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Agent-developed office productivity app WhoHub hits the mark

01/10/2020

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Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

WhoHub is an interoffice communications and productivity app.

Platforms: iPhone iOS Ideal for: Multioffice brokerages and teams, large single office brokerages

Top selling points Ease of use Reduction of in-house email traffic Team-building benefits Sharing of in-house pocket listings Scalability Top concerns

The app’s availability on only Apple’s mobile iOS limits use for agents on Android, which could limit its intent to connect an office.

What you should know

I am a fan of internal comms tools, such as office bulletin boards and chat software, and that’s what we have in the simple, smart and super-easy WhoHub, an agent-built and -owned app for connecting agents, brokers and staff.

The app is basically a running news feed of what’s happening within a real estate office, but it also encompasses just about everything that tends to lead to too much email, redundant requests of staff and time-sucking office chores.

I picked up its ins-and-outs quickly after installing it, and needed little time to discover from the home stream that there wasn’t going to be an office meeting on New Year’s Eve. I also saw a message from Gordon Wood, the app’s creator, saying he was looking forward to our phone call — a testament to the app’s announcement features.

WhoHub runs quickly, doesn’t crash, and handles post images without straining.

Information is divided ultimately into nine categories, and you can drag and drop each category’s icon into the quick-access menu according to frequency of use. WhoHub breaks it down accordingly:

Home Notifications Vendors Messages Resources Profile Agents Coming soon Events

You can’t help but be reminded of Facebook after a few seconds of using WhoHub. It even has “like,” “bookmark” and “share” functions. This isn’t a problem and in fact, helps make the app that much more familiar to new users.

The vendor list is exactly who you think it is, and it can be easily sorted by type. It was the constant sharing of vendors with colleagues that inspired Wood to build the app.

The “Agents” tab lists everyone in the office and opens up their profile. Or you can instantly message them from the central list, and each message thread is saved until you feel it should be deleted.

Under “Resources,” offices can store common documents such as commission disbursement forms, open house sign-in sheets and similar forms that are all too often emailed around and left to fester until outdated on desktops or vague server folders.

The “Coming Soon” feature is a terrific resource for finding and reaching out about what your office has in store for the market. It only asks for an image and a few home details, so they can be scrolled through quickly.

Events are easy to find and match-up with its built-in calendar. Although I thought an integration of Google calendar might be nice so users can overlap office details with day-to-day work events, I realized that would side-step the app’s officecentric intent.

Rest assured, this is a tool your office’s admin staff is going to manage, and it’s going to require a bit of discipline upfront to get everyone onboard with posting and communicating.

A real conceptual value here is the access to office information while on the move, as is the case with many in the industry.

Other cool uses I envision with WhoHub: Agents using it to post examples of marketing work they’ve done and offering tips and best practices to new agents.

As Wood mentioned, it could be a nice touch when recruiting new agents, as well.

Wood, who is a career agent in Alexandria, Virginia, said he reached out because of recent comments I made about the industry needing more proptech that raises-up agents, not more tech designed to disrupt for the sake of disruption.

I’m glad he did.

WhoHub remains a couple of months away from official rollout, but beta testing will begin soon. Pricing models are being tweaked; it will likely launch with a per-agent fee and minor setup cost.

WhoHub should focus heavily on getting its Android version ready-to-go, as it risks entering the app market with only half an audience. A lot of agents work in the Google mobile ecosystem.

WhoHub rests comfortably on the edge of helpful office resource and productivity tool. I fear that with any success, user-feedback will lead to features that push it into workflow, contact management and other functionality not in its initial wheelhouse. This will be on Wood to manage.

Until then, for iPhone users in busy offices who send too many emails and bludgeon each other with the same questions over and over, check back with WhoHub around March.

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.

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

Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2020.

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