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3 Zoom Tips to Look 10x More Professional
Last week, you read 3 Tips to Master Your Gmail Inbox. Those tips, once mastered, will help you save time every day. These next three tips on how to use Zoom will help you look even more like the professional that you are. You will learn how to add a virtual background, how to change your name, and what your camera angle should be. Zoom Tip #1: How to add a virtual background This is excellent, but not a requirement for your Zoom meeting. Having a virtual background can look both good and bad. Before I get into the good, the bad, and the better, let's talk about the "how." During a Zoom call, click the little up arrow ^ to the right of the start video button. Then select Choose Virtual Background. This will bring up the Settings. You can either choose an already existing virtual background, or you can upload a new one using the plus sign (+) on the right of the image. Voilà! Now you should have a virtual background. If selecting a virtual background is not an option for you, then your account settings have to be changed. For how to turn those settings on, I will refer you to this how-to article written by Zoom. Now for the good, the bad, and the ugly. As you can see from my image above, I selected an image of Earth. Which is fine, BUT that doesn't help tell my story. So, our recommendation is for you to create a background using a product like Canva. This helps to create something that has your company's logo in the top left or right corner and the rest of the image follows your company's branding. You might think creating your own image is scary, but it is not. Companies such as Canva now make it extremely easy for people to create their own images. Now for the bad. You may have noticed during your Zoom calls there is a distracting line around people when they have a virtual background. This can be very distracting to those in the meeting. If your background image looks like this you might want to question if a virtual background is right for you. This is where we get to the good stuff. The better. To make a virtual background look really good, use a green screen. This does not have to be expensive or troublesome. It really is just a green sheet that is stretched out flat behind you. When you select a virtual background, you would then also select the option that you are using a green screen. This will make your virtual background look professional and awesome. Zoom Tip #2: How to change your name I don't know about you, but I can be working in one of four different Zoom accounts. A problem that I come across all the time is no one knows who I am until I change my name. First, select Participants. Then, select More next to your name. Click on Rename. Change your name, select Rename again. And you are good to go! Changing your name so people know who you are is essential. I have been on hundreds of Zoom calls with both WAV Group and RE Technology and too often there are people that I don't know on the call. This helps the host know exactly who is there. BONUS TIP: If you are meeting new people, add the name of your business after your name, like this: "Michael Nash | RE Technology." This helps people not just know who you are, but also which company you are with. Zoom Tip #3: Pay attention to the camera angle I've saved the best for last. Pay attention to the camera angle. Many of us today use laptops. This causes the camera to be looking up at us. What do the people you are talking with see? Mostly up your nose! You don't want people looking up there! Instead, position the camera so it is at eye level, or slightly higher, like the image below. This angle is much better for others on the call with you and definitely makes you look more professional. Now it is your turn My homework for you today is to spend the next 15 minutes trying out each of these Zoom tips. They will help you look more professional during your Zoom meetings with clients, your broker or other professionals. Come back next week for an article on how to think, train, and eat for your business. I will be talking about Stu Mittleman's book, Slow Burn, and how it applies to your business. If you have any questions about these Zoom tips or have suggestions for more, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.
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The Best Ways to Avoid Zoom Gloom
We've all come a long way with Zoom and other tech tools over the last year-plus, but that doesn't mean that the new normal feels much like the old one. Zoom Gloom and tech-tool fatigue are natural phenomena as video calls and long hours spent staring at a screen become the common theme of our day-to-day work lives. These challenges are shared experiences that resonate across industries, real estate included. Fortunately, shared challenges also lead to shared solutions, as companies and individuals continue to adapt to a world where so much business happens remotely. Battling Zoom Gloom and Other Tech-Tool Fatigue Zoom Gloom can be caused by a wide variety of psychological and practical factors. Remember those good, old-fashioned in-person meetings, where your mind might occasionally drift for a few minutes before you continued paying attention? As it turns out, those moments actually have real value for our brains, allowing us to avoid becoming overloaded with information and retain more details once we refocus. On a video call, we all feel a natural urge to look like we're focused on the meeting at all times. We're thinking about what we look like on camera, what other people look like, what's in their background, and what's going on around us in the household — all while trying to stay focused on the task at hand. We don't have the option of asking the person next to us if we missed something, and finding moments to ask questions during a busy call can be a challenging task. Add it all up, and it's easy to see why a day filled with video calls can leave any of us feeling drained. We feel like