With estate agents battling for business in a subdued housing market, they must ensure they never miss an instruction or sale opportunity, which means never missing an incoming call.
Earlier this summer, the country’s biggest listed estate agent, Countrywide, revealed its profits would be £20m lower in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2017 and said that it did not expect this shortfall to be recovered in the second half as the market is forecast to remain flat. They also said sales were taking longer and that they had begun the year with significantly fewer properties on their books. House prices are also not rising as expected and the Bank of England increased the base interest rate by 0.25% at the start of this month.
Estate agents are no strangers to doom and gloom news stories about their industry and remain a resilient bunch, despite rising competition from web-based agencies.
They know they need to remain competitively priced and attentive to their clients to see them through this latest market malaise. Forward-thinking estate agencies have looked to their communications solutions to support these goals, starting with a migration to a hosted telephone system to enjoy the following benefits:
- Increased call capacity to ensure callers are never met by the engaged tone
- Centralised operators to handle calls of multi-site estate agencies
- Integration with CRMs for more professional conversations
- Simultaneous incoming calls on one number to desk phones, remote or home office handsets and mobiles, so you never miss a call and can seamlessly move from one device to another
- Single voicemail inbox that can be accessed from any device
All these features ensure estate agents never miss a call, even if they are out on a viewing, dealing with a customer or making an outgoing call. This means they should never miss an offer, instruction and, ultimately, a sale.
However, an investment in communications technology is often met with resistance during tough times but a hosted telephone system can be deployed without any capital investment. They are funded on a per user per month OPEX payment model, which means the system can grow with your business with the simple addition of users and/or entire sites.
In some cases, we have also found that we have been able to achieve all the benefits of a hosted telephone system for the same or less than the amount charged for existing support, line or call costs.
By switching from traditional voice services like PSTN and ISDN lines to an internet-based service, line rental charges are lower and calls are free to UK landlines and mobiles. Estate agents make multiple outgoing calls every day, so the saving could be significant. Furthermore, with BT Wholesale announcing the cessation of PSTN and ISDN lines in 2025, estate agencies will be ahead of the curve in migrating away from these soon-to-be-obsolete services.
Hosted telephone systems come with in-built business continuity options, such as diverts to mobile numbers, to ensure estate agents can still receive incoming calls even if there is a fault. Lastly, we can provide our Fraud Management Service on your lines to prevent your estate agency being financially crippled by phone system hackers who run up large bills through calls to premium numbers.
We have deployed numerous hosted telephone systems to estate agents that want to remain one step ahead in a tough market. Please see our examples below to find out more. Choose from our multi-site or single site estate agency customers to see how it could benefit your business.
If your estate agency would like to find out more about the benefits of a hosted telephone system, please do not hesitate to contact me.
“swcomms has provided an excellent solution for our business that enables us to grow and improve customer service. I was extremely impressed with the seamless installation.”
Director Dean Edwards, Welden & Edwards