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7 Tools For Working With Clients Remotely

April 27 2014

virtualHave you ever had to work with an out-of-town client? If you have, no doubt you've thanked your lucky stars for digital tools like digital signatures and transaction management software.

Sometimes, however, your buyer or seller may need a more personal touch. So what's a far-away agent to do? Consider looking into web meeting applications. Most solutions will let you share your computer screen with clients, or chat face-to-face using a webcam. You can use these programs to review documents in real-time with clients, or simply to add a human touch that remote digital transactions can sometimes lack.

There are a variety of different web meeting apps on the market, both free and paid. We've rounded up a few of our favorites below.

To Download or Not to Download?

That is the question and, next to price, it's probably the biggest consideration when choosing the right meeting app for you. Web meeting apps come in two flavors: those that require you to download and install software before joining or hosting a meeting, and those that work right in your browser, no installation required. Those that require installation typically offer more robust features, like the ability to record a session. However, if those features are not important to you, browser-based apps may be the way to go.

  • GoToMeetingGoToMeeting - If you've ever attended one of RE Technology's webinars (or most of these), you're already familiar with this program. GoToMeeting is one of the most widely used online collaboration tools. It offers desktop sharing, high-def video conferencing, the ability to record sessions, and more. The program requires software installation and a monthly subscription fee. However, there is a new free version with fewer features and no installation required. This version only works in Google Chrome for up to three participants.
  • WebExWebEx - Considered the granddaddy of all web meeting apps, WebEx shares similarities with GoToMeeting. The program is easy to use and integrates with other apps to make things like scheduling meetings a breeze. You can join a meeting from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Like GoToMeeting, installation and a monthly fee is required.

  • FuzeBoxFuzeBox - A web meeting star on the rise, FuzeBox is available on multiple platforms and devices (Windows, Mac, Android). It boasts some big-name clients, as well--companies like Amazon.com, Evernote, and Disney all use the platform. Though you will need to download software, it is leaner than both GoToMeeting and WebEx. There are a variety of subscription plans available, including a free version that allows up to 25 participants.

  • Google HangoutsGoogle Hangouts - The first reason to love Google Hangouts? It's free. There are plenty of other reasons, like the minimal download required to get started (it's a simple browser extension), and the ability to share documents and other things from Google Drive. For agents, it's a great choice for digital face-to-face chats. It's even smart enough to detect who's speaking and switch the screen to them. It's available on Android and iOS devices, too.

  • Join.me - You know how I first became acquainted with Join.me? When GoToMeeting crashed during an important event, and our client set us up in a jiffy on Join.me. The meeting was saved, and I became an instant fan of their no-download-or-sign-up-required simplicity. Join.me lets you share screens, files, and chat with up to 250 people. The price is great, too. There's a free version, and the most advanced plan runs just under $20. (Note: If you host a meeting, you will have to download software--but your clients never will!)

  • MeetingBurner - This start-up has attracted a lot of buzz since its launch. It's browser-based and the sign-up process is quick. It offers a free version for up to five people. For $40 a month, you'll get access to up to 50 attendees and features like session recording, the ability to email participants, and more.

A Real Estate Specific Choice

If you're a zipForm Plus user, forget everything we just said! Why? Because lurking within your forms/transaction management program is a nifty feature called zipConsultzipConsult. zipConsult is, yes, a web meeting solution that lets agents collaborate with their clients right from zipForm. Use it for one-on-one chats, transaction reviews and, most powerfully, document signing during the meeting itself.

zipConsult is powered by another web meeting heavyweight, AnyMeeting. We particularly like that the screen share feature only shares zipForm. So if you need to pop into your email during a meeting, for example, your clients will still only see zipForm and your privacy is protected. Other notable features include:

  • Invite attendees right from your zipForm address book
  • Built-in "Schedule a Meeting" option. Includes an email editor to craft personal invitations to your clients
  • Video conferencing for up to six people
  • Conference calling and integrated text chat
  • Keep meeting notes that you can either share or keep private. Notes can emailed to attendees after a meeting
  • Unlimited online meetings
Other articles of interest: Birdview IDX | AgentOffice