For the last couple of weeks I've been doing some coaching of beginning real estate photographers using various forms of video conferencing and I've been amazed by how effective video conferencing is. I've used Skype and Gotomeeting.com for my coaching sessions. Skype has been unreliable in many instances but Gotomeeting, which just added HD video to their meeting software has been very effective.
I'm amazed how much a good video conference can be just like just sitting down at a table with someone. You can understand peoples personality styles and body language just like being there. My impression is that video conferencing is a radically under used technology and it can help us all get our jobs done and minimizing or eliminating travel. It's not that this technology is new or anything, I used to do this at Boeing in the early 90's but we had conference rooms that had $30K of equipment and were connected with obscenely expensive T1 lines. Nowadays anyone with laptop can do it in their home for free or almost free.
G+ hangouts looks like it is going to be a significant contributor to the accessibility of video conferencing. You can do almost as much (no screen sharing yet) for free as you can with Skype Premium for $4.50/month and Gotomeeting.com for $49/mo.
What does this have to do with real estate photography? Nothing directly but using the latest tools in communication technology applies to all businesses. Someone in one of the Flickr groups suggested forming a mastermind group. Video conferencing could be a great tool for forming a mastermind group or a closer group discussion than you can carry out on flickr via text exchanges without spending a ton of money on travel.
You will probably never replace face-to-face meetings but you can use video to be significantly more effective than you can just using email or a phone. The challenge is to not just keep doing business the way you've always done it. Many of our problems these days come from resistance to change.