In a move that could help improve real estate agents’ lagged response times to online consumer inquiries, electronic forms provider ZipForm has partnered with realPING, which offers immediate interaction between agents and consumers surfing the Web.

RealPING in January launched its push-to-talk, VoIP button that connects Web site visitors with a real estate agent’s telephone. VoIP, which stands for voice over Internet protocol, is a technology that enables people to make phone calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular phone line.

The technology is catching on; ZipForm’s partnership comes a week after real estate brokerage company Real Living announced it would offer the technology to its agents. Real Living has about 4,000 agents working in 10 states.

To begin using the click-to-talk service, consumers click on the agent’s realPING button — either on a Web site or e-mail — and input their local phone number, which then rings back within five seconds and connects with the professional’s designated phone number. During the call, real estate agents can push information, such as Web pages and virtual tours, to the consumer’s desktop.

Some three-quarters of consumers end up transacting with the first real estate agent to respond to their inquiries, according to the National Association of Realtors, and realPING founder Albert Clark was betting that a push-to-talk device on a Realtor’s Web site would help facilitate that relationship.

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