Consumers are increasingly contacting estate and letting agents out of normal business hours with 50% of website visits now made when branches have closed for business.

According to new research* from Yomdel, the leading fully managed 24/7 live chat service used by estate agents across the UK, 34% of the weekly haul of new leads are generated between 6.30pm and 10.30pm on weekday evenings,  which is the peak time on a seven day basis.  A further 22% of leads come in at weekends. (*Source: Yomdel Internal Audit of tens of thousands of live chats over the past six months).

The research also shows that weekdays, during working hours, see a steady engagement, with the peak working hours period for live chat traffic between 11am and 3pm, generating 22% of the total leads.  This slows down over the rest of the afternoon, until everything ramps up again for the evening online rush hour.

At weekends, while volumes do slow a little, there is steady demand with the evening again being the peak time.  Altogether, weekday evenings and weekends see more than 50% of leads coming in.

Andy Soloman, Founder and CEO of Yomdel comments: “Our research shows that agents are missing out on both in-hours and out-of-hours leads, when there is no 24/7 hour service in place.  Increasingly, consumers are surfing the net at all times of the day and night and are happy to interact with agents in their leisure time. If agents want to capitalise on potential online leads, then they need to engage with consumers and convert them, round the clock.

“Our stats show that online chat effectively doubles online lead conversions and in some cases it can be much higher. People using live chat are often those not ready to commit to a phone call, but who will chat online and once they have their questions answered and feel confident that the agent will commit to finding out more.

“Our skilled live chat operators work off carefully defined engagement strategies that are designed to capture key information and qualify the visitor as a lead. Aside from strong qualified leads, agents also benefit from extraordinarily high levels of customer satisfaction that helps generate referrals and positive reviews.

“Estate and letting agents offering 24/7 live chat on their websites are reaping record numbers of new leads as consumers online embrace the ability to speak with someone immediately.”

Mark Cooper, Partner of Coopers Residential commented: “Since we have introduced live chat to our website, we have seen a 20% increase in valuations and a 14% rise in instructions. In fact, online leads have become our no 1 source of new business since we introduced online chat.

“Thanks to Yomdel, we achieve customer satisfaction ratings of well over 90%, with upwards of 40% of those people chatting leaving feedback about their chat experience. Whether those people become customers, they are all capable of becoming fans and advocates who would recommend Balgores to their friends and family.

“Offering 24/7 live chat where visitors can chat with someone whenever they wish gives us a really strong point of difference. We can set ourselves apart from the competition and we are able to secure more business simply on the basis that we are actively marketing property, every hour of every day.”

Yomdel uses intelligent methods to target people when they are on a website. For example, Yomdel may seek out people who are likely to be thinking of selling a property, or a prospective landlord. This is done from looking at visitor behaviour, the pages on the website they visit, or perhaps search terms they may have used and a number of other methods.

Yomdel mostly works purely on performance and there are generally no setup fees or monthly subscriptions.  Yomdel frequently updates the information it uses when chatting with people online, at no extra charge. Beyond standard lead generation, Yomdel also offers booking viewings, setting valuation appointments and dealing with tenant issues.

For further information, please visit or call 01403 616000.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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