Why missing calls can be a killer for your letting agency

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The private rented sector is a fast-moving industry that’s constantly undergoing changes.

You’ve got new landlords entering the market (or older landlords leaving) and a never-ending list of people looking to find their new rented home.

So you need to make sure your customer service is on point.

And this is particularly true when it comes to your call answering.

Renters have a huge choice of vendors to choose from when it comes to finding a rented property.

There are nearly 25,600 estate agencies operating in the UK according to IBIS World.

Not to mention tenants can quite easily arrange things directly with landlords online.

So when the phone does ring, you need to make sure you’re answering it.

Missing a single call can cost you a new client or listing.

And considering the average rent in the UK is £1,053 a month, and most letting and estate agencies work on a commission and fee basis, that could be a lot of missed profit from not answering the phone.

Not only that, it can damage your reputation if you start to consistently miss calls or send clients to voicemail when they’re looking for an update.

Here are the top reasons missing calls can damage your letting agency.

The value of a single call

When you’re selling small ticket items like a t-shirt, missing two or three calls in the day won’t cost you that much.

But property letting is expensive and each lost deal can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.

That’s based on the fact letting agencies charge between 5% and 15% of the rent, plus set up fees and can make additional revenue helping with ongoing property management and arranging certain safety certificates.

So can you really afford to risk missing calls when they come in?

Landlords have more options

If a landlord needs help with a rental valuation or is looking for help marketing their property to find a new tenant, they have a lot of options for letting agents who can help them.

It’s not just a case of being limited to the high street office anymore.

Now they have access to a vast number of online letting agents who could help them.

If they call you for help and you don’t answer the phone, they aren’t likely to call you back a second time.

They’ll just try another number until someone picks up.

Plus, because they’ll remember you weren’t available the last time, they’ll be less likely to come to you in the future for other enquiries.

Today, answering the phone is essential for generating new business and developing a reputation for good customer service.

With an outsourced call answering service, you’ll always have the confidence your calls are being answered and dealt with professionally, even when your staff are out of the office.

Poor communication will ruin your reputation

Letting or renting a property can be a stressful experience.

Whichever side of the fence you’re on, going weeks without hearing anything, or getting sent to voicemail when calling to find out what’s happening with a property will only add to the stress.

On the other hand, even if there are delays, renters or landlords are more likely to tolerate some problems coming up as long as they’re kept up to date with what’s happening and someone picks up the phone when they call.

If you consistently miss calls when they come in (even if it’s because you’re dealing with other clients) you’ll soon get a bad reputation.

And if that reputation spreads, you’ll get fewer people willing to call you for help when they’re looking to rent their property.

Why call handling is such a challenge for lettings agents

Modern letting agents need to be out of the office meeting landlords, arranging viewings for tenants and finding new business opportunities.

The last thing you want is them stuck behind a desk.

But today, when so much of property letting is done online or over the phone, is a full-time receptionist manning a desk and phone really worth the investment?

Especially now after 18 months of offices being closed and people working remotely?

There’s also the fact that a single receptionist can only deal with one enquiry at a time.

When someone calls and they answer, they can’t deal with any other calls until they’re off the first one.

So you could still find yourself in a situation where you’re sending the majority of your calls to voicemail.

How outsourced call handling can help

The truth is, outsourced call answering is the perfect solution for letting agents in need of a reliable call answering service, without the staff costs and admin.

Call answering services for letting agencies operate remotely but as an extension of your business.

When the phone rings, as far as the caller knows they’re dealing with an employee of your business.

All your calls are answered quickly and your virtual receptionist, who will either take a message and direct it to the right person, can transfer urgent calls to the relevant person, or they can even deal with simple enquiries for you.

They can even organise diaries and automatically book viewings for your agents and add them to calendars for your agent to deal with.

That way you can be assured your sales team is out making the most of their time, all while being confident your phone is being handled by a professional team.

Extend your opening hours

It’s just a fact that tenants and landlords can find it hard to contact you from 9-5.

Many have jobs and need to deal with property issues after they’ve finished for the day, or at the weekend.

Outsourced call handling can help you extend your opening hours beyond the usual 9-5, ensuring out of hours enquiries are being dealt with and helping you win and retain more business in the process.

Let’s say a new landlord calls at 7 pm on a Thursday wanting to arrange a valuation.

You can either have a personal mobile number available for people, although this risks you taking calls at any time of the day or night.

You can send the caller to voicemail and hope they leave you a message or call you back.

Or you can have the call dealt with by an outsourced call answering service who can take the details and even book the valuation into an agent’s diary for the next day if they’re available.

When your agent comes back in the office on Friday morning, they automatically have the meeting booked and all the relevant information they need.

Cut your staff

Hiring full-time receptionists is expensive.

And at a time when more letting agencies and other businesses are trying to make the most out of every investment and make themselves more agile and adaptable, could the cost of a full-time receptionist be put to better use?

You could use the money to hire another sales agent, or get a better website to streamline your booking and valuation process even further.

Or you could spend the money on some much needed marketing.

Without the cost and admin of a full-time member of staff you have more resource to invest elsewhere in your business.

Winning business with better customer service

Customer service has become a serious consideration for customers across all industries.

Whichever business provides the better customer service is now usually the one that wins the business because customers know they’ll get a good experience.

And this goes for letting and estate agencies too.

Taking the hassle out of letting and renting a property is a sure way to stand out from the crowd.

And whatever small advantage you get will pay off dividends later on if you get it right.

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