Top tips - how can agents provide a 24/7 remote service?
23 October 2020 4662 Views
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the way every industry operates and the property sector is no exception. Following an enforced seven-week shutdown in the spring, the housing market has bounced back impressively in the second part of the year.
Property transactions have been able to go ahead as normal for a while now, although new health and safety guidelines must be followed while a lot of the moving process is being carried out remotely.
Agency branches are open, but visitors have to make an appointment and are required to wear a face covering. For many agencies, activity in their branches will be at an all-time low.
For a number of years now, there has been a shift towards reducing high-street presence and adapting to a more flexible and efficient business model. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, meaning many agents have had to adapt sooner than they anticipated this year.
One positive outcome from the pandemic is that agents have proved they can work remotely and provide an excellent service to consumers by getting the best out of technology.
As we enter the winter months, and the government has imposed a fresh set of Covid-19 restrictions, the need for remote working, communications and transactions will continue.
With this in mind, it's vital that your agency has the ability to provide a seamless 24/7 service to clients or you could fall behind the competition. Here are our top five tips...
1. Make sure your 24/7 service is genuine
For a while now, many agents have claimed to offer a 24/7 service. If you are doing this, it's vital that your service really is accessible to customers at any time of the day.
The shift towards agents needing to provide an out-of-hours service away from the rigid 9 to 5 structure has been gaining momentum for a number of years and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought it even more sharply into focus.
If you don't have the processes in place to deal with enquiries made at any time, you could be losing instructions to competing agencies. The best way to offer a 24/7 service is to incorporate live chat on your website and provide consumers with a portal which allows them to see real-time updates.
This approach, combined with a more modern take on staff working hours, can allow you to provide a genuine 24/7 service and close deals at any time, all year round.
2. Your website needs to be the best it has ever been
With foot traffic to agency branches on a sharp decline, your website has become your virtual shop window. Therefore, it's important that your website looks the part, reflects your brand and has all the key elements needed to generate instructions.
A good estate agency website needs to incorporate efficient property search, vendor calls to action such as instant online valuations or live chat, as well as all the key information as to why your agency is better than the local competition.
Savvy property consumers won't put up with a slow or clunky user experience. If your website isn't up to scratch, they will quickly move on to a competitor’s site.
Post-pandemic, it's increasingly valuable for your website to offer virtual viewings and QR codes. It's also crucial that buyers have the ability for buyers to book viewings online and sellers can book appraisals through your website.
3. Being cloud-based is no longer 'the future'
Due to the impact of the pandemic, the need for estate and letting agents to work remotely – and provide a remote service to customers - has been keenly felt this year.
That's why it's important that your software is cloud-based, allowing your team to manage transactions from any device, anywhere in the world at any time.
Cloud-based systems also provide you with better storage options, as well as increased security and protection.
As we move towards 2021, phrases like cloud-based should no longer be seen as things to adopt in the future - they are the present. The agencies which take a flexible, tech-led approach are much more likely to thrive during this challenging period.
4. Automation is the ultimate time-saver
All agents are up against it when it comes to workload. This is due to an increasing legislative burden combined with rising expectations from consumers.
To make sure your staff don't burnout and can spend time on the most important, personal sides of the business, you can automate a range of tasks to great effect.
Automating social media posts, portal uploads, rent reminders, email nurturing campaigns and so on can save your business a lot of money while also helping you to increase your income.
Not only does automation increase productivity, but it can also improve team morale as your staff will not be so overworked and will be able to avoid doing some of the most monotonous administrative tasks they don't like doing.
5. Enhance staff productivity with better processes
By being able to oversee all aspects of your business in one place, you can track and incentivise performance while also increasing team productivity.
Simple solutions such as syncing diaries, actively monitoring KPIs and incorporating workflows can help you to streamline processes and drastically improve efficiency.
Combining this with increased automation can catapult your agency to the forefront of the market, allowing you to improve your market share and local reputation.
Using an easy-to-understand and slick system can allow agency owners to keep on top of everything, while team members will be better-equipped to provide a remote service to consumers.
Here at Gnomen, we understand that the agency market is evolving rapidly and we are here to help our customers take advantage of these changes.
To find out what we can offer your business, from best in town agency software with military-grade security to expertly designed websites with 24/7 customer portals, please get in contact with us today
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