Use Stars and Pins in Slack to Organize Communication

Stars and pins in Slack are a great way to get organized and make sure you can easily find things you know you’re going to need later on. Long after a message is buried in a channel’s feed.

If you haven’t read Seth David’s Top Tips on Using Slack With Your Clients, click over and read it. This is a drill down on one aspect that was covered in this partner post.

So why a star? Or why a Pin?

On the surface they might seem like the same thing, but there are some important differences.

A Star is like a to do. It’s only for you. So if you know that you’re going to be working on something in a few days, and there is a message you want to reference in slack when you’re working on it, a star is the way to go.

When you access the list of items you’ve starred it’s global. You’ll see a list of everything you’ve starred in every channel.

From the list of starred messages you can easily click over to that message. Then you’ll be working with the message in its original location. This is important because there may be other messages before or after the one you’ve starred that provide needed context.

As you complete these tasks, you can remove the stars just as you might check of a task in your project management system.

A Pin is a bookmark for everyone in that channel. So if you want to make sure everyone can easily find a message, or a file you’ve uploaded, you can pin that message.

When you access pinned messages you will only see the messages that are pinned in that channel.

This is useful if course for collaborating with other members of a channel.

The key differences between stars and pins are as follows:

Stars are for you.

Pins are for everyone.

Stars are global

Pins are channel specific.

Watch the video to see what this looks like.

How to Forward Emails Into Slack

Slack is a powerful communications app that makes it very easy to keep in touch, and stay organized

Are you wondering if you can, and how to forward emails into Slack? Slack has proven to be a powerful communications tool in my business. I have gone as far as to say that it is helping with client retention for the simple reason that it makes for amazing communication with my clients. I’m able to respond much faster, than by email, and the conversations are much easier to organize, categorized, and then easily reference when I need them. But if someone e-mails me, and I want to take that up in Slack, I can’t. Until now that is. On September 6, 2017 Slack released the feature. You can now forward emails into slack.

Up until now this feature was a gaping productivity hole in Slack, but they’ve solver the problem. Here’s how to forward emails into Slack:

Got to Preferences -> Messages & Media

Then Scroll all the way down, and you will find the option to get your forwarding e-mail address.

Now copy and paste that into an e-mail to be sent to the Slack e-mail recipient for that team.

Better yet. Set up a contact called, “xxx Slack Team” and put that e-mail address in. This will be especially useful if you have more than one Slack team. Set up a contact for each team, so when you are cleaning out your inbox, it will be drop dead simple to forward e-mails into Slack.

If you have a Slack team that is dedicated to a client, you could give them the e-mail address. This way all of their messages go into Slack. What I would actually do, is create an alias / e-mail group, like “Client-Name@YourDomain.com.” Then forward emails into Slack from that group or alias. This way, you can easily turn it off, if it gets crazy, and the client is none the wiser. 

You may want to set up a private channel in your Slack Team, where you can share that e-mail address with certain members of your team. Be careful whom you share this with!

More ideas expanding on how to forward e-mails into Slack coming soon, so post your comments, requests, questions, and suggestions below!

 

How to Use Slack for Accountants and Bookkeepers

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You’ve heard the slack buzz for a long time now.

You get it.

It looks like it should work well.

But how? How do you implement it?

What are the channels?

Should you pay for it, or use the free version?

We explored this Friday, September 23, 2016 at 8 am pacific / 11 am Eastern.

Perhaps I can help you get some ideas!

Watch the recording – hover your mouse over the image above, and click the play button!

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How to Use Slack for Real Estate Brokers and Agents

My e-mail signature has a line it it that says, “Onward, and upward, always finding newer and better ways for people to run their business more effectively!” This weekend I was reading about ways to increase productivity. I stumbled across this article that underscores how to use slack for real estate brokers and agents to close more sales. The article was called, “Sealing the Sale with Slack” and can be found right on the Slack blog.

