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By Simon Hochhauser

Founder & CEO, PiPCall


OTHER FEATURES

Why agencies should be careful when agents use personal phones for business

Estate agents, even before Covid-19 reared its ugly head, were flexible, hybrid workers. It is a job that requires a significant amount of time out of the office – meeting clients and vendors, hosting viewings, and visiting properties; and the mobile phone is obviously vital in all these situations.

Agents often use their personal mobile phone and number as the primary communications tool when out and about. This practice, which is very common in the property sector, comes with some inherent problems for both the agents and the business.

  • The agency has no ownership of the “sales number” as it’s connected to the agent’s personal device

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Contact information of sellers and buyers end up sitting in an agent’s personal contacts list

  • What’s stopping the agent taking all their contacts with them when they leave?

  • The business is shut out of the sales process entirely and cannot track call activity

  • The business is paying for an office phone system that is going unused

  • The agents personal phone number is with too many people they don’t know

  • The agent is always on and can’t switch off business calls to their personal phone – negatively affecting work-life balance

  • An obvious but somewhat overlooked business asset of an agency are the sales numbers. Not the numbers on the website, but the numbers clients and vendors call when they need to talk with the agent directly.

    When the agent is using their personal mobile number, this business asset does not belong to the agency, it belongs to the agent. The agency will do a lot of work attracting new buyers and sellers, but they have little control once passed to an agent and they start communicating via the agent’s personal mobile number.

    Should an agent be ill or somewhat indisposed, someone else may need the client’s details to keep a sale moving. Not being able to contact a client because the contact details are on someone’s mobile device, as they are unwell or isolating, is not an option for a successful agency. 

    Should an agent with important contact information and a number familiar to clients leave the agencies altogether, management will want to know they have not taken essential contact details with them. Again, this could be to ensure a consistent workflow or because a business needs to keep its contacts, and therefore its competitive edge, private.

    CRM systems and office phone systems are not fully utilised if there is a breakdown of information flow between the phone system and the mobile phone. It’s impossible to report on the calls agents are making when they are using their own mobile phone. Managers can’t make use of their CRM tools to determine whether all prospects are being followed up and how well the agent is performing.

    Agents often need to be contactable after normal working hours and on weekends. Closing a sale and meeting targets goes some way to making it worth it, but everyone needs a break. Unfortunately, for agents that use their personal mobiles, there is no way to separate business calls from personal calls or business contacts from personal contacts when they use their own mobile.

    Clients are the bedrock of agencies. A partner or owner of an estate agency knows that if they send their teams out into the field to work remotely, they need to access a range of features to ensure they carry out their work as if they were at their desk.

    It means that essential elements such as call recording, conference calling, corporate voicemail, IVR, ring groups, call monitoring, and call logging are easily accessible.

    PiPcall offers such a service through its ground-breaking mobile app. It is a desk phone in a mobile app that provides the best of both worlds: the familiarity of using your existing mobile device along with the reliability of the mobile voice network, combined with, the features and interconnectivity of a desk phone - at no cost to the agent.

    *Simon Hochhauser is founder and CEO of PiPCall - a telecommunications company that designs, develops, builds, markets, and sells mobile-led telecoms solutions for businesses. 

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