we have to be on at every moment, all while dealing with whatever is going on off-camera with our families, pets, and homes. It's a lot for our brains to handle, but we're all learning to adapt. It helps to remember that we're all going through a similar experience and some of the most practical solutions for battling tech-tool fatigue depend on first acknowledging that fact. It's Okay to Give Your Brain a Break The common urge to look like we're paying 100% attention at all times without exception is one of the biggest reasons for Zoom Gloom. So it helps to acknowledge that it's okay to look away, even when you're on camera. Giving yourself a momentary break from looking at the faces, screens, and backgrounds of everyone in the meeting can help your brain recharge. It's something that we all do in traditional meetings, and anyone who's been in a few virtual meetings will understand if you need to take your eyes off the screen to allow your brain to regroup. If you're planning a virtual meeting or video call, it can also be helpful to establish that only the person who's talking needs to have video enabled. Reducing the number of backgrounds and faces on the screen can help everyone in the meeting focus more easily while reducing mental fatigue. Leave the Multitasking for Later We've all become experts at multitasking over the course of the past year-plus, and when working from home, sometimes the need to multitask is unavoidable. However, it's best to keep multitasking to a minimum whenever possible while busy with a video call. Try to find a quiet room of the house, and avoid working on other projects while engaged with a call. Staying focused on that singular task makes it easier to retain information, and fewer distractions also means less stress during video calls. Limit the Stimuli on Your Screen What are a few browser tabs between friends? While it's tempting to keep all of your tabs open, glance at Slack, or manage your email inbox during a video call, all of that extra visual stimulation can lead to increased stress. Keeping unnecessary stimuli to a minimum makes it easier to focus, and those tabs will still be waiting for you when the meeting or call is over. If you're leading a meeting, encourage participants to use plain, calming backgrounds. The stimuli of a busy room with books on shelves and decorations all around can be a real distraction, especially when there are many people in a meeting who each have their own unique background. Take Breaks Throughout the Day to Refresh In a typical workday, there are built-in times when you take a break from screens to talk to colleagues, walk around the office, or gaze out the window for a few minutes. Remember that it's okay to give yourself a break at home, too! Setting a timer can provide a helpful reminder to get up, stretch, and take a quick stroll outside. Those breaks are a great way to manage stress while giving your eyes and brain a little rest from screens. Use Email or Traditional Phone Calls When Possible If you have a one-on-one meeting, an appointment with a client, or a quick question to ask a colleague, it's valuable to remember that not every interaction has to happen on a video call. When possible, try to use regular phone calls for one-on-one conversations and email or messaging apps for quicker conversations that don't require a call. Even switching one or two interactions a day away from video can provide a welcome break for your brain and help reduce fatigue. It doesn't hurt to ask, and chances are the person you're interacting with will appreciate having a break from video, as well. Schedule a "No Screen Time" Hour After Work Just like it's helpful to take small breaks throughout the day, it's also wise to give yourself a break from screens after you're done working. So before you fire up your favorite streaming service or hop on social media after work, block out an hour or so with no screen time. Spend some time with family, enjoy some outdoor relaxation, cook a nice meal, or immerse yourself in a hobby that doesn't involve too much technology. It's refreshing to take a break from screens in a work-from-home world, and the health benefits are numerous. The Shared Challenge and Shared Solutions of Zoom Gloom and Tech-Tool Fatigue While there's no catch-all solution to battling tech-tool fatigue, there is a common theme: give yourself a break. So much of the stress that comes from Zoom Gloom is because we're constantly engaged with technology throughout the workday, and we often turn to tech for relaxation after work. Whether it's a quick break during a meeting to simply look away from your screen or a more extended break during the day when you get up from your work to walk around, those little moments of rest add up. It's also helpful to remember that we're all going through a similar experience and to look at how much we've managed to accomplish during the last year despite the unprecedented interruptions to our regular work routines. The real estate industry may look different than any of us are used to, but teams everywhere are still achieving outstanding results. That's no small feat, and the ability to adapt during challenging times is certainly something worth celebrating. Tech fatigue got you down? Let your tech tools take stressful tasks off your place—RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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The Ultimate Zoom Playbook for Lead Generation
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Zoom for Real Estate: 4 Hacks You Need to Know
More than 300 million people have participated in Zoom, the live video conference technology. Zoom has become a new real estate go-to tool for communications with millions of Americans working from home and attending online classes. As with all new technology, the more you become familiar with it, the more features you uncover. Once turned on, some hidden features give real estate professionals more ways to use this communication platform to engage clients and prospects.