Make it about the people, and not the product. Any remarkable firm, in any industry, who stands out, is consistently finding ways to improve relationships with their clients. It is rarely about the product or service itself. It is almost always about how to make your customers so incredibly happy, they couldn’t imagine working with anyone else. When a customer is that happy, they will tell everyone they can about you and your service. The lowest cost acquisition of new clients is referrals from existing ones. Blow your clients away, and they become the best and lowest cost sales force you could every hope to hire.

Tweet this:

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Using slack for real estate brokers and agents is a great way to dramatically improve communications, close more sales, and get more referrals.

To preserve their clients’ privacy, and keep conversations organized, you can name channels according to each property (#1500-Madison, for example) and invite clients as single-channel guests.

You can give your clients a portal through which you can have on going discussions about the deal. Then you can close the deal right there in Slack. Meanwhile you can share documents. This makes it easier to manage everything. Clients have more visibility into the progress, and more immediate input. No need to wait until you can get someone on the phone. Put it in slack, and respond within a few hours. Are you beginning to see the benefits of using slack for real estate brokers and agents?

Using slack for real estate brokers and agents also creates an archive of messages, leaving you with a complete history. No need to search for anything in your inbox. You’ll cut down on your phone time, and increase velocity. This is a no-brainer on how you can increase sales, and improve the experience for your clients.

I was intrigued, especially since I service real estate brokers and agents who want to use QuickBooks Online for their accounting. My clients often ask me, how they might improve their processes. I referenced an article above that tells you how it works. Now I am going to put it into my own words, and give you a video that walks you through how to use slack for real estate brokers and agents. Then you will have a step by step blueprint for how to do this.

There are a couple of things that I can share with you, that will help get you up and running using slack for real estate brokers and agents much faster, than if you try on your own.

The basic setup is simple.

  • Create a new slack channel.
  • You’ll need a paid slack team, to be able to access one very important feature that you’ll need, to make this work.
  • Create a Channel for each listing.
  • Invite your clients with single channel guest only access.

You won’t have the option of inviting single channel guests, without a paid plan, and even when you do, it may not be 100% clear how to access the options. This is why I love video – it explains this kind of stuff so much better than words can.

Once you have your team and your channel setup, you can invite your clients. Of course, if your client is a couple looking to buy / sell a home, invite them both.

If you have several people within your brokerage, who might be collaborating on the deal with your client, then you invite everyone.

Once a channel is set up for your listing, you can begin the fun.

Many people do not want “another app,” but as the article that inspired me to publish this post points out, if it is going to make their lives easier, then they will welcome the idea.

It might not be a bad idea to invite your clients to log in remotely with you.

Inviting your clients to log in with you will enable you to walk them through how to use slack. Once they understand the benefits, they will not resist. In fact, your clients will love how using Slack keeps them in the know.

I recommend using Zoom.us, to make it easy to log in and have them share their screen with you. It is important to have them share theirs, for a couple of reasons.

  • If you share your screen, the client will see all of your channels. Not good.
  • If your client is sharing his / her screen, you can walk them through it while putting the product in their hands.

In a way you are selling slack to your client, even though it won’t cost them a thing. Help them get it set up on their end. Then have them install the mobile app.

Using the mobile app, is the key to creating that anytime, anywhere access communication channel. It doesn’t mean you have to answer the second they post a message. What it means is that anywhere they are, and anywhere you are, a message can be posted the moment the question or thought enters yours or the client’s mind.

Using slack for a real estate buyer? How about posting photos from the mobile app to see if they want to make an appointment to see the property?

I’ll show you how easy this is to do, in the video above.

There are so many places you can go with this, but the most important thing is that you are doing something very simple, for very little cost. Compared with the return on investment, the improvement in the client’s experience with you, will make it worth ten times what you spend in terms of both time and money.

This isn’t about selling properties anymore. It’s about building relationships. These guys in the UK (see article referenced above) understand that. They saw a communication issue in the real estate industry, and they came up with a remarkable solution. Using Slack to improve communications with their clients. They’ve increased sales, and I’ll bet they get more referrals from the clients who have benefited from this improved communication process.

Using slack for real estate brokers and agents to close more sales seems like a no-brainer to me! Want more help? Call me (866) 945-8070 or fill out my awesome, and very brief little contact form called, “Contact Seth.”