Thursday, December 3, 2009

Google Voice

I was recently chatting with several Realtor colleagues of mine who have some tech savvy but aren't always up on the latest and greatest. Even though Google Voice is something that's been out there for a while they weren't familiar with it. After highlighting several of the positives of this offering I decided I should document my thoughts out here and provide links to more details.

At a high level Google Voice is a simply a free phone number. Now, that being said, you still need to have a phone number (home or cell) for it to forward calls to. The best part though is you get to pick your phone number (out of the ones still available and the ranges that Google has available to offer). This can allow you to get a phone number that's easier for clients or friends to remember and also makes you look more credible.

One of the neat things though is that you can have it forward to both phones. This way, if you have limited minutes on your cell phone you can answer your home phone number when you're at home. This is great because in this age of cell phones people seldom save both your home & cell phone number and if they do they are often inclined to just call your cell as they are more likely to get you than calling your home number first.

Google Voice also screens calls. If the number or caller is known when you answer your phone it will give you the option of answering or sending to voicemail. This really isn't much different from what cell phones offer today when you have the phone number saved in your phone though. But if you have home phone service and are paying for caller id you may be able to save some money.

The last feature I'll mention is the voicemail service. Here you can get e-mail notifications of when you've recieved a voicemail. You can either listen to the voicemail online or read a dictation of the message. So far I haven't been overly impressed with the dictation and hope this improves in the future.

One feature I greatly desire now that I have a "permanent, all-in-one number" is the ability for it to also accept faxes and just e-mail them to me. I encourage everyone to suggest this as functionality for a future release at this link: http://www.google.com/support/voice/bin/static.py?page=suggestions.cs

For those interested in signing up or learning more about this service, please check out:

http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html

Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts on this topic!

1 comment:

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