Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gist Gadget and eXp Realty

Learn how an innovative national real estate brokerage firm eXp Realty uses Google Apps and the Gist Gadget to enrich client interactions with photos, contact details, news and social media updates for their contacts right inside Gmail.

eXp Realty is a National real estate brokerage with an innovative business environment for collaborating, supporting agents with their listings and transactions, and an ecosystem for social interaction in and outside of the organization. Serving 12 states, eXp Realty was built from the ground up to offer full-service Real Estate services in a virtual green environment. Taking advantage of the latest tools for social media, 3D office immersion, and Google Apps and email, eXp Reality uses a cloud-based infrastructure to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Google Apps is at the heart of eXp Realty communications. The use Google Apps to manage and share documents, manage 10's of thousands of emails a month, Google Chat for Instant Messaging with Voip functions as well as Google Voice to manage and route more traditional phone calls.

"The Real Estate industry has been and continues to be in a perfect storm and as a result everything is changing,” said Glenn Sanford, CEO of eXP Realty. “To be competitive and offer the kind of service buyers and sellers expect, we're doing everything we can to reduce costs without compromising on service. Many of these initiatives have resulted in other benefits including a considerable reduction of our carbon footprint."

A typical real estate agent may have 300 to 1000 contacts in their database. Customers come from many different channels (phone/email/social media/personal sphere, among others), and it's hard to stay current on the inbound and outbound contacts with the tools that a typical agent has available to them. Additionally offices working to maintain their brand and continuity must continually review the social streams of its agent base.

One of the ways eXp Realty is addressing these challenges is by using the cloud capabilities of the Gist Gadget within the Gmail facilities of Google Apps.

The Gist Gadget gives eXp Realty's staff a full view of the contacts in their professional network by creating a rich business profile for each contact that includes the most news, status updates, and work details. This gadget works along with the existing workflow within Google Apps to show the latest news and information from social media sources like Twitter and Facebook for prospects, past customers, and employees. Instead of having to spend time researching customers, eXp Realty agents learn more about that person's highly individual needs, and build a better experience for one of the most important and emotional decisions a consumer makes: buying a house.

Using Gist with Google Apps provides the entire eXP Realty team with the ability to stay up to date and have a "warm hello" each time there is a communication by quickly reviewing latest email threads via Gmail and Google Apps which at the heart of much of the communication between the Agent and the customer as well as between the agent and other team members. With Gist and Google Apps, eXp Realty agents are better prepared than the competition and as a result believe that they are able to give better service. The focus is on the relationship with the customer. Gist helps eXp Realty agents get one step closer to the buyer or seller, right from the first email received.

"We were able to activate Gist as a Gadget within Google Apps easily and saw immediate value for our Real Estate business," says Glenn Sanford, CEO of eXp Realty.