How To Use Google Voice For Real Estate

Google Voice gives you one main phone number that rings all your phones, saves your voicemail online, and transcribes your voicemail to text. Basically, it makes your voicemail as easy to check and track as your email. It also has a few other cool features, such as spying on messages while they’re being left, and the ability to easily make cheap international calls.

Google Voice gives you one main phone number that rings all your phones, saves your voicemail online, and transcribes your voicemail to text. Basically, it makes your voicemail as easy to check and track as your email. It also has a few other cool features, such as spying on messages while they’re being left, and the ability to easily make cheap international calls.

If you’re like me and use your cell phone as your main point of contact, you’ll love the ability to block certain calls and also screen calls when you don’t want to be disturbed. For example, between 1 AM and 5 AM (I’m looking at you, Mrs. random british prospect who called me about rentals at 3 AM a few weeks back).

Ok, you don’t need any more convincing, you’re sold on Google Voice (it was that easy, you pushover?). Here’s how to start using it:

1. Invite yourself.

That’s right, Google Voice is invitation only. This is standard Google practice to build buzz for a new product, and basically it means you’re going to need to sign up to Google Voice and wait. It took me about a week from when I signed up until they emailed my with an invitation. It may be longer or shorter for you, depending on whatever algorithm Google uses to determine your worth as a human being. Anyway, see you in a week…

#2 Respond to Invite and Pick Your Number

Wow, that week really flew by, no? Now it’s time to pick your number. Google Voice won’t let you pick a custom number, but you can keep clicking next until you find one that’s relatively easy to remember.

#3 Tweak your settings

This is where it gets a bit personal, depending on how you want to use Google Voice. I’ve turned off Call Screening, because I don’t want to bother prospects by having Google ask them their name. I’ve also turned off Call Presentation, since with the option afterwards I’ve chosen to display my Google Voice number so that I always know when I have a prospect calling. Before, I had to run around like a crazy person trying to get the dog in a headlock so it’d be quiet, only to have the caller end up being a Blockbuster robot calling to tell me Super Troopers is still late.

The caller’s number is still saved and I can see it online anytime, so there’s no loss. The last function, “Do Not Distub”, can also come in handy if you can remember to activate it. I’m still looking for a setting to automatically turn that on during the middle of the night, but haven’t found it yet. In the meantime, my nightmares of throngs of British prospects calling me at all hours continue.

#4 If you’re a team, add your teamates:

The next setting screen is a killer feature if you have an assistant or work on a team. It lets you add additional phone numbers, then when somebody calls your Google Voice number it rings all the numbers. If you’ve ever tried to hork down a mouthful of sandwich just to answer a lead call, you’ll appreciate this flexibility. It also makes it seamless when one person goes on vacation (hah!).

#6 Get Widgy With It

Who doesn’t love widgets? Go ahead and cut and paste your Google Voice code on your blog, website, your single property websites, your “facespace” as they call it 0n Law & Order, and everywhere else you please.

Update: I just saw another excellent post about Google Voice For Real Estate by Damon Chetson on the Bloodhound Blog