With the number of homeowners decreasing and UK house prices rising fast, the property market is a strange place to be for estate agents.
A recent house price survey by Halifax showed a 4% price rise in the three months to September compared with the same period last year. This survey bucked the trend of other recent reports which suggested a weakening housing market, especially in London.
Meanwhile, Government data has revealed the private rented sector has doubled in size since 2004 and home ownership is at its lowest level since 1985.
With a squeeze on spending and a looming rise in interest rates potentially affecting future demand, estate agents need to protect their businesses, especially with more online estate agents offering cheaper fees.
As estate agents try to deal with this current uncertain landscape, the last thing they will think of doing is investing in new communications equipment but this may be the very time to do so to ensure their client service is excellent and keeps them ahead of the competition.
Let me explain further....
All estate agents will be using some form of telephone system already. It’s most important use is to answer calls from people who either want to sell their homes or want to buy a property. Any missed calls may result in lost business.
However, we understand it can be hard to answer every call when you are out on viewings and valuations or are on the phone dealing with another client.
You may also want to have the ability to take calls out of office hours and therefore need mobility options to allow staff to work efficiently when they are on appointments or when working from home to handle incoming enquiries as if they are desk-based.
No doubt your phone system does most of this already but it might be that you have been using it for a few years now and it could be costing you more money than necessary.
Your monthly combined costs for lines, calls and maintenance could be more than the monthly cost of a new phone system that will give you improved features – automated attendant, call queuing, call recoding, hunt groups, desk and mobile phone twinning, etc. – plus the flexibility and resilience to make sure your client service is as excellent as it needs to be in these turbulent times.
With a cloud-hosted phone system, it’s also easy to link to multiple branches so that you can share staff resources to answer calls on behalf of the entire group. These cloud-hosted telephone systems can also grow as required, so if you happen to open another branch or take on extra staff, they can be easily accommodated.
Meanwhile, savings are achieved with free calls to UK landlines and mobiles. A cloud-hosted system is paid for on a per user per month basis, meaning there is no capital investment. Support is also built into the cost as well as system updates, so your system is future proofed too.
The aim of this blog is to illustrate to estate agents how they can become more competitive in a tough market while saving them money at the same time. There really is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Makes good business sense to me.