At SendHub we’re thrilled to see Real Estate professionals finding our all-in-one business phone system and putting it to use at their agencies across the country. We designed SendHub for modern, tech savvy, and on the go teams, and today’s Real Estate agencies definitely fit the mold.
The more we’ve talked with Real Estate professionals the more we’ve learned about their unique set of requirements and challenges regarding communication and phone systems. In addition, it’s clear that the service we built to streamline communication, now sits at the end of a long progression of technology and work culture.
How did we get here?
Having seamless, simple and effective communication systems has always been a huge priority for the Real Estate market. As face to face meetings gave way to emails and voicemails, and desktop rotary phones were replaced by smartphones, the communication landscape has been continually evolving over the years.
A Phone on Every Desk
Early phone systems were built for the desk and designed to meet the needs of the time, given the technology available. The desk served as the communication hub and the phone systems were built around them. The ability to first send and receive calls gave way to more and more advanced features including voicemail, call transfers and more.
A Fax Machine and Computer Next to that Phone
Beyond just verbal communication, the use of first fax and then emails brought yet another way to instantly communicate between agents and clients. The ability send messages and documents in real time sped up the pace of interactions and began the gradual shift to always on connectivity.
A Phone in Every Pocket
With cellular phones in agent’s pockets, being away from the office and the desk didn’t mean being disconnected. Clients could now talk to their agent on demand, transactions could continue wherever the agent was, and internally teams’s weren’t limited to only talking when they were together in the office. Real Estate business communication had moved beyond the desk and with this shift came a whole new set of expectations.
Smartphones and Modern Mobility
Smartphones ushered in a new era of integrated communication. The desktop phone and all it’s features were now available in a portable phone along with the ability to send messages, emails, files, and access all types of apps and information instantly.
A Shift in Expectations
- "94% of RealtorsTM communicate with clients using a mobile devices” - National Association of Realtors 2013-2014 Technology Survey
- "56% of consumers now expect a response from their agent within 30 minutes" -REAL Trends 2013 Online Performance Study
- "89% of consumers said response time was very important when choosing their agent" - REAL Trends 2013 Online Performance Study
With this boom in technology, the expectations of the workforce and customers has changed. Clients not only expect their agents to be responsive and connected but demand it. Having a business phone system that meets the needs of teams and individuals in the current landscape is more important than ever.
How SendHub Connects the Modern Real Estate Agency
SendHub is an all-in-one solution that brings all the features of a traditional phone system to your smartphone. Best of all SendHub organizes all of your important business communication one place, so you’ll never miss an important call or message from a client. We give each person their own business phone line that’s accessible right from their smartphone.
A few weeks ago we officially launched our Voice V2 platform to raise the bar for call quality. In our announcement we mentioned 2600hz and their Kazoo platform as being an integral part of the complete overhaul of our voice platform.
Today we’re thrilled to announce a partnership with 2600hz, a leading provider of provider of mobile and cloud telecom technology. A key element of our partnership is the integration with 2600hz’s Kazoo open source telephony stack. We know how important call quality and clarity is to our users, this partnership and integration allow us to continue to meet the growing demands of the businesses that choose SendHub as their mobile phone system.
2600hz Provides Scalability and Improvement to SendHub’s Mobile Business Phone System - Carrier flexibility, redundancy, scalability and custom WebRTC solutions provided by 2600hz’s Kazoo Platform.
What This Means for SendHub Customers
More of the call quality and reliability that you’ve come to expect. This also gives us the ability to expand and add even more great features in the future. Stay tuned for some big feature releases and improvements coming soon.
SendHub at Kazoocon
We’re excited to be part of Kazoocon, 2600hz’s conference in San Francisco on October 6&7. Inspired by Kazoo’s open-source platform and hosted by 2600hz, KazooCon brings together developers, managed service providers, carriers and telecom evangelists to help shape the future of communications.
SendHub co-founder and head of engineering Ryan Pfeffer has just been added as a featured speaker. He’ll be sharing his experiences with Kazoo and sharing details about the development of our Voice V2 platform.
2600hz is offering a $100 off discount code exclusively for SendHub users. To redeem:
- Visit Kazoocon
- Enter code: woohooitskazoo
Over the past nine months we’ve invested a lot of time, research and development into overhauling the architecture of our platform to improve voice quality. Today we’re excited to announce the culmination of all this work - our Voice V2 platform.
Thousands of businesses switched to SendHub in the last year. They all want one thing - outstanding voice calls. Voice is core to what we do here at SendHub and the reason we set out to overhaul every piece of the architecture that powers it.
Our new Voice V2 platform sets a new standard, providing crystal clear, best in class call quality.
How do you get it?
If you already have the latest version of our iOS and Android apps, you don’t need to do anything, or download any new software - it’s all working in the background for you! If you use SendHub on the web, just go to SendHub.com
What Voice V2 Means For You
An improvement to all things voice, the new platform provides enhanced:
- Call Quality: In simple terms, it just sounds better! But technically, we’ve made lots of improvements to make it happen, including:
- Low latency call routing, which means we optimize the signaling and media audio paths to minimize delay between you and the other person during conversations.
