Summary: With increasing awareness on the versatility as also the cost and time-saving benefits of online collaboration, investments in web conferencing had been growing. However, the outbreak of coronavirus has added a new dimension of safety to these virtual meetings. At a time when people need to maintain physical distancing for valid health reasons, the real estate industry too can capitalise upon audio and web conferencing to support its business continuity.
The construction and real estate industry is labour-intensive and depends largely on human interaction. In addition to workers building the structures, clients are given face-to-face presentations on the blueprints and models of buildings.
Architects, engineers, contractors, plumbers, electricians and carpenters work in close coordination for best outcomes on a project. Like most other industries, this sector was also disrupted when COVID-19 struck the world.
In an environment where direct meetings between people were suspended, virtual collaboration turned out as the only way to communicate and proceed with project plans. Although the industry was also affected by reverse migration and the number of active workers reduced for most projects, the risks of unnecessary gatherings at construction sites had to be managed by project managers. The entities that resorted to digital mode of interaction were able to resolve such issues effectively.
A digital tool to discuss and track progress
Tata Tele Business Services’ (TTBS’) web conferencing solution is an effective virtual meeting solution that allows members of a construction team to stay connected and engaged at work. Real estate agents who wish to share pictures and videos of houses for sale while explaining their features and dimensions can also use this conferencing application. We call it Unlimited Web & Audio, and it works on both desktop and mobile.
Ease of joining the meeting
Participants can join with a single click, and there is no need to send and remember dial-in-numbers or meeting passwords. Users sending the meeting request get a personalised permanent web address with their name in it. There is no requirement for downloading a copy of the software. All features of the service are available directly to the administrator and other participants as soon as they log in.
Anyone who wishes to organise the meeting can send requests on-the-fly, and there is no particular need to create schedules in advance. It is also feasible to initiate, plan and manage the online meeting from the MS Outlook toolbar.
Variety of features
There are virtual desktop and mobile app buttons to manage audio meetings. To listen to an active speaker carefully, other participants can mute their lines. The crystal clear screen sharing facility of Unlimited Web & Audio enables architects to share floor plans and other aspects of architecture that they may have detailed out on PPT slides. For lively presentations, they can also use whiteboards with annotations.
Such virtual explanation of blueprints helps to share the information with a larger and geographically dispersed audience. It is also more eco-friendly as it reduces the need to print multiple copies of prints for reference.
Meetings conducted on this TTBS web conferencing tool can also be recorded for quick reviews and for people who may have missed the live conference. Participants need not take notes on virtual or paper-based notepads as they can revisit any crucial part of the meeting with one click.
The application helps everyone involved in construction to check the project’s progress and the workers’ contribution. Clients get to share their feedback and offer new suggestions in real-time.
The Unlimited Web & Audio application connects to the webcam with their permission to give the feel of a real humanised conversation. Participants can also opt to switch off their cameras if they prefer using the audio facility.
Simplified polls and surveys
Builders who invest in community housing projects often like to take the opinions of multiple stakeholders on the apartment features and the common facilities they wish to incorporate in a society. The challenges of conversing effectively with groups on such matters amidst pandemic risks have been addressed by the Unlimited Web & Audio app. Its customisable polls and surveys make it easier and quicker to gather others’ views on different aspects of real estate ventures.
Tracking and monitoring
Another interesting attribute of this web conferencing app is that the administrator who initiates the meeting can always monitor it even if she or he did not join in with others. Administrators can take roll calls to check the presence of participants. As per the version selected, the app can accommodate between 125 and 300 users on a single conference call. It also provides pop-up and audio alerts when guests enter or leave the meeting.
The version that enables dialling out international numbers (for 81 major countries, including India) makes Unlimited Web & Audio even more useful in a world affected by the coronavirus. So the property buyers or people involved in a real estate project who are not in the country can still get access to details on a subject that interests them.
By restricting human interaction so severely, COVID-19 gave an unexpected jolt to the economy. Who knows what the future holds? To ensure business continuity despite the staff in the real estate sector working from home, this is the best time to invest in web conferencing services and tailored digital solutions.
Buildings will still be constructed with the contribution of masons and other personnel. This sector will remain labour-intensive. However, the coordination between different departments can be better achieved with virtual meetings. The use of web conferencing also helps to save the costs and time involved in real gatherings.
To know more about the Unlimited Web & Audio devised by TTBS, call us at 1800-266-1800.