It’s 2021, and we’re still learning how to work during a pandemic. And while most of us are hopeful that things will go back to “normal” in 2021, it doesn’t look like we will be going back to carpooling, crowded conference rooms, and small office spaces anytime soon. This means we have to make the most of the real estate tools we have to do our jobs effectively. Zoom has been one of the most popular tools for real estate agents, business leaders, and entrepreneurs, but it definitely comes with its own set of challenges. 

Here are six ways we can use Zoom more effectively and make virtual calls more effective:

Preparation Is Key
You can make Zoom calls more productive if you invest a little time in planning and preparation. Zoom calls end up lasting much longer than they need to when the host or the participants spend time looking for a specific file, their notes, or other data they need for the meeting. Technical difficulties, Wi-Fi that’s not cooperating, and a disorganized presentation can make a Zoom meeting hard to follow. To avoid this, spend time before the meeting making sure you know exactly what information you need and the fastest way to access it. Test out your camera and microphone, make sure your Wi-Fi is working, and spend time practicing. Encourage other participants to do the same.

Set Action Items
There’s nothing worse than ending a Zoom call and wondering, “What was the point of that?” At the beginning of the call, set realistic goals that can be measured by the end of the call. Is the point to collect data? Brainstorm? Make an important decision? Set a date or time for a future event? Setting goals helps keep everyone focused during the call, and gives everyone something to work towards. If the goal hasn’t been met in the predetermined time frame, you can schedule another meeting to pick up where you left off. 

Stick to the Plan
Part of being prepared for your Zoom call is having an agenda. This means laying out all of the topics you want to hit beforehand so you don’t miss anything. Let the other participants know what’s on the agenda so they can prepare questions and will know what to expect from the call. Decide on the length of the call and stick to this timeframe. Factor time into your agenda for questions, comments, and productive conversation. Remind callers to stick to the topics that are on the agenda, and allow for additional comments and conversations at the end of the call. Going into a Zoom meeting knowing the points you want to make will help you stay focused and prevent you from forgetting a valuable talking point. 

Remember: Dialogue, Not Monologue
It’s easy for callers to zone out when they are listening to one person speak for a long period of time. Asking for input and encouraging collaboration will help make a Zoom call more productive and engaging. If you’re the host of the call, remember to ask questions and focus on the strengths of others on the call. Acknowledge your real estate sales team and individual contributions, share accomplishments, and actively listen to the advice and opinions of others. This should be a conversation, not a lecture. Zoom calls are more bearable and productive when everyone feels involved.  

Could This Be An Email?
Before you schedule a Zoom call, remember to ask yourself, “Could this information be relayed in an email?” If the answer is yes, put together an email instead. Although we have the ability to jump on a virtual conference call whenever we want, it doesn’t necessarily mean we should. If you’re in charge of the Zoom calls for your business, make sure you use the technology wisely. Saving conference calls for when it’s really necessary will show your team that you value their time. 

Remember Zoom Etiquette
There’s a learning curve when it comes to using innovative technology like Zoom, so it doesn’t hurt to remind people before a call about the basics of virtual conference call etiquette. Some things you can do to make Zoom calls more effective and productive include:

  • Muting your microphone when you’re not speaking. This eliminates background noise that can be distracting to others on the call.
  • Avoid multitasking. Remember that your team can see and hear you, and if you’re doing many different things while on the call it can make it seem like you’re not engaged.
  • Be mindful of camera position. Test the camera before the call so you can make sure there isn’t anything distracting in the background and that it captures your image from the chest up.
  • Don’t eat while at the meeting. Even if you’re trying to be discreet, people can tell. Eat before or after the call.  

Learn More About Real Estate With Mbition
Zoom calls have made communication easier in hundreds of industries, including real estate. Agents use Zoom calls to connect with clients, contractors, and other agents when face to face meetings aren’t possible. This is just one-way real estate professionals use Zoom to do their jobs better. Continuing education is another way agents stay on top of their game, and Mbition has classes for new and seasoned real estate agents. Check out these new classes to learn more!