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"Don't Bust Your Budget with Phone Costs!"

Attend This Session

Blair Brookins Photo
6/1/01 Interview with Blair Brookins

6145 Barfield Road, Suite 290
Atlanta, GA 30328

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Professional Background

  1. After working in telecommunications first as a sales agent and later as a sales manager for the first telecom company to focus on service to small businesses, Brookins made the transition to consulting.
  2. To meet his desire to offer small and medium-sized businesses an array of products, he became a master agent having contracts with most of the nation's top long distance carriers; at that point, he started iTel Networks in 1996.
  3. iTelL initially had contracts with MCI, ATT, Sprint and Cable & Wireless; the list has grown to 15 of the largest long distance carriers; Brookins can present their comparative advantages and disadvantages to his clients.
  4. Much of iTel's work is with membership associations; Brookins helps them to leverage the buying power of the entire organization to drive down the price for each individual member.
Long Distance for Real Estate Pros

  1. For small to medium-sized users, the bottom-line rate is most significant; in today's telecommunications market, resellers and smaller carriers have the same equipment and advanced technology as the giants.
  2. Look at what you pay for in-state, intralatta and state-to-state calls; iTel offers a state-to-state rate of 4.9 cents per minute to Society members.
  3. The billing increment is the next important factor; many carriers bill in one-minute increments, but iTel's programs all use six-second increments so that you are charged only for the time you use; the savings from fractional minutes can be huge.
  4. Most of the "10-10" dialing offers make money on full-minute increments and billing minimums; the one program Brookins knows about that charges from the beginning of your call does not have a competitive rate.
  5. Most carriers charge a monthly fee around $3.95-$5.95 above any charges for actual calls; they may also charge an extra fee for toll-free numbers; with the Society plan, the only time you are charged a monthly fee ($2.50) is when the billing for the month on your total account falls below $15.
  6. Through the Society program, members can obtain unlimited toll-free numbers at the 4.9 cent rate and no extra fees; Jack finds it cost effective to have toll-free numbers for him to call his home and office while traveling.
Other Program Considerations

  1. iTel offers account codes for use in a multi-agent office at no extra cost; this feature allows calls to be tracked by agent; other features available include conference calling and calling cards.
  2. In-state, long distance calls, called 'intralatta', can be carried either by your local or your long distance provider; iTel compares the two and uses the cheaper solution; in most cases, iTel's intralatta rates are favorable.
  3. The Society program under the carrier PowerNet Global allows you to include your residential telephone service under the same rates.
  4. International rates through the Society program are considerably lower than those from most providers.
Assessing Wireless Services

  1. Wireless programs are in hot competition; figuring out the best option is difficult because the plans change on a daily basis; iTel keeps in touch with providers and currently represents three of the nation's top wireless programs.
  2. The best program for you depends on your needs; working with a 'quarterback' like Brookins can coordinate your needs with the constantly changing array of products available.
  3. The first consideration is coverage‹reliability of service in your area; coverage affects roaming charges and how often your calls get dropped.
  4. Also consider how much you use your phone; obviously, someone who talks 50 minutes a month is not likely to need the same plan a one who talks 5,000 minutes a month.
  5. Cost of plans is definitely a factor, especially if you are working within a budget.
Great New Product for RE Pros

Sprint's new AirCard is a wireless web product that will enable a real estate professional working in the field to go online at 64K from a laptop without an Internet connection; expect this product to sweep the marketplace‹it is available now. Check out the Society's 4.9¢ long distance plan by clicking on the phone icon at the very bottom of the main page at

Contact Information for Blair Brookins:

(v) 404-531-9915
(f) 404-531-9948

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Sprint PCS AirCardt