In Thursday’s new tech brainstorm workshop at Connect Now, moderators Jeff Lobb and Kenny Truong led a discussion that balanced the best of today’s tech tools with some unique, off-market creative solutions.

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Kenny Truong, Team Leader at eXp , and SparkTank Media’s Jeff Lobb spent 45 minutes at the most Thursday’s Connect Now, Inman’s recurring online real estate industry conference, brainstorming ways to use emerging technologies to better real estate business.


Jeff Lobb | Sparktank Media

“Best Use of New Tech Brainstorm” took off on the topic of Slack, with Truong enthusiastically sharing how his office uses the internal workflow app to perpetuate his office culture, help aspiring agents and share training events.

Lobb followed that up by discussing a product called Descript, a multimedia production tool that can aid content creators in podcasting and video production. And today’s top agents are using both broadcast mediums to build brands and generate leads.

Lobb is no stranger to the actual and online stage, so it’s no surprise that he’s in-tune with ways to amp up media production value. Real estate agents need to be experts in more than market data, from knowing what Zoom backgrounds look best to handling smartphone stabilizers.


Coaching and performance measurement tool Sisu came up in the session, as well.

“I can see how many appointments certain team members went on this month, and you can have a huge leaderboard,” Truong said. “And we use it to award people prizes when they reach certain thresholds.”

Truong said he has 80 users on it and that it’s best for offices that put a high value on long-term agent performance; thus, it’s not ideal for brokerages who use a “butts-in-seats” model.


Video email surfaced from an audience member wanting to know if sending native video from their smartphone could be as effective as a paid account with BombBomb, a video email service.

Lobb rightly explained that video direct from your device, either sent by Gmail or a text, won’t include the tracking tools and response metrics that email-specific software tools use. Additionally, file size quickly impacts deliverability, especially from today’s more advanced smartphone cameras.

MixMax, a sales-oriented email solution used by a few of his team members, can send and track video email, Truong said.

Project management

Project management tools are finding their way into the real estate office, in some cases replacing dedicated transaction management systems. Lobb likes Monday, and Truong’s team uses AsanaTrello and Airtable are some beloved other examples.


HighNote is a new web app for presentations and marketing started by Mark Choey of Climb Real Estate. (An Inman review of HighNote is pending publication.)

Kenny Truong

The PointDrive-inspired curation tool makes it easy to bring together an array of business data and creative content and present it to clients via branded websites. The uses are many, from listing promotion to in-house training. It formally launches in early- to mid-Q1, according to Choey. (LinkedIn recently shut down PointDrive, which it acquired in 2016.)

Marketing tools for social media was a popular topic among those in attendance. Lobb was quick to suggest people discover, a free software tool for removing and replacing backgrounds in photos. It’s a useful, simple tool for fun social media posts and email marketing.

Canva isn’t new, Truong pointed out, but his team uses it extensively for listing presentations and business cards. Truong’s team uses Moo, an online printer, to produce cards and flyers.


Lobb then introduced a chat automation software called

“ is not only a chatbot, but it’s a custom campaign delivery tool, and can greet people by first name when they come back to your site,” Lobb said. “It can integrate with your MLS, and actually talk people through what’s important to them, go through a prequalification process, and its doing it all 24-7 while you’re out doing the work.”

Truong’s team uses ReadyChat and recently agreed to work with Ylopo, a conversation tool called Raiya.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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