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Hangouts: Google Looking to Transform How Teams Communicate
By Liz Dominguez
RISMEDIA, Tuesday, March 13, 2018— Technology giants are attempting to create a monopoly of services that will streamline all facets of communication and day-to-day tasks through a single corporation. Amazon has made strides by offering its suite of artificial intelligence speakers and corresponding accessories, and is entrenching itself into the business side of things by introducing new tech that could change the real estate industry. 
 
But Amazon isn't alone in its quest for full-service product loyalty. Google is not far behind, already offering its own version of Alexa with Google Assistant. And now, Hangouts—the chat platform by Google—could change how real estate agents communicate with each other and their clients. 
 
Google calls this product a "messaging platform built for teams." For agents with assistants or their own teams, the platform could streamline communications by helping with task assignment and follow-up. Hangouts allows users to create a virtual room for each task, project, or document, organizing each chat by subject so it doesn't get a lost in a sea of emails. And with the availability of 28 languages, it can make communicating with bilingual or multilingual clients easier. 
 
Of course, with the advancement of technology, artificial intelligence plays a role in messaging, as well. Google uses its search engine to power AI bots with the ability to predict what the user needs, proposing documents and online links that could be relevant to the conversation. The platform is also integrated with the G-Suite of products, allowing agents to access and share documents from G-Drive, as well as check team members' calendars and set up conference calls or meetings via Calendar and Meet.
 
While other chat products—such as Slack, Stride and HipChat—have long dominated the messaging world, Google has transformed its product to be more business-friendly. And while teams already using Slack or other messaging services may not want to overhaul their communications system, users of G-Suite may find the switch more convenient, as all messaging and scheduling capabilities can now be tied into one experience.
 
Now out of its early adopter program, Google has rolled out Hangouts to the masses. For agents who are on the road during most of the day, communicating through Hangouts' mobile responsiveness and categorizing may be an easier feat than scrolling through a busy email account with long email chains. And since security is not an issue—Google provides a single sign-on, two-factor authentication process for Hangouts—agents could create group chats with vendors, categorizing their virtual rooms by client to see updates on inspections, appraisals, lending and more, all from one place.
 
Google is also working on partnering with third-party providers to make Hangouts an all-encompassing service that works with users' technological needs. Companies such as Trello, RingCentral and Salesforce are already usable with Hangouts. If widespread use of the platform extends to the real estate industry, agents could see more relevant tech partnerships in the future.
 
Agents, what software do you currently use for your communication needs?
 
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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