Brokerage serving the Detroit metro area capitalizes on RingCentral Office and Glip to make Realtors more effective, both in and out of the office.
When Ron Rocz founded his own real estate brokerage, he was determined to break away from outdated methods of doing business, including old-fashioned notions of how offices should be organized and coworkers should communicate.
Ron Rocz shows data from Glip during staff training.
Established four years ago in Birmingham, MI, his RE/MAX franchise, RE/MAX Nexus, is capitalizing on the resurgence of the Detroit suburbs.
RingCentral Glip provides a modern way to communicate that appeals to team members who have come together to make a fresh start, Rocz says. “I guess the longer you do something one way, the less receptive you are to change. One thing that is very prominent in our mission statement is to innovate, inspire, and connect.”
Some of the collaboration tools included with Glip also turned out to be a good match with the needs of his business. For example, he can use Glip image annotation to mark up property images, pointing out unique features or maintenance issues that ought to be addressed prior to a showing.
“We’ve worked with illustrators to change the color of a house if we thought it was going to be a sticking point,” he explains. Showing a buyer a rendering of what a million-dollar home would look like with a different paint job is well worth the effort if it helps close the sale, he says. “You can visualize or communicate so much more effectively when you’re working with the actual content.” Glip can be used to collaborate with the graphic artist, sharing specific instructions on how the image should be altered, and by an agent in the field to retrieve the image and show it to the buyer on a phone, tablet, or laptop.
Similarly, when the leadership team gathers for a weekly meeting, they use an agenda drafted as a Glip Note to outline their important talking points. They can then add notes or assign follow-up tasks associated with specific agenda items, Rocz says. “So our agenda that used to be on paper has now become very actionable.”
Previously, Rocz experimented with a couple of other collaboration products. But “once we had RingCentral and we all had phone extensions, I had to think, why not have it all together? Then when I compared the two, I was really impressed — I felt that Glip did so much more than Slack ever offered.”
RingCentral is recommended by RE/MAX LLC, the global real estate organization Rocz joined as a franchisee, and he originally selected RingCentral Office for its cloud business phone system.
One of his goals for RE/MAX Nexus was to make Realtors productive both inside and outside of the office — knowing that outside of the office is where most of the real work happens in real estate. With RingCentral Office and Glip, they can field calls and collaborate with peers and support staff on their smartphones in spare moments between showing houses or meeting with sellers they hope to represent.
“I always remember the sales trainer who told me, ‘If you’re not out selling, you’re being outsold’ — and it’s true,” Rocz says. “About the only thing you do in the office is closings, which is where you have everyone meeting in the same time and space to sign documents. We have plenty of conference rooms for that.”
Yet many other brokerages function as if they expect agents to be sitting at their desks, waiting for calls, Rocz says. At his former employer, simple processes like getting phone messages were needlessly complex. A receptionist would transfer calls to his desk phone, triggering a text message notifying him of the message. He would then have to call in to retrieve his voicemail. “I just thought it was antiquated,” he says — barely a step up from taping a message to his chair.
At RE/MAX Nexus, there are no desk phones. “We don’t even have a phone at the reception desk, just a Mac, a Bluetooth headset, and the softphone,” Rocz says. Similarly, an agent who wants to make calls from the office would use the RingCentral Phone app on their computer and a headset. Typically, agents have their RingCentral Office extension programmed to automatically forward incoming calls to a mobile phone because that’s what’s easiest for them, Rocz says. “Most people just set it and forget it.” They can also make and take calls using RingCentral Mobile and their business phone number.
Getting Glip as part of RingCentral Office proved equally valuable for sharing messages that do not require a phone call. Better yet, it has helped him define business processes that make agents more productive by offering a rich menu of support services.
“Most real estate professionals are independent contractors from start to finish,” Rocz says, meaning that in addition to winning a seller’s business they will buy the “for sale” sign and pound it into the ground themselves. “They do it all, or they attempt to. They take their own awful pictures. They do many things, but not many things well,” he says.
RE/MAX Nexus instead defines a standard process of everything that needs to be accomplished, from onboarding a new client to making the sale and executing the closing. Using Glip’s Duplicate Team function, the office staff creates a team for each new property based on a master template that includes a standard list of recurring tasks that need to be completed every time.
“The agent has a choice: How much or how little would you like us to do?” Rocz explains. “Do you want our photographer to go out, or our drone operator to go out to the property? Would you like our 3D technicians to go out? What title company do you want to use? Do you want us to order the sign? Are there any restrictions — like for a condo, where the sign has to be a certain size? What are the selling instructions? It’s all the variables we need to cover.”
By working with a team, Realtors can focus on what they do best while still ensuring that no detail gets missed.
“It’s why we’re called ‘Nexus’ — we want to help them run their business at a high level by connecting them to tools and resources,” Rocz says. “Our message is: ‘We’re going to facilitate this process to make you shine — because we’re in business together.’”
Originally published Apr 11, 2018, updated Aug 11, 2020