Google + A good Tool for Real Estate Professionals

Recently Google released a beta version of its highly-anticipated social networking platform, Google+. So far the reaction as been good with praise for the app’s design and features. Having read several reviews it seems that Google + has several built in tools that can be highly advantageous to Real Estate Professionals.

Google+ is similar to Facebook, offering to connect users, add status updates, share photos and links, etc.  But what Google + offers that Facebook does not is a tool they call “Circles”. Circles allows users to define contacts, and group them by type. This cool feature will allow Agents and Brokers to share information with a specific group or “circle”.

A good use of Circles in the Real Estate field is to separate your work colleagues, friends and clients. You can even break your clients into smaller circles. For example, Buyers, Sellers, Past Clients and so on.  The ability to control who you share specific information with is powerful, and very useful for Real Estate professionals.

Google+ also incorporates a built-in multi-user video chat tool called “Hangouts”. With Hangouts, users can chat with up to ten people at the same time. Whoever is Talks the loudest is highlighted in the large central window, with everyone else displayed in  strip of smaller windows underneath.

Hangouts can be useful for agents and broker in several different ways. First off, for the small virtual office, Hangouts is a great way to have a interactive office meeting. For large offices, this tool could be used to connect managers together for their weekly managers meeting. For agents who need to connect with an out of town client, or even to do a virtual listing presentation, Hangouts is perfect to facilitate just that. I am anxious to test this feature to see how well it works.

Another great feature that makes Google+ different from other social networks is “Sparks”. With Sparks, users can add interests and the system will crawl the web looking for articles related to that interest, making it easy for users to find relevant articles to share.

Can you think of any other ways Real Estate professionals can use Google + to help grow their business?

Amanda is the Co-Founder and CEO of Properties Online, Inc, a website technology company created to help agents and brokers grow their business. Along with her husband Greg, Amanda co-owns a real estate brokerage located in Northern California with 9 offices and over 250 agents. Amanda holds a BA in Film and Electronic Arts from California State University Long Beach, and has worked in the film, internet and print industries for over 25 years designing marketing materials for Dick Clark Productions, John Travolta Productions, Warner Bros., Disney, Bob Hope and more.
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