eFax(R) and eVoice(R) Give Real Estate Agents an Advantage in Latest Housing Boom

Housing Uptick Driven by Buyers and Sellers From Gen X and Gen Y Underscores a Need for Agents to Use Cloud Services and Mobile Apps to Serve Their Tech-Savvy Clients

Marketwired

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 16, 2013) - Recent reports suggest the U.S. housing market is heating up, and that Gen X and Gen Y buyers are largely driving the uptick. A September, 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) press release summarizing a joint study by HUD and the Census Bureau reports that single-family housing starts in August this year were up 7 percent over July.1 And according to a July report on generational trends in housing from the National Association of Realtors®, Gen X comprises the largest group of current buyers and sellers. Both trends -- an increase in real estate activity, and a concentration of tech-savvy young people among new clients -- illustrate the need for real estate agents to adapt their sales strategies to appeal to these younger buyers who are entering the market. One way to do this is to take advantage of cloud-based services, such as online fax and virtual phone services, paired with mobile apps that enable agents to handle integral tasks anytime, anywhere -- including receiving, signing and sending faxed documents, even from locations without a fax machine. eFax and eVoice are brands of j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM).

A flood of younger buyers and sellers entering the real estate market means realtors face new expectations. Raised in a constantly connected and mobile world, these young clients from Generations X and Y come into the market with expectations that the agent representing them be accessible anytime, be able to react to questions and requests quickly, and be able to work digitally -- with as little paper as is necessary.

eFax, a leading provider of online fax services and a brand of j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM), has been helping real estate professionals for years conduct business more efficiently and cost-effectively --allowing them to review, sign and fax real estate documents by email or mobile app, without a fax machine or phone line. This helps agents move the sales process forward more quickly, helps ensure their clients don't miss an offer due to a delay in responding to the paperwork, and helps bring down business costs by replacing the high expenses of a traditional fax machine with an affordable mobile faxing solution. Read more about the benefits of eFax for realtors at the eFax blog. Listen to this podcast interview with realtor Jeff Annis on the benefits of eFax for real estate agents.

Real estate professionals can also benefit from a virtual phone service such as eVoice, another brand of j2 Global. This cloud-based phone system helps real estate professionals illustrate their polished image and focus on the client -- with toll-free numbers, professionally recorded greetings, voice to text (voice messages are transcribed and sent as an email or text message) multiple extensions, and call routing that lets you receive calls on your personal cell or home phone without having to give out your personal phone number. With eVoice, outgoing business calls from a personal cell phone show the realtor's business number in the caller ID screen, further reinforcing a professional image and delineation between the realtor's personal and professional life.

"Internet-savvy home buyers are entering the real estate market at a rapid rate -- and these buyers and sellers know how to research online, expect answers quickly, and want to work with agents who use the latest technologies to work and communicate," says Mike Pugh, Vice President of Marketing for j2. "Cloud services like eFax and eVoice help agents work on the go, get more done because they're freed from their offices -- and create affinities with their tech-savvy Gen X and Y clients."

Here are a few ways that eFax and eVoice help real estate professionals get the job done for their clients:

  • Fax from your mobile -- Real estate professionals can use the eFax mobile app to send or receive a fax right from their iPhone® or Android™ -- using the phone's camera to take a picture of a document -- anywhere, anytime. This means busy real estate professionals can send contracts, rental agreements, or property photos to clients, colleagues or staff from wherever they are. Learn more about the eFax mobile app for iPhone in this eFax YouTube video.

  • Sign documents digitally, without printing -- eFax eliminates the need to print, sign and scan documents via a digitized signature feature. Contracts, rental agreements or other documents that need a signature can be faxed to a realtor's eFax account where a digitized signature can be added from a computer, tablet or smart phone. The document can then be forwarded via email or fax. Learn more in this eFax digitized signature YouTube video.

  • Route calls anywhere -- With eVoice, realtors can be available to their clients anywhere, anytime -- without having to give out their personal mobile number or carry around a second "work" phone. The call routing feature lets eVoice route incoming business calls to any number desired - cell, home phone, home office, etc. Being readily available to Gen X and Y clients is smart business for agents because, as the National Association of Realtors® generational trends report shows, younger sellers are more likely than older sellers to be a repeat customer of their agent. Learn more about eVoice in this eVoice YouTube video.

"eFax has been instrumental in saving us time and helping our organization run more efficiently," says Sarah Chaisson, director of operations at McGeough Lamacchia Realty. "The product has been especially helpful when we negotiate offers after hours when a fax machine is not near. It allows us to expedite the process of sending documents to our clients in a timely manner. eFax is a time saver, and has allowed us to better support and work with our clients."

iPhone® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Android™ is a trademark of Google, Inc.

About eFax®
eFax is a brand and registered trademark of j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) and is online at www.efax.com. For more information please visit the eFax blog at http://blog.efax.com/ or watch these videos on the eFax YouTube channel.

About eVoice®
eVoice, "A Better Way to Connect," is a brand and trademark of j2 Global (NASDAQ: JCOM.) A leading virtual phone service, eVoice offers a wide selection of local or toll-free numbers and is the only phone service of its type to offer personalized US-based VIP setup and support for new accounts. eVoice is online at www.evoice.com.

About j2
j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) and its affiliates provide Internet services through their two divisions: Business Cloud Services and Digital Media. The Business Cloud Services Division offers Internet fax, virtual phone, hosted email, email marketing, online backup, unified communications and CRM solutions. It markets its services principally under the brand names eFax®, eVoice®, FuseMail®, Campaigner®, KeepItSafe® and Onebox® and operates a messaging network spanning 49 countries on six continents. The Digital Media Division consists of Ziff Davis Inc., which offers technology, gaming and lifestyle content through its digital properties which include PCMag.com, IGN.com, AskMen.com, Toolbox.com and others. Ziff Davis also operates NetShelter Powered by BuyerBase, an advanced digital ad targeting platform, and Ziff Davis B2B, a leading provider of research to enterprise buyers and leads to IT vendors. As of December 31, 2012, j2 had achieved 17 consecutive fiscal years of revenue growth. For more information about j2, please visit www.j2global.com.

1 See press release at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

Contact:
Bill Threlkeld
pr@j2.com
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