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Old October 9th, 2012, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default "Virtual SMS" App??

Hello All,

I have a real estate related business, (residential property management), and I have a small issue to overcome as I get ready adopt a new business practice.

I'm sure you have seen real estate signs with instructions to call to listen to a recording, or text for info. I am about to adopt such a service, but one feature I am hesitant to use is their text feature, where the leasing agent is notified via text with the contact info of the person interested in the property.

Our model is for agents to use their own cell phones and I provide them an allowance, (this came about when I realized that my wife and I were the only ones carrying a single phone in the office, everyone else carried the crappy BlackBerry's I was supplying at the time AND their cool Android phones. Installed and configured Touchdown and voila! no more BES charges, but I digress...).

Anyhow, my leasing agents happen to be women who are understandably hesitant to reveal their personal phone numbers to the dozens of prospective tenants they communicate with on a weekly basis.

Soooo...

Is there an application out there that would provide them a "Virtual" SMS number? I'm envisioning a service where they could get notifications of leads and reliably communicate directly with prospects as they are sitting in front of the property, but keep their real number private. Another, cool feature would be if they could get the SMS on their PC and have the option of responding using the PC keyboard.

Not sure if it exists, and my research has come up with a lot of "Bulk" SMS services or "SMS" apps that replace the stock one that shipped with the phones.

Any ideas???

Thanks for your help, take care.

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Last edited by Guthdog; October 9th, 2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old October 9th, 2012, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guthdog View Post
Hello All,

I have a real estate related business, (residential property management), and I have a small issue to overcome as I get ready adopt a new business practice.

I'm sure you have seen real estate signs with instructions to call to listen to a recording, or text for info. I am about to adopt such a service, but one feature I am hesitant to use is their text feature, where the leasing agent is notified via text with the contact info of the person interested in the property.

Our model is for agents to use their own cell phones and I provide them an allowance, (this came about when I realized that my wife and I were the only ones carrying a single phone in the office, everyone else carried the crappy BlackBerry's I was supplying at the time AND their cool Android phones. Installed and configured Touchdown and voila! no more BES charges, but I digress...).

Anyhow, my leasing agents happen to be women who are understandably hesitant to reveal their personal phone numbers to the dozens of prospective tenants they communicate with on a weekly basis.

Soooo...

Is there an application out there that would provide them a "Virtual" SMS number? I'm envisioning a service where they could get notifications of leads and reliably communicate directly with prospects as they are sitting in front of the property, but keep their real number private. Another, cool feature would be if they could get the SMS on their PC and have the option of responding using the PC keyboard.

Not sure if it exists, and my research has come up with a lot of "Bulk" SMS services or "SMS" apps that replace the stock one that shipped with the phones.

Any ideas???

Thanks for your help, take care.
Have a look at free Google Voice:
Quote:
[...]provides a US phone number, chosen by the user from available numbers in selected area codes, free of charge to each user account. Inbound calls to this number are forwarded to other phone numbers of the subscriber. Received calls may be moved between configured telephones during a call.
Many other Google Voice services—such as voicemail, free text messaging, call history, conference calling, call screening, blocking of unwanted calls, and voice transcription to text of voicemail messages—are also available to users resident in the US. [...]
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Old October 9th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Ahhh

I only though Google voice did voice related stuff, (VM, text conversion etc), I will look into it. Thanks.
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Old October 9th, 2012, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use GV as my only means of texting. I refuse to pay Verizon for texts!
Anyway, it's a great service and will do what you are looking for. It does not MMS yet (picture/video text), that's the only drawback. But if they are just texting and calling it may be just what you are looking for.
There are a few apps that they can use for outgoing calls, they can be set up to always call certain w/regular cell or GV...very handy! They can place calls with the GV number showing, not theirs. I've used Voice Choice in the past and loved it (there is a free version if I linked the donate one).
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Old October 10th, 2012, 05:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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[GV] does not MMS yet (picture/video text), that's the only drawback.
There is always email, Bluetooth, Sonicshare, iCloud/DropBox, etc., depending on the physical distance to be covered. I.o.w. plenty of alternatives for file transfer.
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