Virtual phone services can help REALTORS® become more productive, mobile and responsive to clients, according to Luc Vezina of Protus, a business communications company in Ottawa, Ontario. The company provides communications tools including Internet fax, virtual phone and e-mail marketing services for small-to-medium-businesses.
A virtual phone service allows the user to have one phone number for all phones and phone calls are all funneled through this one number.
“With a virtual phone, you can set it to ring at the office or on your cell phone or go to voicemail if you don’t want to be disturbed,” Vezina said. “One of the features allows you to receive an e-mail or voicemail notification about messages.
“For a real estate office, a virtual phone service replaces an expensive phone system and allows agents to be accessible from one unique phone number,” he added.
Some virtual phone services work with a virtual receptionist first answering the call and then directing the call to either the agent or to a dial-by-name directory. “This gives the real estate office a more professional appearance and helps ensure that all calls are answered,” Vezina said. “It also offers voicemail for all employees, main and after-hours greetings, informational messages, call screening and conference calling,” he said.
Some virtual phone services like Google Voice may offer a free plan while others may charge additional costs ranging from $10 to $50 per month depending on the features added. The ultimate benefit is flexibility, mobility, productivity and the ability to respond quicker to clients.