If you’re in the real estate business, you’re probably busier than you’ve ever been. Right now, the market is in high demand across the country, and people are buying and selling homes in record numbers (and at record prices). You’ve got a lot on your plate, and it’s likely that you miss at least a handful of the calls that you get each day—you’re at showings, doing paperwork, in a meeting with a client—you can’t always be by the phone.
Fortunately, an answering service can, and will. Even hiring a receptionist can’t give you the benefits that come from working with a reputable, experienced answering service. Of course, you need to be sure that you choose one that has professional experience and is at least somewhat experienced with your line of work. Otherwise, even at their professional best, they’ll sound uncertain and be less helpful to your callers.
Granted, your answering service might not be able to haggle on deals or answer contract-specific questions, but they can at least guide people in the right direction and take care of the basics like appointment scheduling, lead intake and screening, and other communication and admin needs. A few benefits of an answering service include:
Using an answering service ensures that you can always put your clients first. That includes in-person and on the phone. It can take your communications to the next level and give people a much better impression of your business.
And in order to make sure that you find an answering service that can deliver those benefits, here are five criteria to keep in mind when searching for your new partner.
Real estate is a business that rarely sleeps, if ever. People search for homes at 3 AM when they can’t sleep. Someone is bound to have a contract question on Sunday morning. You’re going to have a lot of callers that need to reach you outside of normal business hours. While you’re more available on your mobile phone than in the office, you’re still not there 24/7. Or, if you’re trying to be, it’s not going to work out in the end. You need to sleep. You need to spend time enjoying your personal life. That’s where a virtual receptionist or answering service can come in to save the day.
As we mentioned, it’s also important to have someone that understands the value of professional experience. They should have solid policies and procedures in place, as well as a training program that creates strong reps that are ready to field calls of any kind. Often, professional experience is more about knowing how to field calls professionally, rather than using a personal approach, because it gives people a sense of confidence. And when a real person answers the phone with that professional touch, your callers are going to respond positively.
An answering service is only as good as the features that it offers you. If you can’t get everything that you need, it’s not worth your time. Explore all the features and services that the company can provide and compare those to your needs. Feel free to explore the selection until you find someone that can cover it all because those services are out there.
Modern answering services have more features than ever before. Some can even help with sales outreach and payment collection, and almost all of them will allow you to set up custom greetings and interactive messages for when they are necessary. Make sure that you get all the features that you want and need so that you’re making an investment that’s worth your money.
And of course, none of those features matter unless you can scale them to a level that works for your business. Fortunately, most answering services offer at least some level of customization in their packages and plans. You should choose an agile company that’s able to scale and grow with you over time, whether that means adding a few extra receptionists during the busy season or increasing your total package because your business has grown significantly since your initial partnership.
When you can customize and scale an answering service to fit your needs, it hardly feels like an outsourced solution. And of course, that’s the goal. Customers should feel like they’re contacting someone on behalf of your company and that they are getting the attention that they deserve.
As a real estate professional, you understand the struggle of uncertain pricing and unknown costs. Your buyers and sellers have disclosure statements and other documents for a reason—peace of mind and transparency in the transaction. It would only make sense that you work with an outsourced answering service or virtual receptionist that offers this, as well.
Look for services that have simple pricing and plans, as well as custom pricing structures available. That will help you better understand what you might spend, even if you’re getting a totally customized solution.
While you’re busy closing deals and finding new homes to sell, we’ve got you covered. Partner with the dedicated virtual receptionists at Smith.ai and you’ll have a 24/7 answering service so that your clients and leads never have to leave a message. We can assist with everything from lead intake and scheduling to live website chat, and even help with your outreach campaigns if you’re still trying to build your marketing.
Plus, it comes with a custom strategy to ensure that we never miss a thing, and you can rest easy knowing your real estate business will never miss a call. Schedule a consultation or reach out to email@example.com to learn more.