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TMCNet:  Contractors Adopt Mobile Apps and Cloud Services to Meet Rising Demand for Home Improvement

[February 19, 2013]

Contractors Adopt Mobile Apps and Cloud Services to Meet Rising Demand for Home Improvement

(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/19/13 -- j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) -- Spring is a time of change and renewal. Homeowners considering improvements this year are being spurred to action by historically low mortgage rates. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reports the average 15-year-fixed mortgage rate is 2.71 percent (the record low is 2.63 percent). Low rates are allowing more homeowners to buy or renovate their properties and as a result, demand for contractors -- including carpenters, plumbers, remodelers, and landscapers -- is expected to increase.

This increased demand means more and more contractors are working less from the office and more from the field, facing the challenge of managing essential tasks like answering and responding to phone calls in a timely manner or sending and receiving signed contracts via fax so work can proceed. As this level of mobility increases, smart contractors are turning to cloud services like eFax®, an online fax service, and eVoice®, a business phone service for mobile professionals, to help them work more productively in the field while keeping costs down.

eFax® provides contractors with a fax number that delivers faxes directly to their email. With eFax, contractors can send, receive, and even sign faxes from any mobile device -- be it a smart phone, tablet or notebook. All sent and received faxes are stored online, searchable by date or content, so paperwork that used to require extra trips back to home or the office can now be managed online from the job site.

eVoice provides contractors with a business phone number that can be answered on any mobile or home phone. Clients and vendors are greeted by a professionally recorded message and customized menu options. Call screening ensures that important calls get answered and low-priority calls go to voicemail. Voicemail messages are transcribed and delivered as text messages or emails, making them easy to read in noisy environments, forward to others to act on, or file for future reference.

"My office moves with me, whether I'm in my truck, home or at a client site," said Michael Diack, owner of Pipe Doctor Plumbing based in Long Island, NY. "Having services that allow me to operate efficiently no matter where I am is critical for my business. That's why I rely on eVoice to connect with customers anytime and anywhere. More importantly, with my voicemails transcribed and sent to my inbox, I know exactly what my customers need and the urgency of their requests." Here are seven tips to help home renovation professionals stay connected with clients and operate their business while on the go: 1.Keep Your Personal Phone Numbers PrivateYour mobile phone is a great tool for answering business calls on the move, but giving out your personal phone number makes it hard to get away from work. eVoice® gives you a business phone number that routes to your mobile or home phone, but only when you want it to.

2.There's a Better Answer than "Hello" A casual "hello" to an incoming call is fine for friends and family, but doesn't convey the professional tone needed when clients call. eVoice® provides custom greeting messages and menus so your next call could be answered "You've reached Smith Construction. Please press 1 for our address and hours, 2 to leave a message, or 3 to speak with Mike Smith." Then when you say "hello," you've already set the table with a professional first impression.

3.Caller ID Isn't Enough When someone calls your mobile phone, your only help in deciding whether to take the call is the Caller ID. If the call is from a new client, or an existing client on a different phone, you may send an important call to voicemail. With eVoice's call screening feature, every caller announces their name before you decide to answer or take a message.

4.Don't Rely on your Memory Important calls, with lots of details, often happen in the field. Keeping schedules, part numbers, and costs in your head (or on crumpled notes) isn't easy. With eVoice's call recording feature, contractors can ensure that details are documented and saved to avoid miscommunications.

5.Keep the Fax, Ditch the Machine Instead of a printout sitting on a machine in your office, faxes are now delivered by eFax as email attachments available wherever you are. You can still print them if you want to, but you can also view, forward, reply, archive and search for them online from the field or from home.

6.Put your Mobile Phone's Camera to Work Paperwork pops up on the jobsite. Rather than waiting until later (or possibly never) to deal with it, take a picture with your mobile phone camera and use the eFax® mobile app for iOS and Android to fax it on the spot. Processing a change order or invoice in real time is easy -- not a "back at the office" hassle to remember.

7.No Paper, No Pen, No Problem eFax helps contractors sign important papers on the go. You can drop a digitized signature onto a fax from your smartphone, tablet or computer then return the approved document via email or fax. The process is fast and simple and can mean finishing projects sooner and getting paid faster. For more information about using a digitized signature with eFax, watch this video.

About eVoiceeVoice is a brand and registered trademark of j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) and is online at www.evoice.com. The eVoice small business phone system empowers businesses to stay connected to customers anytime and anywhere, without the costs of an administrative staff or traditional phone system. eVoice offers a wide selection of local or toll-free numbers that can be answered on any mobile, home, or desk phone. Features include call screening, routing, and recording. It is the only phone service of its type to offer personalized U.S.-based VIP setup and support for new accounts.

About eFaxeFax is a brand and registered trademark of j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) and is online at www.efax.com. The eFax® service provides local and toll-free fax numbers around the world. Faxes are sent and received by email, online, or via mobile app without the need for a fax machine. Features include fax archiving, digitized signatures, and large file sharing. With solutions for individual users, small business, and large enterprises, eFax® is the global leader in online fax.

About j2 Globalâ„¢j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) provides Internet services through its 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, created with j2 Global's November 2012 acquisition of Ziff Davis, Inc., offers trusted news and reviews of technology products on its web properties, which include PCMag.com, ExtremeTech.com, ComputerShopper.com, Toolbox.com and Geek.com. The Digital Media Division also operates BuyerBase®, an advanced ad-targeting platform; LogicBuy.com, a leading provider of online deals; and Ziff Davis B2B, a leading provider of research to enterprise buyers and leads to IT vendors. As of December 31, 2012, j2 Global had achieved 17 consecutive fiscal years of revenue growth. For more information about j2 Global, please visit www.j2global.com.

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine Press contact: Bill Threlkeld Senior Manager, Public Relations Email: pr@j2global.com Website: http://www.j2.com Twitter: @eFax Blog: http://blog.efax.com/ Source: j2 Global

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