GrandCentral is an feature-rich new web application that allows you to sign up to consolidate all your outstanding telephone numbers (work, home, cell) into that single number. When anyone calls your GrandCentral number, all three of your locations (work, home, cell) will ring simultaneously.
Essentially, using GrandCentral gives Realtors a homebrew Find Me, Follow Me service. No matter where you are, people will be able to contact you.
But GrandCentral is much more than just a central phone number, it’s much more powerful than that. You can set up rules for your friends, family and co-workers to seemlessly direct their calls to any of your numbers you specify. Different callers can each receive different messages too and you can even upload MP3s for the callers to hear instead of a basic ringtone.
When you receive a call that’s been redirected to you by GrandCentral, you have the option of answering it, sending it to voicemail or screen the call by listening in (in real time) to the caller leaving you a message. At any time, you can jump into the call by pressing the star button (*) on your phone.
You can also press 4 at any time during the call to start recording the conversation and save it to your online account. All of your voicemail messagess are also accessible on the Internet. On a side note, I recently switched all my home telephone service to VOIP and I have to say having online and email access to my voicemail is one of the killer apps of Internet telephony (besides the low price). GrandCentral conveniently duplicates this feature for all your calls, no matter where they’re received.
Right now the service is in Beta, so all the features are free for the next 60 days. The full service will cost $14.99 when they launch, though they will continue to offer a basic free package.
I think this could be a brilliant service for Realtors or any mobile professional whose business takes them out on the road. Marketing a GrandCentral number as a single point of contact for your business makes a lot of sense.
Unfortunately, the service requires signing up for a new telephone number right now – which is a bit of an impedement to any existing business. But as the service matures, I hope that we’ll see ways to get around this.