Communication often comes down to being able to efficiently and effectively get your message across and in the workplace, in a professional manner. Although this sounds simple, communication can easily get lost in the weeds unless there is a proper system in place. While we all realize the importance of regular communication for all parties involved, as well as the desire to communicate the way each party would like us to communicate, practicality is key. There are many platforms on the market that help increase communication awhile also streamlining company workflow. Whether you are a brokerage looking for a communication tool for your leadership team, staff or entire company creating a communication system can be accomplished.
CRM’s will always play an important role in how brokerages and agents interact with their clients. However, with the advancement of technology and different software, how a CRM works and functions will become more and more about the client and creating relationships.
Contactually allows the opportunity to automate several different communication processes such as follow-ups, pipeline management, grading to indicate how effectively you are following up and an extremely easy to use platform. One of the most impressive aspects of the platform is the ability to customize contacts. Each contact can have its own set of pre-determined rules for communication. This can range from rate/frequency of contact, team settings, tags, and advanced filtering.
When it comes to quickly reviewing status updates or checking in on general projects, Workzone is a great tool to help your brokerage get to the next level in efficiency to manage and share work. Workzone helps everyone stay in control of whats important based on priorities. The platform allows you to quickly pivot in order to focus on what needs to be done from a "top-level" standpoint.
With that being said, the tool allows you to measure each result and see milestones along the way for your projects. Another advantage of Workzone is the flexibility and ability to collaborate on different projects in a secure environment that enables users and teams to quickly split tasks or begin a threaded conversation about what needs to be done. This helps teams and individuals increase their efficiency and holds everyone accountable for their actions every step of the way.
Trello lets you create and keep track of ongoing projects/tasks in a highly visual manner. The platform is incredibly intuitive and simple to use. The great part about Trello is that everyone in the company can use this tool in a way that will help them be more efficient and organized.
For example, an agent can use Trello to organize a to-do-list on a week to week basis. The agent can then click and move around items in a very friendly drag & drop platform. Another example would be for the marketing team at the very same brokerage. They can use Trello to map out social media deliverables, tools, milestones, tasks, delegate and comment every step of the way.
If you are looking for an extremely simple, easy to use project management system, then look no further than Asana. This platform comes equipped with everything you would need to help your organization run better. Asana allows users to set up projects/tasks using several different types of elements including lists, boards, calendars, and timelines. The whole system has email follow up and task reminders based on priority or due date to ensure users stay on top of all tasks.
Asana also has a unique feature called "visual project plans", which shows how the steps/tasks within a project map out over time. The advantage behind this is that it gives everyone direct insight into where there might be hiccups, roadblocks, risks, etc. every step of the way. Lastly, Asana is affordable and well worth the investment. For free, you can create an account that has unlimited projects and conversations as well as up to 15 members.
Basecamp allows users to communicate with clients/outside third parties in a very easy fashion. One of the highlight features of the platform is the collaboration tools and the ability to interchange between different individuals within your team. For real estate, Basecamp is adaptable and practical to each individual in the company. A good example of this would be the ability to switch between individual or collective project management. Projects can be broken out into different sectors, in which only certain users/team members have access to certain tasks. It also helps managers of the project supervise and track the time put forth by each team member.
Another example of the platform usage would be a new listing. You can simply create a project called "New Listing/House on 311 Evergreen St". From there, to-do-lists can be assigned to the necessary individual team members. Scheduling out tasks and 'to-do’s' can be as simple as adding due date for photos, open houses, documents, etc. And when a task is completed, the user can simply check off the task as completed. Collaboration along the way is also very intuitive. Basecamp comes equipped with a threaded dashboard for every conversation that allows users to comment, add notes and attach files.
Simple chat and communication throughout the day often completed via email. With Slack, you can eliminate every need to check email and communicate effectively with your team from anywhere. Slack is a chat software that comes with several different features such as archived chat systems/searchable history, file attachments, channels, threads and much more. The true advantage behind Slack is the ability to download the app for both desktop and mobile. The app provides simple integration to your devices that immediately allows you to engage conversation with your team members, all without having to compose or write a new email.
Channels are also a very unique feature. An example of this would be a group of agents in a particular neighborhood. Let’s say they wanted to start documenting their experiences at local restaurants to share via social media, website, blog, etc. Channels will allow them to create a channel called "Restaurants", in which a dedicated channel is created to easily compile all the different experiences from different restaurants around the area. This acts as a historical set of data/rolodex that can be easily accessed, as opposed to having to dig through old emails that are easily lost and have to be found. If you are looking to take chat and everyday internal communication to the next level, we highly recommend slack.
Monday is a simple app that provides an intuitive layout to assign, create tasks, manage workflow and much more in a super visual manner. The key feature behind Monday is the ability to know the status of a task/project based on priority and milestone. For example, you need to take photos of a property. You can create a project called "Photos for 833 Willow Street Property". You then create tasks specific to that project that are assigned to different individuals. Monday allows the user assigned a task to associate a "status" behind each task. So back to the example, the photos are done being shot at the property.
The user assigned that task can then mark this as "ready to review" within Monday, which would then alert the next person who is assigned to review the photos. To take it a step further, once the user who has reviewed the photos approves, they can then change the status to "Ready to Edit" for the next team member assigned to editing. You can see here based on this example that it creates a dedicated workflow that keeps every team member accountable throughout the whole flow of a project based on assignments and roles.
These are the platforms we have used and loved, but with company communication being of utmost importance, we expect more and more to emerge. If you use a different platform and love it, let us know in the comments!
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