There are three critical parties when it comes to real estate sales. The seller, the buyer and the agent or agents are all critical. When it comes to communication in real estate, the agent generally guides the communication and is the face of the communication. Lots of people know every successful real estate agent has a great team behind them but what they don't consider is how often the agent forwards messages and copy/paste messages, sending everything to his/her team. This slows the sales cycle and is ripe for typos, mistakes and errors that often derail a sale. Very often real estate agents and real estate companies try to use a custom agent platform like Shaker or AirSend or Flyp but they quickly realize the buyers and sellers (the customers making these firms millions of dollars) don't want to use a new app. Until Rake's Universal Channels, the agents have been too focused on the platform and not the conversations.
Rake believes conversations are critical as evidenced by their tag line, It's about the conversation not the platform.
The best method for client communication is the one with the least amount of friction. Usually this is SMS but the limitations with SMS are many. It's hard to add and remove people from text groups and all too often employees are being asked to use personal phone numbers. On top of the obvious challenges, SMS tends to be personal and while buying a house is very personal, managing the sale and purchase of a house is not. When an agent or an agent's assistant mistakenly replies to a text they thought was from friends but was about a stressful moment during the sale, it may derail the sale. There is a better way.
Universal Channels were built for use cases like real estate sales. The real estate agent and perhaps three or four people that work at the real estate company will create/join a Universal Channel in their Rake workspace. Let's name the channel 'Becker-Shelly-Rick'. Of course we named the channel after the clients. The agent sends Shelly and Rick separate email invitations to the channel. When they join the channel, they pick SMS as their platform to use when sending and receiving messages to and from the channel. This is the most convenient form of communication for the Becker's and since the real estate agent, let's call her Lori, can bring co-workers into the channel and those co-workers can reply directly to the Becker's and send them files, photos, etc. the channel becomes a very effective place to communicate quickly and without stress. If either of the Becker's ever leave the channel all of the files and content remain in the channel and Lori's team can always access the information they may need.
We have four people at the real estate company using Rake. Shelly and Rick Becker are using SMS and getting all of the messages from Lori and team and the Beckers are replying using SMS and the real estate team is getting all of the messages. This is simple, it's fast and it's convenient. It's everything sales people want in client communication.
Universal Channels from Rake are similar to Slack Connect but there are a few important benefits that Slack Connector cannot deliver.
One, Slack Connect requires everyone to use Slack. Slack is nice but sales people and service teams know client communication is challenged when the customer is asked to use a new app. When Rake customers use Universal Channels, their clients (or vendors, freelancers, etc.) use the message app they most prefer. They can use SMS, they can use Messenger (Facebook), they can use WhatsApp or they can use Rake. In the future, Rake will add connections to apps like Microsoft Teams, Signal and Telegram but we anticipate most in the United States and Canada will use SMS as this has become the preferred messaging app in North America. In other parts of the world, we anticipate most will use WhatsApp. The requirement for all parties to use Slack is not an example of being focused on the conversation. Slack is focused on the platform.
Two, Slack Connect is limited to 20 outside organizations. Why? We don't know but as you can imagine Rake allows you to invite an unlimited number of people working or affiliated with an unlimited number of organizations.
Three, Rake's Universal Channels allow multiple message platforms to connect to the same Universal Channel. This means in the case of our example with Lori's real estate team if Shelly wanted to use Facebook (Meta) Messenger rather than SMS and Rick wants to use SMS, the Rake Universal Channel will support this. In theory if six people used Rake, eight people used SMS and five people used Messenger and ten people used WhatsApp the channel would work just as well as if one person was using Rake and one person was using SMS.
As with anything new many people will want to try a Rake Universal Channel to make sure their client's and their team like the experience. Rake offers an unlimited users free trial for 60 days. No credit card is required and there are no fees to connect the platforms of your choice. Visit the Rake Universal Channels webpage and sign up for a free trial. Click here