We recently published a blog on how we use Slack at Rex, with a smattering of hints and tips to try and nudge your agency into trying it out yourself. If you’re not familiar with the software, we strongly recommend checking out that post first. Today, we’re looking at how to use Slack for real estate agents. Trust us, it’s a godsend.
Core Projects, one of our oldest clients, started with Slack a while ago. As a project marketing agency, they require a ton of internal communications between teams to keep the wheels turning smoothly. After struggling for years with traditional email, they decided to give Slack a go to see if it could help lighten the load on their inboxes. I thought I’d give their sales manager, Grant Neilson, a call and see how they’re finding it.
Do you use the use the mobile app?
“The salespeople love the mobile app. It’s a great tool out in the field. Our admin staff just use Slack in-office though – we don’t tell them to download the mobile app. They’re not earning commission and it wouldn’t be fair to keep them plugged into work after hours. In saying that, some have chosen to download it.”
What sort of channels do you maintain at Core?
“Each of our larger projects gets its own long term, private channel. They give all the directors and management visibility on weekly reporting, any issues we might have, high restrictions, released titles – the works. Everything is in one place so you don’t have to be constantly distracted when something comes up – you can check the channel once every few hours. It’s far easier to keep on top of it all.”
Any others channels worth mentioning?
“Definitely. Market Research is a big one. We use it for articles and updates on the industry. Anyone can post there, but mainly the market research team sharing what they’ve found with the rest of the office.”
“Then there’s the New Listings channel. It’s just a stream of new listings – it’s good way to keep track of them all.”
“We actually have a Rex channel. If we have any updates to our best use policy, we’ll add them there. Changes to how we manage data entry, custom tags, stuff like that. The admin team often encourage the team to make their own tracks and bulk merge templates. Plus, it’s handy to ask our team before sending a support request to save time if we have a question about some of the functionality.”
“Then there’s the ‘Trash and Treasure’ channel – you know the old idiom ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’? If one of our salespeople see something on their travels that might not be relevant to them, but could be helpful for someone else, they’ll add it here. They might spot a vacant site or see a big developer has just bought a land holding in town, for example. The same goes for our ‘OAB’ channel. The mobile app makes it easy to take a photo of another agent’s board and upload it.”
“That about covers the important ones – but of course we have our Footy Tipping channel and a few others for general banter. We had a health challenge a few months ago, and we kept a channel for that. Slack’s great for general office reminders. It saves us from sending too many internal emails”.
Have you noticed a change in the amount of emails you send?
“Absolutely, our internal emails have definitely dropped off. What’s more, I’ve noticed people are much more willing to ask a quick question than they would have been if it needed to be an email. Slack really encourages quick internal collaboration. We can quickly create a private group for a problem with a listing, and share it with all the people involved. It helps us get everyone’s opinion on an issue, and it’s a lot less invasive than an email. You don’t really have to worry about interrupting people. They’ll look at it when they’re ready, and you certainly feel less forced to respond immediately – if at all.”
Have you had any issues with Slack?
“Not really. It’s certainly an improvement on our old system – though sometimes items requiring attention can be difficult to flag and occasionally get forgotten in the stream. I can see people having issues with the free version, though. You really need to pay for it if you’re a business of our size, otherwise old conversations are hidden which could potentially cause a lot of problems.”
So there you have it – how to use Slack for real estate. Slack’s not just handy for software companies – in fact, it’s probably more beneficial for real estate applications. I trust you’ll need no more convincing. (Did I mention it’s free (for a bit)?)