Real estate company Homie’s newly virtual team relies on software to connect with each other and their clients.
Homie is a tech-based real estate company that uses its online platform to simplify home buying and selling. The company had just opened its newest office in Las Vegas three days before the shutdown started.
“We barely had time to get to know each other before we were forced apart to our separate homes,” said Adrienne Allen, head of real estate for Homie in Southern Nevada. “We were trying to grow as a team, as well as introduce the new company to the Southern Nevada community all via video chat and social media.”
Homie relied on software and online venues to not only carry them through the pandemic but also help grow their newly remote team.
Here are three ways you can follow their lead and use technology, software, and social media to engage remote employees, promote virtual team collaboration, attract clients, and ensure a successful virtual team.
1. Meet regularly (via video) to keep your teams on the same page
When the shutdown started, Homie used daily video calls to engage remote employees and Gmail’s chat function to communicate less formally. They found that this regular communication helped employee engagement.
“That’s how we came together, and believe it or not, we bonded,” Allen said.
Through video conferencing software and communication software, Homie’s newly remote team collaborated on work projects and connected through team building exercises. You can also keep your team engaged by using software tools regularly and innovatively.
Regularly scheduled video calls can help with group cohesion to make sure everyone is on the same page, especially if a team is relatively new. To keep these video calls engaging, use features offered by web conferencing platforms such as screen sharing and polls.
If a meeting is particularly important, it’s always a good idea to prepare and send out an agenda in advance so attendees know what to expect. And don’t forget to record your virtual meeting so team members unable to attend can watch it later.
Video calls can be a casual hangout or virtual happy hour, allowing team members to talk informally about themselves and shared interests to foster human connection.
Communication software can also facilitate casual, fun conversations colleagues would experience in an in-person office setting. Virtual team building events can help team members get to know each other, which can lead to better collaboration.
If you need ideas, creative ways to encourage remote social interaction include a movie night, virtual scavenger hunt, or book club.
2. Use social media to reach your customers where they are
Before the pandemic, Homie invested in billboard marketing, which was no longer effective with more people staying home.
“It would have been great if people are driving around, going to work and things, but that proved to be nonexistent for a while,” Allen said. “People just weren’t seeing it.”
So, they pivoted their marketing strategy to rely more on social media to establish a meaningful connection with potential new clients.
“I don’t think we would have been so heavy on social media if it wasn’t for the pandemic,” Allen said.
Homie’s social media approach is robust, sharing different kinds of content such as home postings, explainer videos, and links to the company’s blog. Its video content, for example, uses humor to establish a connection with potential home buyers and sellers.
Homie was able to reach more people by investing in social media and sharing content that connected them with potential clients.
Social media can help you reach your audience, and social media monitoring software is the way to do it. These tools allow you to schedule posts in advance and can track metrics such as likes, shares, and comments across social media platforms. Tracking metrics means you can see which posts generate the most engagement with potential customers.
3. Make sure your business is ready for whatever comes its way
Homie was already relying on technology and software before the pandemic started but had to change the way they used it.
“[Technology] was imperative because if we hadn’t had the systems in place that we have, we would have been [unsure] what to do next,” Allen said.
Because they already relied on their online platform to connect with home buyers and sellers, Homie was able to adapt its company culture to the digital new normal with minimal setbacks. If another shutdown happens in the future, Allen says her team is ready.
Make sure your business is ready, too, by keeping your business continuity plan up to date. Software can be invaluable, but it can only go so far. When thinking about your business continuity plan, consider the different ways your current software investments can help your business thrive and make adjustments where needed.
Software can help your teams adapt to the new normal
You can learn how other businesses like Homie have used software to overcome challenges and apply those lessons with your own team.
No matter what is thrown your way, software and technology can help you keep your business afloat—and even grow—during a crisis.
Note: The software applications referenced in this article were cited by the interviewee in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations.