Century 21 The Castle Company is a Wylie, Texas-based franchise of Century 21 Real Estate LLC, the franchisor of the world's largest residential real estate sales. The Castle Company has been in business since 1985 and serves the Dallas and Fort Worth market. In 2006, the company was preparing to move to a new location and decided to upgrade its phone system at the same time.
Wanted: A VoIP Solution
"We needed a way for our customers to feel closer to their agents. Our choices were to upgrade our existing phone system or look for new technology," said David Barnhart, owner and broker. The Castle Company's existing phone system was a Meridian switch with dedicated lines that was older, cumbersome and lacked many features. As a result, the company decided to shop for a new solution.
Barnhart had a technology background and a solid knowledge of VoIP, and decided to look into using VoIP for the new facility. The T1 and VoIP provider The Castle Company selected, CBeyond, recommended it consider Fonality for the phone system. Barnhart did some research and contacted Fonality by phone.
Quick Set Up and Easy Maintenance? Not a Problem.
"We wanted something easy to install and maintain, so we could do it ourselves. It was important to us that we could perform all updates and changes in house. We talked to Fonality and got a demo of PBXtra. They product seemed simple and the price point was great!"
The Castle Company deployed PBXtra in October of 2006. According to Barnhart, "PBXtra's setup was simple. I set it up at the same time as I set up the network at the office. All I had to do was plug in the phone system and turn it on. It was all preconfigured at Fonality and it just worked. To set up the 19 physical and virtual extensions, which included naming them and configuring any call forwards, took less than two hours. The whole setup took less than four hours from unpacking boxes to being operational."
Calls Here, There & Everywhere
One of the features that is most beneficial to The Castle Company is support for both physical and virtual extensions, which means that calls placed to an agent's extension can either ring at a physical desk within the office or be transferred transparently to a cell phone, home office or any other number. Agents decide how their calls will be handled and can configure or change call handling from anywhere through an easy to use web-based application.
For The Castle Company, more efficient call handling, means more productive agents and happier customers. The receptionist doesn't need to keep track of whether a realtor or employee is at a physical desk or working outside of the office. And, most importantly, clients find it easier to get in touch with their realtors.
"Fonality's PBXtra phone system is very affordable and easy to maintain. I have been so happy with it that I have told several of my colleagues at other real estate firms. Fonality should expect to hear from them in the future when they are shopping for a new phone system."