Remote meetings and consultations have come a long way from the traditional teleconference. Home builders and designers are utilizing technology to have meetings, consultations and sales pitches from remote locations such as job sites or offices across the country.
There are plenty of different uses for web conferencing software, and home builders should know their options to take advantage of these useful tools, so we'd like to take a look at a few of them.
Zoom has recently become one of the major players in the web conferencing world. It's available on PCs and smartphones and has free and paid versions available.
Zoom can incorporate a large number of attendees and can utilize multi-monitor technology to display the web camera feeds for every virtual attendee. The free version of Zoom can handle meetings lasting 40 minutes, and occasionally longer, but if you want unlimited meeting minutes in every session, you'll need to pay for the subscription service.
Zoom also offers HD quality feeds, screen sharing and the ability to save meetings either on a local PC or in the cloud.
The major draw to join.me is that it's easy to use and doesn't require a proprietary app or download. Hosts have the ability to claim a personalized URL, customize the look of their meetings and share their screens when necessary.
Unlike other conferencing services, however, join.me does not have a free option available. Their lowest priced plan includes meeting support for up to five attendees and fees are charged for audio services.
Skype is one of the oldest personal and professional web conferencing services available. Over the years it's evolved from a simple video calling service to a viable option for businesses such as home builders and designers. Builders and designers can access Skype from their smart phones, allowing them to check in from the job site and remotely update customers on the progress of the build or visually go over any issues that need addressing.
Like Zoom, Skype does have free services available, but businesses who wish to tailor their web conferences to meet specialized needs may need to examine the paid aspect of Skype web services. The good news is that Skype is under the Microsoft umbrella, so there may be more access to customer support than some of the other web conferencing software available.
GoToMeeting offers services for businesses both large and small, making it a viable option for home builders and designers. It can be used on nearly any PC, smartphone or mobile tablet.
While GoToMeeting has a number of advantageous features, it does have a learning curve, so staff, customers and other meeting attendees may need a brief tutorial on how to join a meeting and take advantage of certain tools. Once you've learned how to set up your meetings, you can record audio and video for viewing at a later time, and GoToMeeting includes features such as screen sharing, virtual white boards and a chat feature that can be accessed outside of the presentations being made.
As far as value goes, GoToMeeting does offer a 14 day free trial to assess its services, then is available via subscription at different rates depending on your home building business' needs.
RingCentral Video is a service designed specifically for businesses. It comes complete with analytic software to assess how the software is being used, giving you full control of video quality and performance.
From a functionality standpoint, RingCentral Video supplies quite a number of very useful features for the asking price. Home designers can fully integrate Microsoft 365, G Suite and other third-party applications giving you a seamless way to display ideas, plans and other documents you've created for your business meeting. Besides extended features, RingCentral Video is completely capable of handling every day web conference needs such as voice and video chat, screen sharing and built-in text chat.
It didn't take long for Google to jump into the web conferencing game. Hangouts if fully integrated with the entire G Suite and can make video calls directly from your Google contact list. With G Suite integration, hangouts makes it possible to schedule meetings directly from your Google calendar complete with links to the meeting room.
One big advantage of Google Hangouts is that attendees won't need to download plug-ins or software to attend your meetings. It's available on PC, iOS and Android devices making accessible from nearly anywhere.
If you already utilize Microsoft products in your home design business, you may wish to consider Microsoft Teams for web conferencing. Microsoft Teams seamlessly integrates the full Office Suite into meetings allowing you to easily share documents with customers and the rest of your design team. This integration allows for easy Power Point presentations from remote locations, sharing of spreadsheets and team collaboration on Word documents from different locales.
Microsoft Teams also includes many of the features of other major web conferencing software including group chat, voice only calls and video web conferencing.
About Portfolio Home Plans
Portfolio Home Plans is an online market place full of sharable plans that helps home designers reach a wide potential client base. PHP's storefront is available on thousands of websites, making the perfect marketing tool and revenue generator.
Home builders can take advantage of PHP's virtual store front by embedding it on their own business' web page. This gives home builders full control over the home plan sales process and keeps customers on their website rather than relying on a third-party business for home designs. Builders have the potential to increase their revenue by earning a commission on every plan sold via their site whether they've purchased their plan for their clients or customers have chosen purchase the plan directly from the builder's site.