For many real estate agents, the concept of “regular” work hours is an unfamiliar one. As technology has evolved to give consumers more opportunities to conduct business after hours, so too has that expectation crossed over into real estate. Today, clients increasingly look to agents to be responsive day and night. This often forces agents into having to choose between sacrificing their free time or failing to meet clients’ expectations.
Fortunately, several different types of services are in use by many agents today that allow them to meet those expectations while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Of them, call centers have grown to become one of the more popular options. The right one can empower an agent to meet clients’ expanding expectations without causing them to lose their personal touch.
But not all call center services are cut from the same cloth. Based on our own market research and feedback we’ve received from the thousands of agents who make daily use of the ShowingTime Appointment Center’s showing appointment specialists, we’ve highlighted four essential qualities a real estate call center should have to ensure it meets your needs.
1. Prompt response times
A real estate call center is valuable because it meets clients’ expectations that you’ll be fielding showing requests quickly, with little delay between when the request is made and when the appointment time is confirmed. Being assured of a prompt response time is key. Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective service pointed questions, such as, “How long does it take your team to confirm appointment requests?”
With the ShowingTime Appointment Center, for example, calls are answered by our appointment specialists in 10 seconds or less with most showings confirmed within 15 minutes (some are even confirmed immediately), depending on the listing agent’s preferences: some want to be notified before the request is confirmed, others are fine with a courtesy call. Based on our clients’ feedback, we’ve found that anything slower than that simply isn’t quick enough, so we take great pride in our fast turnaround times. Also, be sure the call center offers flexibility on how you set up service with them.
2. A service that reflects your brand
For offices, their brand stands for everything their business represents. Given that objective, it’s no surprise they go to great lengths to ensure that their branding is prominent when working with clients. A proper call center is one that extends that opportunity to promote one’s brand.
For example, instead of responding to showing request calls with a generic greeting, the ShowingTime Appointment Center is staffed by professional appointment specialists who answer calls by representing your brand. Not only does this feature help offices further spread their branding, but it also provides a more personalized experience.
3. Integration with your existing systems
A real estate call center is just one service agents might utilize in their day-to-day workflow. Leading call center services take that into consideration and offer integration with existing tools, like showing management services, to create efficiencies.
The ShowingTime Appointment Center is integrated with ShowingTime’s industry-leading online showing management platform to provide a full-featured experience for subscribers. Not only are phone call requests managed quickly and efficiently, but online requests too, which significantly automates the showing management process for subscribers. Agents get a high-level view of all past and upcoming showings, including relevant information like showing feedback and detailed reports on listings.
4. Flexibility around your schedule and workflow
No two agent workflows are alike. Given that reality, the right call center is one that’s flexible to accommodate different staffing considerations and agent availability.
To offer maximum flexibility, the ShowingTime Appointment Center has both part-time and on-demand options, allowing real estate offices to activate the service during hours when their staff are unavailable*, like nights and weekends, or in situations in which staff availability is impacted by an unforeseen event, like inclement weather or an illness.
With a little due diligence, adding a call center service may be the right move to help your business flourish and to return well-earned free time.
* Offices using ShowingTime Front Desk, a software tool that equips them to manage the appointment scheduling process themselves, can choose to add our part-time service to handle nights, weekends and holidays; on-demand service is available at any time as needs change.
Technology can never replace the value an agent provides, but it can streamline processes to make client service even stronger. To learn how you can incorporate technology within your business to enhance business, click the button below to reach out to our Sales Team.