Urban Real Estate Chooses RingCentral for Phone Needs
- Jul 07, 2008
Privately held-Urban Real Estate, in Chicago, has replaced their traditional AT&T communications systems with RingCentral, an on-line and on-demand internet based system. Urban Real Estate helps business owners, individuals, and investors buy, sell, and manage real estate in the downtown Chicago area. RingCentral, also a privately-held company, is based in Redwood City, Calif. It was founded in 1999 and launched this product in 2003, which offers overall communication management for small and large businesses. Unlike traditional telephone service providers that require wiring or hardware, or new internet providers like Finality, Shortell, Cisco, or Phonell that also require a PBX, or internet providers like Vonage or Skype, which provide cheap access-via-the-internet but not much else, RingCentral is unique in that it ties telephone and online communications together with a huge umbrella-like service, and requires no box, wires or hardware. RingCentral offers behind-the-firewall on-demand installation, which then comes with options to improve access. This means a variety of ways employees can always keep connected, giving brokers the choice and control of how to remain available at all times, to colleagues, clients and potential customers. In the case of Urban Real Estate, the flexibility was key. The firm helps buyers and sellers and also helps condo and property investors manage their property portfolio, does 1031 exchanges, marketing, handling lease paperwork, offering purchase options to tenants, and over-all exit strategies. Real estate is one of the fastest growing segments among RingCentral’s customer base. Jay Blazensky, vice president of business development at RingCentral told CPN, “This is partly because there is no need to buy or change phones or to get behind-the firewall, and zero requirements for new hardware. And we can make a small business appear more established, immediately, providing them with a professional phone image. We help them put the front end on their business – and they will never miss the end point – the call that is their virtual solution. We have developed our own web-based platform, so its easier for real estate agents to reach customers, with just a click to call back, 800 numbers, call-after-hours connections to home phones, mobile, office or week-end homes. We simply increase the likelihood that our customers can connect to their customers. And they don’t have to rely on IT staff or administrative staff to manage a spectrum of voice services.” Real estate agents can use RingCentral to help generate leads. Instead of traditional listings, real estate agents can assign specific extensions on the new toll-free number for each property, and invite a caller to take a private audio tour of the property. All calls can be logged online, so that real estate agents can track the interest in each property and be sure to respond to potential buyers. With RingCentral, the agent needs only one phone number and one online account. Realtors can then design their own options, including forwarding calls to multiple phones, and setting up greetings and recorded audio tours with property information. They can automatically screen, forward and place calls; take voicemails; allow customers to call directly from the website. They can keep a log of calls that will include all calls for sales leads, receive message alerts and send and receive faxes. The cost ranges from $9.95 a month up to $100 or more based on the number of minutes and extensions purchased. RingCentral has more than 60,000 customers worldwide. Headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., RingCentral is funded by investors Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures and DAG Ventures.