Tech Review: GoToMeeting

by Peter Thomas Ricci

What is It?

GoToMeeting is the long reigning king of online collaboration and presentation tools. With integrated phone numbers/VOIP (ability to call in via your computer), killer mobile integration and their new HD Faces video product, GoToMeeting continues their dominance over lesser products in the marketplace. With several different uses for today’s busy real estate professional, GoToMeeting should definitely be considered as an addition to your business in 2014.

How it Works

There are several features that separate GoToMeeting from its competitors:

HD Faces. One of the recent additions to the GoToMeeting platform, HD Faces allows you to video-conference with those participants you have invited with amazing video quality, and gives you the ability to see who’s participating, making it a more collaborative workspace and a step above boring conference calls. Think about conducting an initial buyer interview with an out-of-state relocation client you’ve never met using HD Faces. Now, your one-way conference call has become a collaborative meeting that allows you to have a “name with the face” when they come into town.

Clear Audio and Screen Sharing. Even on a mobile device over a 3G network, audio is clear and transitions are smooth. When using the desktop application, you are able to show presentations, demonstrate websites and even show videos without lag. By using the screen share functionality in conjunction with HD Faces, real estate professionals are able to walk their clients through important documents and answer questions with personal contact.

Recording. This feature, only available in the upgraded account, is a built-in screen capture video program that allows a user to record a webinar, presentation or walk-through for future use, review or to post online. It produces video in either a GoToMeeting video format or WMV files that can be edited through programs like Camtasia or iMovie. Agents, loan officers and managers have jumped on team-building and training heavily over the past years, however, producing valuable content is always tough. By using the record feature in your next contract discussion or website walk-through, an instant training video is created for sharing with your team or agents. Tip: A presentation on market statistics in a particular neighborhood translates into instant content for your website, blog or social media profile.

Mobile App Integration and Access. Most competitors in this space have apps for attending an online presentation, but GoToMeeting’s tablet app actually allows you to schedule and host the meeting from your device. With a built-in browser and integration with Dropbox online document storage, users have the ability to surf, present and even whiteboard ideas while on the go. Say, for example, your seller clients are out of town and you need to discuss a price reduction. The only time they can talk is 30 minutes before you need to walk into a dinner. You create the CMA earlier in the day, upload it to Dropbox and instruct them to download the GoToMeeting app. As easy as firing up your tablet, you can walk them through the presentation (while they’re on their mobile device) and even log into the MLS to discuss comps – all while parked outside of the restaurant.

The Good:

GoToMeeting is the golden standard when it comes to online meetings, video conferencing and mobile integration. Basic package pricing is highly competitive to alternative programs and the quality of both audio/video is outstanding.

The Bad:

Upgraded programs for repeat users and webinars can become costly, and the inability to record video-conferences (you can record the presentation, but not the attendee video) is a major oversight. Users also must download and install necessary applications, unlike some other services.

The Bottom Line:

With busy schedules today in our industry, the ability to provide this level of interaction with your clients is a must. Where more inexpensive options may exist, the quality, mobile enablement and features of GoToMeeting truly set it apart and promote your business and brand in a positive light. For less than $500/year (for the upgraded account with recording capabilities), an agent now has the power to host professional online meetings, HD video conferences and recording capability for future use. They even have a 30-day free trial with all the features included, so why not try it out and see if it’s right for you?

Tech Specs:

GoToMeeting Essentials ($19/mo. or $182/year)

GoToMeeting with Recording ($49/mo. or $468/year)

All mobile applications are free and available in the app store.

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