With the Government resuming England’s housing market activity again, estate agents have re-opened their doors for business.
Now, more than ever, estate agents need to make up for lost time and need to be ready to respond to their clients’ needs. The same is true for removal firms and conveyancers.
A BBC report estimated there are 450,000 buyers and renters with plans on hold, so these property businesses need to be ready for their calls!
What the past eight weeks of lockdown has revealed though is that many businesses were not agile enough to cope with their staff working from home, so they essentially shut up shop.
Others were in the fortunate position of having business continuity plans in place whereby they could divert their office phones to mobiles or, even better, could continue to make, take and transfer calls from home to ensure they were very much ‘open’ for business and new enquiries. They have also been able to use unified communications applications, such as video calls, presence, screen sharing and instant messaging to stay in touch with their colleagues.
Although we all dearly hope for the opposite, this flexibility may be required in the future too if a second COVID-19 spike occurs, but also as businesses see the benefits of staff working from home.
For estate agents though, their immediate main concern will be to not miss an opportunity. For smaller branches, this may mean staff being able to take office calls as they attend socially-distanced appointments and viewings or for calls to overflow to another branch.
This is functionality that is simply not available on older phone systems, in the same way as homeworking features are not compatible either.
We all want estate agents and the rest of the housing market to do well as their success will filter down to other business, especially retail, another sector that has a lot of catching up to do.
If your estate agency wants to enjoy the improved flexibility of a modern phone system, then please do not hesitate to contact me. Do not worry if capital is in short supply at the moment. Hosted phone systems do not require capital investment and their monthly subscriptions are often equal to or less than current lines, call and support costs of older systems. In the meantime, enjoy being back at work!