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Back 2 Biz: Conducting Virtual Listing Presentations
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The Newest Tool for Your Virtual Real Estate Business: Facebook Messenger Rooms
Facebook, the leading social media platform in the world, has come out with a new video tool available to members of the Facebook community: Facebook Messenger Rooms. These "Rooms" were made to increase the usage of the Facebook platform and engage community video discussions. Available through Facebook Messenger, these "Rooms" can hold a maximum of 50 guests per chat. The best part is that this is a free tool that can be used directly on Facebook. Now, you are probably wondering how you can use it for your real estate business.
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Best Practices: How to Hold a Virtual Meeting
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Real Estate: The Virtual Way
Say goodbye to "in-person" for a while, and hello to "through-the-screen." The times are unprecedented. We've never experienced anything like it before. None of us quite knows what to do or how to handle it. And these are precisely the types of situations that fuel innovation. Sure, webinars, video calls and virtual home tours are not new. What is new, however, is the seemingly overnight widespread industry use of these and many more online tools. The real estate sector has undertaken a profound shift. Perhaps for good.
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Facebook Messenger Bots: How to Automate Conversations to Qualify Leads and Stay Top of Mind
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To Bot or Not to Bot? That's More than a Technical Question
Technology has empowered real estate agents in remarkable ways in the last couple of decades. One of the hottest innovations for agent websites is bots. What's a bot? Short for robot, a bot is a software program that can execute commands, such as reply to messages, or perform routine tasks, typically automatically. For agent websites, chatbots are used to conduct a text conversation when someone visits your site. A popup is deployed inviting any questions a website user may have.
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How to Generate and Nurture Real Estate Leads While You Sleep
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Live Video Chat: The Must-Have Apps
Business owners often feel like automation is the key to efficiency. However, whether it's through email, text, direct message on social media, or pre-recorded messaging systems, as automation continues to expand, clients are beginning to notice the lack of human interaction. This is especially true in an experience as personal as finding a home. Stand out from other Realtors and give your clients the connection they've been searching for with live video chat. Most smartphones today already have a video calling app installed (like Apple's FaceTime); however, that particular software might not be compatible with all devices. Here is a list of top video chat apps to install and get connected with your clients today!
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No Pressure, No Problem: Take the Video Chat Challenge
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5 Ways You Can Use Video Chat to Boost the Services You Provide Your Clients
You've seen enough homes that you can understand the layout and special features from looking at a few listing photos. So when it comes to live tours, you ace it every time. But what about clients who live out of town, or who travel often? Are you able to provide them with the same seamless experience so they feel connected and excited about the properties they're viewing from afar? Last week, we reviewed the five best video chat apps for real estate. This week, we'll show you how to put them into action. Whether you're working with remote buyers or those who've been on the fence for too long, video chat can help you activate your clients when the perfect house is listed.* 1. Remote buyers If you regularly work with foreign buyers or active military, or you're hoping to get into this market, it's critical that you get up-to-speed with video chat. For these buyers, a virtual live chat tour will be the closest they'll ever get to the house, so you'll want to be sure you're giving them: A clear understanding of the layout An up-close view of the home's best and worst features Context on the size of each room so they understand its advantages or limitations (such as if the master would fit a king-sized bed) Ideas for any easy fixes that could be made, from creating an open floor plan to replacing outdated hardware The main thing to keep in mind is that remote video chat buyers may have a lot more questions than usual, or they may have fewer questions if they are having a hard time picturing the home and how they fit into it. Try to adapt by thinking of what your in-person buyers usually look at, inspect or inquire about, and answer those questions up front to keep the tour moving.
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The 5 Best Video Chat Apps for Real Estate Agents
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Technology Alert: Chatbot for Real Estate Industry
Time is of essence in the real estate industry. You need to stay on top of every market trend. In one of our previous blogs, we spoke about how millennials are entering the buyers' market. Millennials as we all know are tech savvy and everything is instantaneous. You need to make sure you provide accurate and comprehensive information to stay ahead of the game. But we know it's impossible to hire someone who will be willing to work 24/7, and this is where the new chatbot technology can come to your rescue. What is a chatbot you ask? It's also referred to as a chatter bot. This computer software is programmed to send specially crafted messages and audio clips to any enquiries. Chatbots are designed to hold human-like conversation with people on the other side of the computer. Here are three ways a chatbot can revolutionize the real estate industry: 1. Bring in hot leads Yes, you heard it right, chatbots can be designed to ask specific questions that will improve the response rate of the client. Chatbots can be programmed to send specific answers to help keep the person chatting engaged and informed. This technology can help you filter the leads and get best-in-class leads.
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