- HD Codecs, which enable us to keep crystal clear HD calls going, even in low bandwidth conditions.
- Call Reliability: Keep a call going even when you switch networks, make calls without cell coverage using WiFi, and less dropped calls!
- Flexibility: SendHub evolves as your team grows. Whether you need to add more lines, auto-attendants, call trees or call flows, our all-in-one solution supports all your business communication needs. Don’t see a feature you need? We support custom solutions as well. Contact us HERE to learn more.
- Features: The Voice V2 platform makes it easier for us to expand our features. Earlier this week we launched our most requested feature, Conference Calls, and you can expect more great updates in the near future!
One more thing - still no hardware! There’s no hardware to purchase or upgrade. With SendHub your team is free to use the computers and phones of their choice to enjoy all the great call quality and features we offer
This is just the beginning. We’ve got a ton of improvements and new features lined up for this fall. If you’re interested in all the nuts and bolts, we’ll be sharing the technical details about our Voice V2 platform in the coming weeks. We’d like to acknowledge our partner, 2600hz and their Kazoo open source telephony stack, which allowed us to get where we are today. More to come on that as well!
Hear For Yourself
Start up a Conference Call with your team or just give someone a call, we think you’ll notice the difference. If you have any feedback or if there are features you’d like to see added, please let us know in the comments below.
UPDATE: If you have a Basic Free Account, or are an admin of an enterprise with Basic Free Accounts you will need to upgrade before Sept 12, 2014 to keep your account(s) active.
We’ve heard from our users that voice quality and customer support are SendHub’s most valued features. In order to continue delivering the quality service you’ve come to expect, we will be ending our Basic Free level account offering on September 12, 2014, and support for these accounts will no longer be available. We are currently working to notify all impacted users to ensure access to SendHub is not disrupted.
To keep your SendHub account active, we encourage you to upgrade to one of our paid plans.
At SendHub, we are committed to providing organizations with a reliable, easy to use business communication service. All existing Basic Free account holders are encouraged to keep their accounts active by upgrading to another plan option.
Learn Which Plan is Best For Your Team
If you’re not sure which plan is best for your team, contact us and we’d be happy to help! Complete this form, and a member of our team will be in touch.
Exclusive Offer for Current Basic Free Users
We appreciate you choosing SendHub as your business communication system and would like to extend a limited time offer for upgrades to Basic Free accounts in your enterprise.
From now until September 12, 2014 you can upgrade Basic Free accounts to our Plus plan for only $15 per month (a $25 value). To take advantage of this limited time offer:
- Log in to your SendHub admin account through the web HERE
- Select the “Manage Users” tab from the left hand menu
- Select the lines that are listed as “Free” in the Plan column [see screenshot below]
- After you’ve clicked on the “Free” user click on the “Edit User” button [see screenshot below]
- Select “Change Plan” from the right hand menu [see screenshot below]
- When you get to the next screen you will see the “Plus” plan offered at the discounted rate
- Select the “Plus” plan and complete payment information if we don’t have your payment information already.
We really appreciate your business and look forward to serving you better in the future.
Whether you want to do a quick team check-in, get your clients on the line for an impromptu call, or gather a few colleagues for a meeting, our new Conference Call feature will get you up and running in a few taps. You can easily invite others to your call via SMS or email, and start your conference call in seconds.
How to Host a Conference Call
At SendHub, we’re all about ease. No 10-digit passcodes, or lengthy meeting ID numbers. To start your first Conference Call, simply:
- Upgrade your iOS or Android app.
- Select the Conference Call icon located in the lower left hand corner.
- Tap on the name of the conference line you’d like to access and invite individuals or groups via email or SMS.
If you’re hosting a call from within SendHub on the web, follow the same steps.
How to Join a Conference Call
If you’re already in SendHub, joining a Conference call is simple. To join a conference call on mobile:
- Tap the conference call icon.
- Select the name of the conference line you’d like to join.
If you’re joining a call from the web follow the same steps but click the “Dial-in Now” button on the conference line you wish to dial into.
How to Add Additional Conference Lines
Each business has one conference line already created and available. This line belongs to the enterprise, not to individual users. Administrators can add additional conference lines for individuals or groups through the SendHub on the web, by taking the following steps:
- Log into your SendHub account on the web.
- Select “Conference” from the left navigation bar.
- Click “Add Conference Line”. From here you can give your new conference line a name as well as set a pin.
If you’re not an administrator, reach out to your business administrator to request additional conference lines.
Help Us Improve Conference Calls
At SendHub, our goal is to make business communication fast and simple, on any device. We understand that every business is different, and regardless what communication method your team uses in SendHub (voice, text, files, conference) we want to provide you with the simplest solution. conference calls are just one of many great updates we have on the roadmap, and we’d love to hear what you think.
