VoIP offers a wide range of phone features to improve communications and optimize real estate business.
Real estate companies use VoIP to:
- add mobile functionality,
- improve communication with clients,
- better manage new inbound prospects, and
- enhance marketing efforts.
In this article, we’ll go over 10 VoIP features top producers are taking advantage of to stay ahead of the competition.
If you have no experience with phone systems, don’t worry. To implement a VoIP phone system, all you need is internet and a computer. All of these features are available to you through an easy-to-use web interface, where you can customize and manage VoIP services for your real estate empire.
1. Mobile Integration
VoIP enables you to use your office line on your cell phone via a mobile app. The mobile app keeps your work number separate from your personal number. All calls, voicemails, and text messages on your work number live in the mobile app, where you can access them anytime.
The app integrates with your office desk phone, so your calls and messages are synced up. When you receive a call on your office phone line, it rings both your desk phone and your mobile phone.
In addition, the app enables your office to transfer calls directly to your cell phone. To do this, they simply transfer the call to your extension like they normally would, and the call rings you on the app.
2. Internet Fax
VoIP enables you to bundle in virtual fax services in with your business phone system and manage fax documents online. You can send faxes through your web browser, and if you prefer, send fax by email. All faxes are securely stored online, where you can access them from any location.
Internet fax service from Telzio also enables you to collaborate on faxes through the web dashboard, where you can add internal comments and share documents with colleagues.
3. Caller ID Name
Caller ID Name, or CNAM, is a Telzio feature that enables you to add your name or brokerage name as the caller ID along with your phone number.
You can type out your name exactly as you want it to appear when clients receive a call from you, up to 15 characters. Not only does this avoid your call from getting declined or mistaken as a spam call, but it’s a noticeable detail that reinforces your brand.
4. Voicemail to Email
Telzio sends your voicemails to you via email, and additionally provides voicemail transcription at no extra cost. This means that your voicemails are transcribed as text right in your email, saving you time on playing back voicemail messages. Along with the transcription is a play button where you can listen to the audio.
5. Automated Attendants
An automated attendant, or phone menu, ensures that incoming calls are always greeted with a custom message and provides options to the caller to be routed to the right person.
One of the best things about Telzio is that it’s easy to make changes yourself. You can easily record new information right through the website, and provide callers with current information on property listings.
For example, you can customize a greeting such as:
Thanks for calling! Please press 1 for current listing information, press 2 for our fax number, press 3 if you’re a buyer and would like to speak to an agent directly.
If the caller presses 1 for property listings, you can create another menu with a greeting such as:
Press 1 for info on 555 Beverly. Press 2 for info on 1100 Wilshire. Press 3 for info on where to find all our listings.
From there, you can create additional custom announcements and forward calls directly to your office or cell phone.
6. Hunt Groups
Hunt Groups enable you to forward calls to a group of people in a certain order or at the same time. If one person or group doesn’t answer, you can automate the call to then try another person or group, and so on. This ensures that important calls don’t get missed.
If everyone is busy on a phone call or out showing properties, you can set the next incoming call to hold in a phone queue until the next person is available. To avoid long wait times, you can set a maximum hold time. After the max hold time, you can automatically route calls to another team, an announcement, or a voicemail.
7. Local, Toll Free, and International Phone Numbers
Top producers strengthen their market presence with a local phone number. Imagine a ‘For Sale’ sign in Beverly Hills with a 415 phone number listed on the signage. It leaves doubt if the agent is a true local market expert in the BH zip codes. Property listings should have local phone numbers to match.
VoIP subscriptions are month to month, so if you have listings all over Los Angeles County you can easily pick up new local phone numbers for $1.
For example, you can get a 310 phone number to attach to your new property listing in Santa Monica and add it to signage and marketing materials. This way, you have an area code to match the market, and you have the proper tools to ensure you don’t miss any calls.
Each phone number is attached to a call flow which determines the route of incoming calls. You can add an auto attendant with options, or simply route calls directly to you / your team.
You can label each call flow with the property name and turn on call screening so that when someone calls, you will hear the name of the property being announced before you answer.
People ask if toll free numbers are still useful as a marketing tool for businesses. They might be, but that mostly depends on who your clients are and where they’re coming from.
The National Association of Realtors says that the internet makes up 90% of where home buyers find their information, and a third of them find realtors online as a result of those Internet searches. In places like Los Angeles where there are new buyers and investors coming from everywhere every day, providing a toll free number online might make you stand out to those potential clients.
In 2018, international buyers generated $62 billion of sales in the US market. If you service foreign clients from a certain region, you can get a local number in their country and display this number on your business cards.
Having the right area code in your phone number will not only add marketing value to your listing, but also to your real estate brand. It conveys that you have an established local presence and is a small expense to let your clients know you are serious and committed to details.
There are a million realtors in the US alone. Leveraging phone numbers for marketing is a cost effective way to gain a competitive edge.
8. Call Analytics
The top real estate agents differentiate themselves with data-driven marketing campaigns. Like any business, it’s vital to analyze what works and what doesn’t, to determine the optimal marketing avenue.
Keller Williams is one such real estate firm that has taken advantage of these capabilities from Telzio. One Phoenix team in particular uses Telzio to track marketing campaigns.
Here’s how it works.
Each property listing and advertisement has a specific phone number that can be tracked and managed through Telzio’s website. By attaching a unique phone number to each ad, teams can track its success rate and see which ads are working best.
Even with multiple ads running and multiple phone numbers to track these ads, teams can route all calls to a single device or to multiple agents.
Call analytics are available on the Telzio Dashboard to analyze where most calls are coming from and which ads are most successful. Whether it’s a marketing flyer, a for-sale sign, or a bench, you’ll know which ads are working, and exactly how many calls were received from each investment.
9. Business SMS
With VoIP, you can enable SMS on your business phone numbers. You can send/receive texts via the mobile app and online dashboard.
In addition to standard text messaging, Telzio also offers an automated text reply to incoming callers. For example, let’s say you weren’t able to catch an incoming call on one of your property listings. You can set up an automatic text message to be sent to the caller, saying something like:
Your call is very important to me. The Sunset Heights property is a beautiful custom home that is available for touring. Feel free to text me to schedule an appointment, and I’ll return your call within the hour.
You can customize the automated text with a personal message, and wow potential clients with prompt customer service.
10. Conference Calls
VoIP enables you to instantly create conference bridges to host conference calls. Any phone number can be used as a conference line.
Teleconferences provide an easy way for clients to speak to you and other parties involved in a property transaction, like an escrow agent or loan officer.
While you can always do a three-way conference call directly from your VoIP phone, conference bridges are useful when there are more than three parties to a call. All you have to do is provide the phone number and PIN to the participants and they can dial in to join a conference call.
Jennifer is part of the content marketing team at Telzio, providing insight and tips on how Telzio can be used to optimize business communications and customer service.