d be alright with you hosting a video chat with a fellow agent at their property*. Explain that it’s a service you want to use in the future, and that you want to experiment a bit.

Then, set up a time with your buddy that you’ll chat them from the listing. Be sure to plan for extra time in case you have any technical glitches. Remember: your buddy should be off-site, not at the listing with you.

Step Four: Follow this Checklist

On the day before or the day of your video chat, review this checklist.

  • Know the listing’s wifi
  • Have a full charge on the phone, tablet or computer you’ll be using to video chat
  • Download the video chat app you’ll be using (if necessary)
  • Verify that your buddy has the app downloaded, if necessary
  • “Add” your buddy on the app so you can easily find and contact them via the app
  • Bring headphones in case there is distracting noise in the background

Step Five: Do a Quick Dry Run

Walk through the listing when you first get there, taking in the features that you want to be sure to point out to your buddy. Try turning on your phone’s camera or video feature to see what the house will look like from their point of view. Do your best to include a full shot of the room before you enter, then narrow in on the features or areas your buyer will need to consider.

Step Six: Let ‘Er Rip!

At some point, you just have to go for it. Check your wifi connection, make the “call” and start the tour. Try to mimic the speech and discussions you’d have with a typical buyer, even if it feels embarrassing to put on a show for your buddy. The more you practice the real deal, the better position you’ll be in on game day.

If you run into technical issues, try to troubleshoot them on the go rather than stopping and starting the chat over and over again. And if the chat does drop, pick the conversation up where you left off rather than bemoaning the failures of technology. Remember, buyers are looking for their dream home so you want to provide them a dream experience.

Are you a video chat expert?

What other tips or ideas do you have for us? Share them in the comments or in our Facebook community!

*Keep in mind that these recommendations may not work for everyone, especially if you have local laws or ordinances that ban video of a private property. Talk with your broker or local board to determine what laws and regulations exist in your area.

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video chat for real estate
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Rainmaker
371,426
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

This is a good checklist for testing out these systems. I've used Skype and Google Hangouts. I didn't realize Google had a new app or that WhatsApp had added video chat so I will have to check into them and see which is best. I learned about WhatsApp from a friend in Ghana several years ago and it is definitely popular around the world!

Apr 18, 2017 05:46 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,784,446
Andrew Mooers
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Video is vital in real estate but could never figure out why the you tube video channel that works so well is not on the social media links we can put on our REALTOR dot com platform. Why twitter, facebook are but no you tube when so heavily used, should be on the options for linkage.

Apr 26, 2017 03:10 AM #2
Rainer
91,756
Mega Team Real Estate
Realty ONE Group Alliance - San Mateo, CA
San Francisco and Peninsula Real Estate Concierge

Love reading your checklist. Thanks for sharing. 

Apr 26, 2017 06:50 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,077,599
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

I know for my part there are often documents ... explanations including dollar amounts ... and comparisons being made where video would assist my clients.  Sometimes just seeing the info while chatting on the phone would be helpful and simplify things.  Appreciate your insight (esp. the link to the pros and cons of the apps) shared here ...

Gene 

Apr 26, 2017 09:16 AM #4
Rainer
361,873
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Hi,

Not a big fan of video chats. Confuses me (maybe a walking & chewing gum thing). Might work well with some of my hearing-impaired clients & friends though. Make them read my lips.

Apr 26, 2017 09:00 PM #5
Rainmaker
2,399,671
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I would also recommend Skillshare version people I want to learn certain new techniques and whatever may be.

Apr 26, 2017 10:16 PM #6
Ambassador
3,208,295
Jeff Dowler
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Thanks for the tips. Something to consider. I don't know of anyone using videochat yet. Video definitely needs to be part of the arsenal, however.

Apr 27, 2017 07:07 AM #7
Rainmaker
257,621
John Wiley
Jones & Co. Realty - Cape Coral, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,SFR,PSA

Thanks for sharing.

I think for all new apps and technology, #1 on your list is critical. TEST IT OUT FIRST.

Apr 27, 2017 11:59 AM #8
Rainmaker
2,399,671
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I think that any kind of AMA is really good in any industry especially real estate for the inns and outs of each market

May 12, 2017 08:30 PM #9
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