This is just the beginning. Let us know what you’d like to see from conference calls in the future and help us improve. After you’ve tried conference calls please fill out our survey.
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We are excited to co-host a five city roadshow with Twilio, Google, Box, DocuSign and other companies offering great cloud-based products. Our goal is to showcase the power and flexibility Cloud based technology now offers both small and large businesses. SendHub is eager to meet our customers in person and discuss the benefits of deploying scalable, readily upgradable software applications.
Expensive, legacy driven, and hard to upgrade technology is so 20th century. There are better alternatives and this roadshow will bring market leading software to a city near you. We will help you understand the current state of Enterprise solutions from top SaaS application and service companies. The participating companies will show you how to deploy and implement SaaS and PaaS solutions and applications to enable more flexibility with your software infrastructure.
SendHub is featured on a panel exploring the benefits of building a scalable enterprise solution, so be sure to attend! If you are an IT Professional, project and infrastructure manager or developer looking for a competitive advantage in delivering multi-channel communication platforms you do not want to miss this event.
We look forward to seeing you at one of the following locations:
May 13th – Atlanta
June 6th – Chicago
June 10th – New York
June 17th – Santa Monica
June 24th – San Francisco
Please register here. Use promo code “SENDHUB50” and get a 50% discount on tickets. Follow us on twitter @sendhub, http://blog.sendhub.com for more details. Any further questions please direct them to email@example.com.
And in case you missed it we’d like to highlight a few really cool things our presenters had to share:
Stripe’s Open Source Retreat: A great opportunity for anyone interested in giving back to the open source community. Stripe will give you a healthy stipend and a great place to work for three months.
CFHipsterRef pre-order: Mattt’s new book CFHipsterRef will be available at the end of May. Be one of the first to own it by pre-ordering you copy now. Unlike his last book, most of the content will be exclusive to the book so don’t miss out.
Today we’re excited to announce the newly re-designed SendHub app for iOS 7. It’s available for iPhone and iPod Touch, it’s free, and you can download it here. At SendHub, we strive to make business communications fast and simple. Our latest iOS 7 update brings simplifications to our user interface, making it even easier to communicate with your customers and coworkers.
- A fresh, brand new iOS 7 style design
- Easier to use, more accessible Groups
- Improved call notifications, so you never miss an important call
- A unified Contacts list which lists your Favorites at the top
- Improvements in speed and reliability
We’re excited to share the new app update with our thousands of customers who have come to trust SendHub for their telephony. We hope you enjoy the new iOS 7 app!
Please share any comments or questions regarding the new iOS 7 app to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We had our first tech talk last last week! Our first was speaker, Caleb Doxey, a developer at GNIP and author of Introduction to Programming in Go. Caleb spoke on the Secrets of Go. Next was Tom O’Neill, CTO and co-founder of Periscope. Tom spoke on the Secrets of SQL. Lastly, was our very own Harry Noble, lead Android developer at SendHub. Harry spoke on the Secrets of Android.
If you missed our tech talk and don’t want to miss the next one be sure to join our Meetup group.
A while back we released the SendHub Manager App for Android which allowed managers to add and remove phone lines, and keep track of all their company usage. Today we’ve added the ability to log in to the SendHub app on any of your phone lines with the click of a button.
Until now, the SendHub Android app was used primarily by a single user at a time, with logouts and logins being relatively rare. User sessions were handled by simply downloading all of a user’s data when they logged in and clearing it when they logged out. This process was time consuming, data intensive, and not up to snuff for users who wanted to quickly log in and out of multiple accounts.
We hold all user information in a SQLite database, so given that we needed to persist data in order to keep session switches short we came up with two possible ways to handle this:
1. Add a userID column to all our tables and store all users information in the same table.
2. Create a new table for each user and switch between these at login/logout.
We went with option two for several reasons. First, we want to keep our queries fast, and using multiple databases means we will already have only the subsection of user data that we might need available at any time. Second, we want to keep the app to as small a storage footprint as possible and it is much easier to remove an entire database if it hasn’t been used in a while than to select specific data out of a larger database. More importantly, this was the option that required the least amount of change with our existing code. There is no need to rewrite queries or add new migrations; all we had to do was swap out the database as the user changed.
The basic implementation was straightforward: since we use a singleton for our database helper anyway, we simply added a bit of logic to getInstance() to make sure the correct database was returned.
The code above is a typical implementation of a singleton getter with two additional pieces. If there is no userId for the session we don’t create a database because no one is logged in. If there is a user ID, then we check if the current DatabaseHelper is attached to any database that does not match the user ID. If the IDs don’t match we simply close the old database and create a new DatabaseHelper with the correct user ID.
This is a quick way to add multiple user sessions to an app, but keep in mind it also requires code for cleaning up old databases and preventing long running processes from dumping data into another users database. Wanna check it out? Download the SendHub Manager App today and let us know how it’s working for you!