Web conferencing software for commercial real estate
Web conferencing software for commercial real estate allows you to conduct live online virtual meetings with participants located anywhere. You can make remote sales presentations, hold team meetings, jointly edit documents and more through your computer without geographic constraints. There are lots of choices when it comes to web conferencing software though. Some are free and others charge a fee. Which ones work best?
At ClientLook we use web conferencing software all day, every day. It’s the cornerstone of our sales, customer support and product development efforts. We work more efficiently, save time and significantly reduce expenses. These are the types of benefits that could accrue to any commercial real estate professional.
What is Web Conferencing Software for Commercial Real Estate?
Web conferencing software allows commercial real estate professionals to share whatever is happening on your computer’s desktop with a group of people. PowerPoint presentations, web sites, document editing can all be shared. Typically anyone attending your meeting can be a presenter so that it’s not just your desktop that could be shared. To hear everyone the participants will either need to call into a conference phone number or use a microphone and speakers attached to their computer (VOIP).
Holding a Virtual Meeting
To hold a meeting you simply log in to your account and start the show. As an attendee you’ll log in to the online meeting with a special link and then dial in to the audio or connect your headset in order to hear. Most services require a small software download, which usually installs itself automatically in less than a minute.
Web Conferencing Comparisons
There are lots of great choices when it comes to web conferencing software. We chose what we consider to be the 4 top choices for commercial real estate professionals. Here are our choices for top web conferencing software.
One of the two top subscription-based offerings. Owned by Citrix.
Price: $49/mo for up to 15 participants; free trial available.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Upside: Premier high quality provider with consistent service. Very user friendly. Best for multiple monitor setups, can choose any monitor to share. Sessions can be recorded on your local PC. Meeting scheduling system is excellent, as is the annotation tool.
Downside: Audio calls are sometimes dropped. More expensive per participant than competitors.
The 700 lb gorilla of web conferencing. Owned by Cisco.
Price: $49/mo for up to 25 participants; free trial available.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Smartphones w/Wifi-3G
Upside: Premier high quality provider with consistent service. Can add your logo to your meeting center, same conference call number each time. Sessions can be recorded online and shared. Video conferencing capability. Good value.
Downside: No support for multiple monitors. Not as user-friendly, for either presenters or attendees, as GoToMeeting.
Simple, straightforward, easy and free.
Price: Free for up to 10 participants.
Compatibility: Windows, Mac
Upside: Very easy to use. File transfer feature allows sharing files up to 200MB. Any participant can record meetings on their local PC. Participants can point to items on presenter’s screen to aid discussion.
Downside: Calls are sometimes dropped. Some latency in screen sharing. Scheduler still needs work.
New kid on the block, hipper than it’s competitors.
Price: Free for up to 20 participants; Pro version $25/mo for 50 participants
Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux
Upside: Free, has video conferencing ability, although camera setup is a little quirky. Shared whiteboard capability. Web Widget for allowing your site or blog visitors to join a meeting. No software to install – totally browser-based. Meetings can be recorded in Flash format. Custom branding in the Pro (paid) version.
Downside: Some latency (delay) in screen sharing. No support for multiple monitors.
UPDATE: Dim Dim was acquired by Salesforce.com, and is no longer accepting new users.
The Bottom Line
Web conferencing software for commercial real estate can work great for anyone who needs to have a scheduled or impromptu meeting, make a presentation, or collaborate on a document. You can complete projects faster by holding online review sessions without the need to gather in one location. With the addition of video conferencing in most services, it’s almost like being there in person. Web conferencing helps you keep clients up to date while avoiding on-site visits which can be costly both in time and money. It can also turn a cold call into an opportunity to present more in-depth information while you have the prospect’s attention.
After trying all of the services listed above, we finally settled in with GoToMeeting at ClientLook. Specifically we use their GoToWebinar service, which accommodates up to 1,000 attendees. You’d only need this if you’re involved in larger webinars. Otherwise the basic service offerings from any of these providers should work fine.
So far we’ve found GoToMeeting to be the best combination of functionality and usability. Attend one of our web demos some day to experience it for yourself. Your mileage may vary. Regardless of which one you choose, you will find that web conferencing quickly becomes a vital part of your business.