With summer upon us now, those of you who work in the real estate industry are probably gearing up for more people moving out of their homes and buying something new. If you've done your marketing well, this is probably going to mean an onslaught of calls to your real estate firm in the ensuing weeks or months.
However, it's also going to mean inbound and outbound calls while working with clients. To keep your clients in the loop about what's transpiring with their house sales or the buying process, it's going to require the utmost in phone customer service.
Having the best real estate answering service is imperative, short-term and long-term. Take a look at what kind of services you should use to keep yourself competitive.
Having Live Operators Available
Despite virtual assistants becoming smarter and close to sounding like a real human being, having live operators through your phone service is a must.
Don't rely 100% on AI since people still want to talk to a human being. While it's maybe impossible for you to afford a 24/7 human operator team, at least have them available during normal work hours.
The key is to find live operators with the proper training and natural aptitude for answering questions or solving problems. Being courteous and competent are the two big C's in what to look for in an answering service.
This isn't always possible to find, no matter what you pay. You need full assurance, though, these agents have had thorough training in how to handle complex calls. When it comes to selling or buying a house, callers are going to run the gamut of emotions.
Many of your clients this summer are going to call in to set appointments to meet with your real estate agents. While your live operators can handle most of this, not every client is going to have time to call in during the day.
Some of those clients are probably overwhelmed with their jobs in addition to the complicated tasks of buying or selling their home. You may have some clients who only have time to set appointments in the late-night hours.
This is where virtual phone assistant services work well. Someone can call in the middle of the night and be able to have a friendly virtual assistant set up an appointment.
These lifelike digital assistants are truly amazing compared to what was available five or ten years ago. They'll give callers numerous options and converse like a real person. An appointment can become set up in minutes without worries of a glitch from not talking to someone real.
Be sure to find a service with customized interactive voice systems so you can shape it to suit your real estate agency's brand.
Providing Faxes to Email
Considering many of your clients are probably on the go as much as your real estate agents are, communication is going to become more challenging.
A quality answering service should provide ways for either side to receive communications through mobile. Fax to Email is one service many of the best answering services provide now to make this convenient.
Now your agents can send faxes to your clients. The latter will receive them via email or text on their mobile devices. All of the complex business matters pertaining to house selling or buying take place quicker this way rather than your clients having to wait to read a fax until they come home.
The service you use should always have the ability to relay messages via phone, email, fax, or even web chat.
Having Bilingual Phone Operators
You can't run a real estate agency without your phone agents being able to speak other languages. One in five U.S. residents speak a foreign language at home, so you need preparation to communicate with these people on an intelligent level.
Your phone agents should be able to speak all main languages fluently since real estate communication is going to mean numerous legal explanations.
What's most important is to have you phone agents based in the U.S. so they can speak English just as well. Outsourcing your phone service to another country where they can't speak English well only magnifies any complications you have in communicating effectively.
Flexibility in Your Contract
It's best to choose an answering service giving you some flexibility in how long you want to use their services. They should give you options like month-to-month commitments, just in case you need to leave later due to various business circumstances.
Other variations should include six-month, or one-year contracts if you know you have a top-tier service you can work with long-term. Longer contracts means you won't have to renegotiate contracts each month, especially during the summer when it's your busiest time.
Don't underestimate how clients perceive you when they call your agency. Having the proper script or answer phrase identifies your particular real estate brand. Perhaps you have a particular motto that defines who you are and what you want to convey when taking calls. Maybe this changes during the summer to better target your summertime clients.
Always look for script prompting like this in the answering service you hire. Not only should your callers have an opening phrase, but they should have a script available on the screen to guide them through the call.
Built-in help screens help the agent be able to better handle frequently asked questions by new or existing clients.
Those looking to buy or sell their homes this summer don't have a lot of time to wait for your phone agents to pick up. They're probably calling on their smartphones and may need to get a question answered as quickly as possible.
Any quality answering service should answer by the second ring. Anything more might lead to a hang-up call from those in a hurry.
Something as simple as this can ultimately lead to a potential client calling a competitor out of frustration.
Visit us at Westpark Communications to use our answering service expertise.