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How estate agents can benefit from a telephone answering service

How estate agents can benefit from a telephone answering service

Being an estate is busy enough (attending viewings, chasing offers, catching up with clients, acting as the middleman between sellers and buyers and trying to find new leads) without worrying about phone calls being missed.

At Face For Business we work with hundreds of estate agents, helping them manage inbound calls, direct urgent calls to the right person and even answering basic enquiries directly – so we understand the challenges estate agents have when it comes to telephone answering.

So, based on the experience we have with our estate agent customers, here are the main ways we think you and your agency could benefit from having a telephone answering service handle your calls.

5 ways estate agents can benefit from telephone answering

1. No lost opportunities

Selling homes isn’t like selling t-shirts (to state the obvious) and losing one new business opportunity could mean thousands lost in missed commission.

Let’s look at it this way.

In 2023 the average estate agent fee was around 1.42%.

The average house price in the UK was £291,000.

Which makes the average fee around £4,132.

We stress average because there’s obviously variations in regional house prices and agent fees – but you get the point.

So, missing one new business call a day could potentially be a loss of £4,132.

Missing two calls a day makes £8,264.

Now imagine missing two new business calls a day for a week (let’s say Monday to Friday).

That’s a potential loss of £41,320 a week.

Even if you just missed one call a day, you’re still looking around £20,660 lost commission from new business.

2. More call handling at a lower cost

One solution to missing calls is to hire a receptionist for the office.

It’s a valid solution. But it’s not the most cost effective one.

Hiring a single receptionist can cost upwards of £20,000 a year in salary (not to mention, tax, insurance, pension, holiday pay and the general administration that comes with employees).

And that base salary can be much higher for an experienced receptionist, and even higher if you’re in an expensive city like London.

You also have the problem that a single receptionist can only handle one call at a time. As soon as they pick up the phone they’re out of action again and you’ve lost your call answering.

And what about when they go on lunch, make a drink or just nip to the loo?

With a virtual PA from Face For Business handling your estate agents’ inbound calls this isn’t a problem.

Rather than one PA, you get a team of virtual PAs who can cover each other when one is already on a call.

Your Face For Business PA can answer the phone just as you’d want a receptionist to do in your office and can either take a message, direct calls to the right person when they’re available or handle some enquiries directly (like basic questions about your services).

And you get all this for a much lower cost than the £20,000 a year of a full-time receptionist.

Some of our most popular packages that our existing estate agent customers use start at around £200 a month (nearly 10x cheaper than a full-time member of staff with more capacity to answer calls).

So from a cost and usage perspective, a virtual PA for your estate agency could be a no brainer.

We could also add Managed Live Chat to your website so we can handle even more customer enquiries online.

3. Our PAs can give your team their time back

Estate agents can be inundated with calls from buyers and sellers. But many calls coming in can also be time wasting.

It could be sales calls, nuisance calls, people trying to arrange a viewing for a home they won’t be able to buy (it happens, as you’ll know).

Or it could be basic calls from people who want information about what you can do for them (these aren’t time wasting, we know, but they can take up a lot of time to answer).

All the time your team spends dealing with these “low value” calls is just less time spent finding leads, answering new enquiries, attending viewings and valuations and working to close sales.

Our Face For Business PAs can remove the low value calls from your team’s workload, ensuring they have more time for value adding tasks and that calls forwarded to them are important.

4. You can extend your opening times

A common problem we help our estate agent client solve is that many customers can’t call during ‘regular work hours’ because they’re at work too.

Which means many calls and enquiries come in out-of-hours.

Unless you’re planning on having your team work 12-24 hour days, it’s not feasible to answer these calls and you could end up relying on an answering machine to record out-of-hours messaging.

But most people don’t leave voicemails anymore. They’re more likely to just call the next number on their list instead.

With a Face For Business PA you can extend your call answering hours to 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, 9am-5:30pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday.

Having our PAs available to answer calls during these extra hours can help you win more new business opportunities (and we’ve already talked about how valuable they can be) and can help you answer other enquiries until your team is available.

5. Create a more professional service

We know your team is busy and when the phone rings it can be too easy to see it as an inconvenience and just let it ring.

    When you’re a potential buyer or seller, waiting while the phone rings or being sent to voicemail doesn’t create the best impression.

    It can be stressful buying and selling a home and you want to know your estate agent will be there when you need them.

    With our PAs on your team, every call will be answered quickly and professionally so you always give the right first impression to every caller.

    Even if we can’t deal with the enquiry directly, the caller is reassured they’ve spoken to a real person and that their enquiry has been recorded.

    This is important because according to one report by The Property Ombudsman, poor communication was the biggest complaint levelled against estate agents. 

    How we help Estate Agents catch more enquiries

    You can read more about how we’ve helped one estate agency handle more calls to win more new business opportunities and provide better customer service to clients.

    Read our case study here

    Try our Estate Agency answering service free for 7-days

    Want to see how our PAs can help your team?

    Sign up for a 7-day free trial.

    Or you can call our team on 0333 323 1007

    23rd November, 2023

    Posted by Face For Business

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