LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 17, 2012) - The housing market is steadily recovering, which is fueling demands for real estate agents' and Realtors' services. As the market heats up, individuals in these professions will likely find they need the best tools to stay connected with prospective buyers and sellers, as timing is critical to closing deals.
According to a November news release1 by the National Association of Realtors ("NAR"), total existing home sales -- completed purchases of single-family residences and town homes, condominiums and co-ops -- increased in October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.79 million, representing a 2.1 percent jump. The NAR reported that total housing inventory also dropped, and that in October there were 2.14 million existing homes up for sale -- a 5.4-month supply and the lowest rate since February 2006, when there was a 5.2-month supply.
In a November joint news release, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that privately-owned housing starts for October 2012 rose 3.6 percent above the revised estimate for September 2012, which was 863,000. The seasonally adjusted total for October 2012 was 894,000, the highest rate since 2008, when the number of new privately-owned housing starts was 622,000 according to the release.
Real estate agents and Realtors may see the improving housing market as an opportunity to get back on top of their game. Jay Thompson, director of industry outreach and social media for real estate marketplace Zillow, recommends they use the most powerful technology at their disposal -- the telephone. In an article2 for Inman News, Thompson opines that the key to success is not necessarily having the fanciest technologies. Rather, success depends on speaking to clients, keeping in touch with colleagues and staying connected with all of the stakeholders involved in real estate transactions.
In today's fast-paced world, people have grown accustomed to having instant access to information. With this in mind, it's even more important for professionals in the housing market to make themselves available while they're on the go. A virtual phone system from eVoice® offers the following features to help real estate agents and Realtors provide the most professional services and communications throughout their busy days, so they never miss out on important business opportunities:
1) A full-feature phone system without the restrictive wires - Real estate agents and Realtors can't afford to stay in their offices waiting for clients to call. When they are out on the road, they can use a virtual phone system to enjoy all the benefits of professional communication services -- call routing, voice to text, personalized messages and call screening -- without being tethered to their desks by wires.
2) Real-time collaboration with buyers and sellers - Timing is crucial for closing deals in the housing market, and a missed call or an unreturned voicemail can ultimately lead to real estate agents and Realtors losing out on valuable business opportunities. With a virtual phone system, professionals can keep their existing phone numbers and forward incoming calls to mobile devices, enabling themselves to speak with buyers and sellers in real time.
3) Screening and routing - Real estate agents and Realtors can use call routing and call screening features to ensure they receive communications on the go, without interrupting scheduled showings and important meetings. The services let individuals decide which calls demand immediate attention, and which can be transferred to voicemail and returned at a more appropriate time.
4) Customizable professional greetings - Even the smallest companies can compete with their larger competitors by using customizable greetings that lend a sense of professionalism. Real estate agents and Realtors can record their own messages for menu options and voicemail, which helps bolster their credibility.
5) Record and transcribe calls - Busy real estate agents and Realtors may receive a high volume of calls that makes it difficult to keep track of the details discussed in every communication. When they speak with clients on the go, they need to make sure they will remember important specifics. Having the ability to record and transcribe calls makes it easy for them to reference past conversations, allowing them to expedite deals and close sales when the moment is right.
For additional information about eVoice, please visit the eVoice blog at http://blog.evoice.com
eVoice is a brand service and trademark of j2 Global (NASDAQ: JCOM). eVoice, one of the industry's leading virtual phone services, offers a wide selection of local or toll-free numbers and is the only phone service of its type to offer personalized U.S.-based VIP setup and support for new accounts. eVoice is online at www.evoice.com.
About j2 Global™
j2 Global (NASDAQ: JCOM) provides cloud services for business, offering Internet fax, virtual phone, hosted email, email marketing, online backup, unified communications, and CRM solutions. Founded in 1995, the company's messaging network spans more than 49 countries on six continents. j2 Global markets its services principally under the brand names eFax ®, eVoice®, FuseMail®, Campaigner®, KeepItSafe®, and Onebox®. As of December 31, 2011, j2 Global had achieved 16 consecutive fiscal years of revenue growth. For more information about j2 Global, please visit www.j2global.com.
1 View the NAR news release at http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/existing-home-sales-rise-in-october-with-ongoing-price-and-equity-gains
2 Find the Inman News article at http://www.inman.com/opinion/guest-perspective/2012/11/21/the-greatest-real-estate-technology-ever