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Video Conferencing Is Valuable Tool To Use In Extending Your Effectiveness

Published: 09/08/2011
By: larry

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.

4 comments on “Video Conferencing Is Valuable Tool To Use In Extending Your Effectiveness”

  1. I couldn't agree more with Larry in this post. It is so important to push yourself and your business in directions that create greater efficiencies, improved customer service and significant relevance of your business to your customer base. These three things alone go towards pushing you into that realm of being a leader and being able to charge what leaders charge. And, as Larry says you do not need to have a huge investment to do Video Conferencing. We are hoping to add go to meeting to our monthly offering for interactive video blogging with our customers, coaching for real estate agents in marketing, and other great ways of getting our name and photography out there. I participate in go-to-meeting as an attendee with many vendors such as Real Tour Vision, Nik Software, X-Rite, OnOneSoftware to name a few. At $49 per month for my own account, I will be developing 3-6 months worth of content before I sign up so that I can properly market and monetize the service for myself. I personally have been participating in Facetime with my Apple Photographer co-horts. Up to now, its really just been to communicate in a more one-on-one getting to know you to my "internet friends". However, Larry was kind enough to set up a great Australian Real Estate Photographer from Perth with Brad and myself for some marketing interexchanges and we used Facetime to get to know eachother. Our biggest challenge is of course the time difference but once that was figured out - what a great tool! I have to say, Dave had better lighting and he looked much better than I did on the facetime. My face came across magenta until I figured out that my screen wallpaper - a purplish view of the heavens - was reflecting out at me! Have fun with the free services out there! and, bring back the art of conversation, the art of relationship that the internet has so rudely removed from our everyday communication life.

  2. Charles Lynch, Allan MacKenzie and I checked out Google+ this morning and it works pretty well. The only screen you're able to share is YouTube, though, but for a free program it seems pretty good. I'm wondering how it's going to work when we start adding more people...

  3. I malia I think it should work very well with Google + 1 and the more people you add the better it shall work. would you mind posting your results on what you find and how it works.

    Cheers

    Phill

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