How important is answering the phone in real estate today? If you do any business on the phone, which are the best practices and options for answering?
Real estate was almost completely reliant on the phone just a few years ago. You had to have superior phone skills to get deals, close them, and keep your customers and business partners happy. Many have since drifted away from the phone. That could be a big mistake. Effective phone handling is still very important. How you do it can still really make all the difference in your business, profitability and net income. So, what are the best moves and tools to do it well?
The Importance of Answering the Phone in Real Estate Today
While we have many more ways to communicate today, the phone is still extremely important. It can give real estate and business professionals a level of connection you just don’t get with other modern mediums. Some people still just prefer to use it.
Most people may not answer the phone anymore. The same is true of businesses. Yet, you don’t want to lose the great deals from those who do prefer the phone. So, you have to be prepared to answer when they are calling.
If you are, and do it well, this one factor can be a major differentiator which enables you to stand out from everyone else, and gives you are great edge in closing the best deals and keeping the best customers.
Many of the best leads, including the best qualified buyers and motivated sellers will want to call. They are serious and want to take action, but want to speak with a real human before committing. Don’t miss out.
Two key points worth noting are firstly that this isn’t true for everyone. You will lose a ton of leads if the phone is your only closing method. Your funnels should favor your optimal method of communication, just don’t forget it isn’t about you. It’s about them.
Often the first touch won’t be by phone. They want to see you online, explore your website or blog, email or text, and then call. If you drop the ball on these other things you’ll never get to the call and close.
The Importance of Answering the Phone Fast
Speed is essential when it comes to answering the phone. The data shows that every minute and second can dramatically decrease your chances of closing a lead. It’s hard and expensive enough to generate real estate leads today. Don’t waste the budget and opportunity by failing to answer when they call.
If you don’t pick up in the first few rings they hang up and call the next competitor on the list. They’ll keep going until someone answers, even if they aren’t as good as you. It’s all about showing up and being there at the right time and place. If you don’t anwer live, they’ll probably be talking to your competition by the time you call back, or they will have already signed a deal. You’ll be throwing all of your marketing money down the drain. Note that this can be just as important for current and past clients too. Winning the deal is just the beginning. Don’t lose them after that because you were too slow to answer.
Despite knowing all of the above, being able to answer every call yourself is going to be impossible. If you are any good at what you do, you might have multiple voicemail boxes filling up every day, along with hundreds of emails and social media DMs.
Automated phone systems used to be the answer. Those really annoying systems which make you push buttons to go further down the rabbit hole, while getting nowhere. No they more often seem to be the choice of companies who don’t actually want to talk to their customers.
The best evolutions of these systems today use AI bots to interact with callers. You’ll probably never know the difference. They sound like humans and often behave better than them.
If that’s not in your budget, and your in-house team can’t handle it either, then outsourcing calls with a virtual business phone system is probably a great next step. You can forward your inbound calls to virtual assistants at different hours of the day so your service is always on.
There are also remote virtual answering services. They just act like receptionists to answer the phone and take messages. Unfortunately, most are terrible. They are completely uneducated about the business. They just cause more frustration by not being able to answer any questions. Be careful about adding more stress or reasons not to do business with you.
You should be able to recruit phone agents or call centers relatively inexpensively. Or look at the services you already pay for. They may offer answering services for free. Business mailboxes and coworking spaces are an example.
Nail this part of your business and you’ll have an amazing edge over the competition.