Frank in your boot camp you had mentioned the grasshopper service and that you could get 10 extensions for around $24? The site doesn’t have that deal per se so I was wondering if it was a special or if they changed their pricing? I also was wondering if in today’s society you feel its necessary to have a local number if you live out of state from the parks you own since most people have cell phones today.
There are so many of these services. VOIP.com, 8x8.com and a lot more, quick google should find them.If you’re technically adept you could use Twilio. I use it for ad testing and it’s fantastic. Some programming required.
We use Grasshopper. I believe you do get up to 10 extensions with whatever plan you choose. They have plans starting at around $25/month. It all just depends on how many lots you have and what your call volume will be. If you have an all-ROH park (e.g. very little inbound call traffic), then just get their minimum $25/month plan. If you have more than 25 POHs or so, then you are likely to have enough call volume to bump up to their $49/month plan. Grasshopper is quite flexible; you can change from one plan to another in any given month depending on your call volume. So just keep an eye on your minutes used, can they can help you figure out what plan you should be on once you have a month’s call volume to look at.Cheers,-jl-
Has anyone tried using a Google number? Completely free and you can forward to any number. The person calling in has to speak their name which you hear prior to accepting the call. I’ve debated going this route.
Ari, can you please describe how you use Twilio for ad testing? thanks.
Me too Ari!
Happy to Explain.Twilio is really built for software developers, as an easy interface to everything telephony. That being said, they have a lot of cool features and something called Twimlets that make it pretty simple to use without coding.What I do when I am in the initial phases on a park I like, is test the market on the local craigslist. I go into my Twilio account and buy a phone number with an area code of where the park is. Then I forward it to the voicemail twimlet with a simple custom message. I have transcription turned on, and I get an email with a decent copy of the text whenever someone leaves a message, and I can listen to the message just by clicking through my email.Why I like this:Really cheap local phone numbers that can be turned off when you’re done testing. $1/m + a few pennies a minute per call.I can export to excel and deduplicate inbound numbers so I can have a more realistic idea of the unique number of people who called.Number doesn’t go anywhere so people can’t bother me in the future.I also will tag any emails that come in via craigslist with a unique tag in gmail so I can count those too.Just as an example on a park I am working on in a major metro:1 Craigslist Ad, never bumped, pulled in 32 calls and 6 emails in 11 days. Took me about 30 seconds to get the data, and now I know there is definite demand in this area.If there are more questions, let me know. Happy to help.
great idea and explanation, thanks Ari!
We use google voice for all of the parks and managers, and also my personal line to communicate with tenants or for general park business. In the office I use 8x8. It has a GREAT voip app.
We don’t use Google Voice. The value-add of Grasshopper is that it is a PBX, not just a call forwarding service. e.g. a caller can ‘press 1’ to hear a recording of hours and directions (that’s a huge time-saver to have prospective tenants get an answer to their questions via a recording and not have to speak to my manager), or ‘press 2’ to speak to the manager, or ‘press 3’ in an emergency to speak to ‘headquarters’ (that’s me). Trust me, you’ll find it very valuable to have Grasshopper to route calls, playback recordings of basic information, and filter only emergency calls to you. Google can do none of that.We do use Burner for our test ads. Similar to what Twilio appears to do (we’ve not yet used it), but easy to set up - even has an iPhone app. And it’s free.Good luck,-jl-
I’ve researched this quite a bit. I feel that phone.com is the best deal. 800 number includes 300 minutes and 3.9c/min thereafter. Unlimited extensions, menu options, personalize recordings etc.Good luck.-hassan
Ever thought of a MagicJack?
You can have a local number for a year for under $40. It includes voicemail and if you go out of town, take it with you.
Does phone.com provide local numbers, or only 1-800 numbers?
Yes they do. They also seem to have a larger selection of numbers available (in case you are looking for an ‘easy to remember’ one)
Also, Vumber has a good deal too though I’ve never used them.
We use Grasshopper and love it.