Brokers: boost your internal communication remotely!

Most brokers and agents are now used to the idea of supporting their day to day activities with digital tools and have systems set up to do so. However, not all offices will have clearly defined channels of digital communication within their teams beyond emails or phone calls and even fewer will have foreseen the 100% digital situation in which we now find ourselves.

As more of us will be forced to work remotely in the coming days or weeks, it is important to choose your channels of digital communication wisely. Pick a suite of tools your team can adopt quickly and easily. There are countless options out there to help you manager your team remotely - this article is intended to give you a starting point.

More than just email and phone calls

Emails have a place in your internal digital communications but should be reserved for more official communications. Phone calls are fast and simple, but you quickly lose track of the details discussed unless you make a note of them simultaneously – and then send those notes out via email. For more time sensitive topics, and to save your colleagues inboxes from exploding, consider using platforms such as Slack or Facebook Workplace. Using these instant messaging solutions, you can assign tasks, keep track of discussion topics and send files back and forth. It’s the convenience of a phone call with the organisational benefits of email.

Be there face to face

In the coming days and weeks, it will be increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for teams to have in-person meetings. Meanwhile deadlines continue to approach, colleagues need to be aligned with, and regular human interaction needs to be maintained.

Using video conferencing is nothing new and most of us have all been using services such as WhatsApp and Skype for a few years now. But video calling has come a long way and there are tools around today such as Zoom or GoToMeeting which make it possible to have large numbers of participants in a single call with no loss of quality to either the video or audio.

With Zoom it is possible to record the meeting and receive both video with audio recordings, and just the audio on its own right after the meeting has ended. GoToMeeting is one of the most robust online training solutions out there and certainly worth considering if you want to continue supporting your teams with new information en masse.

RE/MAX Italy have recently used GoToMeeting to successfully host a training webinar for over 1000 attendees.

Everybody on the same page

During these challenging times it is more important than ever that teams stay coordinated, clear and confident in the tasks they are performing. If you have not done so already, we strongly recommend using a project management tool such as Asana, Trello or Evernote to track the progress of each of your projects. As well as providing clarity, these tools can also add accountability and a positive mental boost when your team sees items are being checked off.

Access to documents and information is key to the on-going success of your business. Make sure you have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) set up where all your team members can access from home. Be sure to provide your team (or at least the key players) with a laptop during this period of home office. Your technical department or an IT consultant should be able to advise you further.

If time or technical resources are an issue when implementing a VPN, you can temporarily bridge the information gap by setting up a team Dropbox, working via Google Docs or Microsoft Teams. This will also ensure that your staff can collaborate on one central document without the need for different versions flying around.

For a more comprehensive list of the types of remote working tools available, we highly recommend checking out this article from The Couch Manager. The most important thing to remember is to adopt tools which fit the needs and working style of your team. Keep in regular contact, stay supportive of one another and look forward to the future.