You've probably heard of or read a blog about Google Voice and may know that it is an excellent tool for Real Estate Agents. But have you considered the power that Google Voice's "Call Widget" provides?
If you have not heard of Google Voice, here is a quick overview:
Google Voice is a web based application that you gives you a local phone number of your choice, or you can port one of your existing numbers to it. When a person calls your Google Voice number, you can have it ring your work, mobile, and home phones simultaneously. You can can set up the service so specific phones ring for different callers or groups of callers, or so some callers go straight to voice mail.
Google transcribes voice mails after they’re left, too, e-mailing it to your Google Voice account where you can read and listen to the message through a Gmail-like interface. This interface also allows you to not just Delete the voicemail, but instead Archive it for future reference. Ever wished you had saved a voicemail from a client or another agent? With the storage Google provides you will never have to Delete a voicemail again. You can also send and receive text messages directly from the Google Voice website.
Now for the really cool feature, Google Voice allows you to have multiple voicemail greetings. You can add your callers to your Contacts, assign them to specific Groups within your Contacts and they will receive whichever greeting you have assigned to that Group. I have one for Family, "Hi this is Cinda....", one for The West Valley Home Team "You have reached The West Valley Home Team..." and a generic one for unknown callers as well.
What this widget allows you to do is setup not only a way for clients to call you directly, but a way to customize the greeting they receive based on the widget they click! You could have one widget on your Buyers page that goes to a"Thank you for contacting The West Valley Home Team, sorry we missed your call, please leave your name and number and one of our Buyer Specialists will return your call as soon as possible...". The a second widget for your Sellers page "Thank you for contacting The West Valley Home Team, sorry we missed your call, please leave your name and number and one of our Seller Specialists will return your call as soon as possible...".
Or let's say you have a city specific or community specific web page on your site, you could setup a custom widget for that too. The West Valley Home Team specializes in the Litchfield Park, Goodyear and Avondale Real Estate market, we could have a custom widget for each city, or even narrow it down to a community like Palm Valley or Wigwam Creek.
The possibilities are endless. You can also configure the widget to go directly to voicemail instead of ringing your phone, that way there's no chance of answering the phone the wrong way.
On the whole, it is a nice service of which everyone will want to have an account (just like Google Apps, another awesome tool for Real Estate Agents and Teams), especially since it is free. Google Voice also has Android and BlackBerry based applications and iPhone users can now use Google Voice through Google’s iPhone web based portal. When Google Voice first launched you had to be invited by current Google Voice user before you could get an account, but now it's open to anyone.
Got to www.google.com/voice and sign up for your free account today!