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A real estate office may not consider their phone system until it starts to malfunction, and they need assistance ASAP. But even a system in working order may be causing a company more problems than they realize. From complicated menus to unclear voicemails, the phone system may be the culprit of multiple missed opportunities. For those who may be looking for something a little more modern, consider how the following features may help an agency with their business.
Real estate agencies may buy and sell local properties, but their clients may be from all around the world. Putting limits on the number of calls an agent can make is limiting in a number of ways, and could even result in a loss of business. If a client can't get through or if a real estate agent hesitates to call a client with urgent information due to long-distance restrictions, the agency may find their profit margins slowly start to shrink.
24/7 Local Support
If a real estate agency's phone system unexpectedly fails at 9 p.m., a manager isn't going to want to spend the whole morning trying to get it up and running. Without 24/7 support, the agency is at the mercy of forces they can't control. Another client may have already pre-scheduled an appointment with the support team, or the technician on duty may have called off for the day. But a reputable company with a reliable team will ensure all of their clients get the help they need when they need it.
Many people find their agency by calling around to different places around their town, and they may not always leave a voicemail when they do. If they don't receive prompt service when they first call in, it won't be difficult for them to choose someone else. But an easily accessible call log will show all transactions accurately and give the timestamp of each one, so agents have a chance to salvage the situation. Agents can tailor their response based on when a client called in and where they're from.
Real estate agencies can't always guarantee they're going to receive a client's voicemail. After all, a client may call from a cell phone with spotty service or they may have a penchant for mumbling. But sometimes voicemails are unclear due to the agency's phone system. Owners should look for a system that has the space to store multiple voicemail messages so they never have to worry about missing something. Look for a system that can send voicemails to an email address. This extra feature can help an agent check their messages more efficiently without having to dial in every time.
Advanced Phone Options
From 3-way calling to selective call rejection, there are plenty of phone options that can help an agency improve their communication. For example, call forwarding can immediately let a client know that the person they're looking can't pick up the phone, which means they don't have to waste time listening to a ringtone that's never going to be picked up. Hold music can make it easier for clients to stomach having to wait for several minutes to get to the right person, and priority calling ensures the right people can always get through.
Few things are more frustrating than having to wait to get an answer. With hunt groups, the phone system can search for a live person to answer the phone so the client doesn't have to leave a message. So while they may not be able to speak to the person they want, they can talk to someone who cares about solving their problem. It's the kind of benefit that can be pivotal to getting the customer satisfaction ratings an agency craves.
Whether the phone system is for five real estate agents or 500, there are certain principles that no decision-maker can ignore. The phone system is not only a key component of communicating with clients regarding their property, it's also a tool that can be used to boost general customer service. Cutting corners may result in a loss of business, reputation, or both.
Preston Guyton is a native of the Grand Strand and Broker in Charge/Managing Partner of CRG Companies.