Thursday, February 14, 2013
Editor's note: Our guest blogger is Tony Floyd, Chief Marketing Officer at Prudential Georgia Realty, metro Atlanta's largest real estate brokerage. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
At Prudential Georgia Realty, our associates work hard to deliver valuable services to their clients. Their work ethic and great skills have helped us become the largest real estate company in the Greater Metro Atlanta area. We were recently named by REALTrends as one of only 17 real estate companies in the country to increase its sales volume, agent headcount and agent productivity over the last 10 years.
With more than 1,000 agents in 22 offices, spread out over 43 counties around Atlanta, it is critical for our agents and staff to communicate efficiently with current and potential clients. Communication is the backbone of our business - our agents have to manage a lot of contacts, files, photos and other information and they need access on their mobile devices. We had two separate email systems, a hosted Microsoft® Exchange 2007 server for employees and an open source solution for our agents. We wanted to migrate to a single system that allowed us to support the transition to a more virtual working environment and foster better collaboration internally. Another consideration was the ability for our agents to organize and manage their contacts into groups so they could run campaigns and stay in contact using any of their devices. After a careful evaluation, we decided to move to the Google Apps platform.
We migrated the employees to Google Apps in December and have already seen an improvement in our communication. When our agents go live, Google Apps will help them run their business from any location using any device. Google Groups will let agents easily organize and manage their client and contact lists, so with one click they can send more relevant marketing content to a specific group of people. Most importantly, since it’s all in the cloud, these Groups will automatically sync to any device so the agent can follow up with a personal phone call.
Google Drive allows us to share large files and documents and manage the security at the same time. We plan to implement Google Sites, so each branch or division will have a searchable and sharable place to store information like a high resolution photos. Teams can work together on projects more effectively and collaborate on live documents. Agents will now be able to create personalized Google Sites tailored to specialized groups of prospects like first time buyers, baby boomers, or potential luxury home buyers.
Real estate is a very competitive business. Google Apps puts the information at our fingertips, which gives us a leg up. Leveraging the right technology can be game changing for the real estate industry, and we’re excited to be a leader in that effort.