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Agents urged to embrace tech as demand grows for shorter working week

Agents are being urged to make better use of technology to balance calls for a shorter working week and consumer demand for support outside of traditional office hours.

More than 125,000 have signed a petition calling for a four-day working week to help reduce carbon emissions, while other research suggests there are already blurred lines between work and home life that is increasing stress and fatigue for property professionals.

Although agents often log off and leave work after a particular time, new enquiries are frequently made outside of office hours and agents often feel obliged to react to these.

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A recent study by proptech firm The ValPal Network revealed the hours of 07:00 to 07:59 and 18:00 to 19:59 are most popular times for valuation requests – both outside office hours.

Both times are just outside of traditional agent office opening times and prove that agents must have strategies in place to handle the enquiries that come through during these hours.

Craig Vile, director of The ValPal Network, said that agents risk losing leads without real-time responses but added that technology can help ease the strain and hopefully reduce stress levels.

He said: “Many agents have already adapted to having automated online valuations as part of their website, rather than requests that require a human to manually calculate. Equally, chat boxes/bots can help to ensure that questions are answered 24/7 to engage with the client there and then and keep them as a hot lead.” 

“Valuations are only one request that agents deal with on a day-to-day basis. There are many more that could also benefit from being automated.”

“Quick responses demonstrate that you provide a reliable service and give agents the best chance of converting that all-important lead. Personalised lead generators and nurturers – such as our MovePal product - can help to ease stress and fatigue amongst agents because when they are away from their desk opportunities will no longer be missed.”

Vile adds that agents may be unable to keep up with the competition and market trends if they stick to the old ways of doing business.

He added: “Considering the amount of new research that shows a preference for shorter working weeks and a high number of business requests outside of office hours, procedures that avoid losing these leads and keep agents happy must be explored.”

*The ValPal Network is owned by Angels Media, publisher of Estate Agent Today and other Today industry news websites.

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