As the UK housing market faces an ongoing boom, there’s one profession that’s certainly rushed off its feet — estate agents. Stamp duty breaks and a rush for larger homes have meant this industry is working faster than ever to meet demand. Here, Kristian Torode, director and co-founder of business phone systems provider Crystaline, explains how communications technology can help estate agents boost their sales to keep pace with the market.
The UK property market has been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. But, unlike many other industries, its impact hasn’t necessarily been negative. More than a fifth of households plan to move over the next 18 months, it has emerged. According to a survey by Zoopla, those most likely to move are younger people who live in cities, suburbs or large towns, and those whose working patterns have permanently changed.
An evolving market
Restrictions put into place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 caused the nation to rapidly change its typical lifestyle. For instance, 46% of UK residents spent more time outside in July 2020 than before the pandemic. In addition, a survey of over 3,000 UK office workers found that over 94% now prefer to work from home for at least one day a week.
The change in lifestyle has also caused a shift in home requirements. Many UK residents now desire a home with more outside space and access to local green areas. For instance, according to data by Rightmove, the most sought-after property in 2021 was a two bed semi-detached house, whereas it was a two bed flat during the previous year.
With a plethora of eager buyers at their doors, estate agents must be well equipped to keep up with rising demand. Communication is the cornerstone of real estate, being essential for a successful transaction between the buyer and seller. The clients of estate agents are making some of the most important financial decisions of their lives, and therefore must be supported through the process. If a client is left in doubt about any detail, it opens the opportunity for them to change their mind.
While good communication skills are essential to work in real estate, they must be supported by the right technology. Whether in the office or the field, the right communication tools allow estate agents to keep in contact with their clients whenever and wherever.
A unified communications (UC) setup, such as Vodafone One Net Business, can fully integrate landlines, mobiles, desktop and tablet connectivity into one system. Using UC allows seamless connectivity between real estate agents and clients no matter the device or location.
With all landlines and mobiles able to be reached through one number, and calls directed straight to the right area of the business, clients can get the support they need quickly. In addition, One Net Business is hosted on Vodafone’s secure core IP-based network, which is managed and monitored 24/7 ― keeping client and sensitive company information safe.
As Vodafone One Business Net is a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service, calls are made over an internet connection rather than a landline. Therefore, real estate companies who upgrade to this service now will be undisrupted by the public switched telephone network (PSTN) switch off scheduled for 2025 ― also known as the end of the landline.
To integrate all communications into one unified system and find the best set up that works for their real estate business, it’s important that office managers partner with an experienced business communications provider. For instance, Crystaline can provide a free bill analysis, as well as analysing the business’ current usage to recommend the best network for the company’s needs.
Crystaline has partnerships with major handset manufacturers, such as Samsung, Google and Apple, and thus can source the latest phone handset models for the business. In addition, Crystaline can check 5G coverage in the business area and recommend the best 5G handsets to ensure fast communication speed for estate agents in the field.
Estate agents are used to communicating well with prospective buyers, but it’s important that they have the necessary communication tools to support them from the office and in the field. By opting for a UC system that enables clients to remain up to date quickly and easily, estate agents can make the most of the booming property market.
*Kristian Torode is director and co-founder of business phone systems provider Crystaline