A real estate agency is an interlocutor between the seller of a property and the potential buyer or tenant. Agencies benefit from commissions on transactions, so getting the maximum number of transactions is crucial within this industry.
Real estate businesses range from self-employed agents to large companies. Today’s technology makes it easier for a small business or freelancer to offer a large volume of properties in multiple markets without the need for a large infrastructure or investment. This is made possible by a number of things:
What all these technological services have in common is that they do not require a large initial investment. In most cases they can be obtained on a pay-per-service basis, which reduces initial costs and allows the real estate agency to adjust or scale to the volume of work at any given time.
The key to success is knowing how to locate products, in this case housings, at a good market price, and knowing how to sell them. But it is particulary important here to communicate between the different sides, as both the buyer and the seller are part of the transaction throughout the whole process.
Communication between all parties has to be agile, reliable and precise, which is why telephony is an essential element for real estate agencies, as it is a direct channel for customer service.
Traditionally, real estate agencies have a landline telephone with a switchboard in the office and each employee has a landline phone. This phone is combined with smartphones which, depending on the agency, belong to the employee or are provided by the real estate agency.
Most of the calls from buyers come from advertisements or websites. The advertised number is usually the main number of the real estate agency and, when a call comes in, it is usually directed to the first available agent.
On the other hand, estate agents spend a lot of time out of the office visiting new properties and showing properties to buyers. This results in a lot of mobile phone calls, postponing calls and not being able to take calls from the office when they are out of the office. This is why it is very important to have a homogeneous telephone system that adapts to the mobility of the agents.
Below, we explain the main advantages of VoIP telephony that helps real estate agencies to:
Surprising as it may seem, there are still real estate agencies where it is only possible to handle one call. If they are already dealing with a client, the next call is left unanswered. This is solved with a virtual switchboard because it provides a line to the company through the Internet and allows several people to be on the phone simultaneously.
On other occasions the problem is due to not having a system that picks up the call when everyone is already on the phone. This can be solved by queuing and allowing the call to be forwarded to the first available agent.
VoIP phone systems allow you to start the call with an introductory guide “Thank you for calling State Real Estate. We will be attending shortly.”
This type of message informs the customer that they have contacted your company before placing the call on hold. It is also possible to report the queue position and average waiting time, reducing call abandonment by potential customers.
The IP telephony service can be used from anywhere. This also allows you to obtain a number from another geographical area (another city or province), being able to answer the call from the office or from any other place. Therefore, you can promote your ads in those locations giving presence and confidence to your customers.
For example, although our real estate agency is in Valencia, we could have numbers with prefixes from Alicante or Madrid, to promote our ads in those locations giving presence and confidence to our customers.
It can also be useful to have a UK or Germany contact number, so that your international clients can call you locally for them, making contact easier.
Even if the real estate agent is out on a visit, he can take the call on his smartphone or any internet-enabled device as if he were in the office, or immediately forward the call to another colleague.
The assisted transfer functionality can also be of interest. In many cases the agent can answer a call from their mobile phone during a visit, but the information needed to service the customer is in the office. In these cases the agent can transfer the call to the office, talking first to the colleague to explain the situation and thus facilitate customer service.
We can set up fixed contact numbers in a matter of seconds, without long contracts or permanence. This can be very interesting for:
VoIP telephony as a service allows you to expand or reduce your communications system based on your workload in a matter of minutes. This allows us to adapt to campaigns and adjust the costs of the service.
From any point and device with internet access, real estate agents can make use of their business telephony service both to answer and make calls. This favours remote working and teleworking.
After hours you can define an informative message to customers, indicating the hours, alternative contact possibilities such as email/Whatsapp, call forwarding to an on-call mobile or a voice mailbox allowing you to forward the voice message to an email with the corresponding transcription to text.
Managing voicemails can be complicated on the phone, but receiving them by email can simplify the process of managing messages. The agent can listen to them on the computer while taking down the relevant information.
In addition, transcription to text can help in cases where loudspeakers are not available or cannot be used.
IP telephony allows access at all times to detailed call records, both for a particular agent and for the entire organisation, as well as to record and access them at any time, with the appropriate security mechanisms.
Through call reports it is possible to evaluate the performance and use of telephony by each of the agents.
VoIP telephony provides access to additional services such as: call recording, conference rooms, intrusion, on-line chat, elegant and cost-effective desktop terminals, etc.
Some VoIP telephony solutions facilitate integration with business applications, in particular CRM, either through native integration or small developments.
Integration with the CRM will help to greatly improve productivity, facilitating the teleworking and mobility environment in a transparent way to your customer, as well as helping the commercial follow-up with automatic call logging.
Having IP telephony as a service will avoid the costs of installing and configuring a physical switchboard. It also means significant savings in maintenance and support costs. The service costs can be similar to the costs of the line with traditional operators and in many cases lower.
IP telephony allows you to adjust the service to your business volume and/or pay for what you actually use.
Not all VoIP telephony providers offer the same features for real estate agencies. VoIPstudio, on the other hand, offers a complete solution that meets all the needs of the real estate agency, with all the advantages described above, and in addition:
The following is an example of VoIPstudio’s VoIP telephony solution implementation in a real estate agency.
First of all, we port the agency’s number, or provide a new number that is easy to remember.
This number is then routed to a welcome voice message and several options are offered, such as:
Real estate agents may decide at any given time not to receive calls, for example, if they are in a meeting they could simply ask callers to leave a note to call back later or redirect their calls to administration.
At the workstations we deploy one of these stylish softphones or desk phones:
VoIPstudio, being a cloud telephony service, has the advantage of allowing you to make and answer calls from anywhere where you have Internet access as if you were in the office, using your computer or Smartphone application.
For those properties with an international market, we offer the option of adding local numbers to make it easier for clients to contact us. For example, we could provide a local London number so that prospective UK clients can contact the property locally at a reduced cost. That number could also be used when calling UK clients as a caller introduction.
We can provide incoming/outgoing numbers immediately. So if you need a number for a particular campaign you can have it up and running in a matter of seconds. This way you will be able to identify incoming calls for a particular advert and also get campaign statistics.
We can also provide an additional website chat service, so that you can introduce an online chat button and service on your website. These chat contacts will appear in the same telephony app so you will have all the functionality in a single app.
VoIPstudio can offer this service in an efficient and economical way. All these facilities are available from 4€ per month per workstation (cost of outgoing calls and incoming numbers not included).
In VoIPstudio we facilitate the process of adapting to VoIP:
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