Click To Call’ Prompts 35% Increase In Estate Agent Calls
Estate agents are receiving 35% more calls than they did five years ago as the rapid growth of property portals encourages customers to ‘click to call’ at all hours of the day and night, according to new research.
Commissioned by leading outsourced communications provider Moneypenny, the research revealed that an increasing number of calls are judged by agents to be serious leads – with at least 40% of calls resulting in a valuation or viewing request and 10% claiming this figure to be as high as 80%.
Alongside a rising number of valuable phone calls, Moneypenny’s research also found live chat to be an increasingly important source of leads. 26% of agents have now adopted the technology and whilst that still leaves much room for improvement, it does put the sector ahead of IT and telecoms, financial services and automotive businesses.
Commenting on the findings, which also cement the phone as estate agents’ number one channel for customer communication, Samantha Jones, Head of Field Sales at Moneypenny said: “Customers are increasingly using online searches for preliminary research and then ‘clicking to call’ directly from Google’s search results once they know what they want. The result is more calls to businesses and calls that stand to have far greater value.
“This survey has proved that the phone call is still king for customers, even with the boom in online searching, but agents need to be able to respond quickly and ensure they make every call count.
“We know that 69% of callers don’t leave voicemail messages, so it’s very important to answer every call, particularly as 97% of consumers give more business to companies who respond quickly. Efficient call handling is essential as missed calls cost business.”
Craig Reynolds from multi-branch estate agent Urban & Rural, which works across Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, said: “Excellent communication is essential in delivering premium customer service. Our clients are always able to speak with someone – a real person – with a friendly and helpful manner. Better still, they’re greeted by someone who knows our business and the property sector, which is reassuring for them, and for us.”
The research also highlighted that despite an increasing number of calls generating serious leads, one in ten estate agents say that their branch staff find the phone a distraction and 17% say their staff would prefer customers to use email or live chat.
Moneypenny handles 13 million property calls and 2 million live chats each year. Established in 2000, Moneypenny is the world’s market leader for telephone answering, live chat, outsourced switchboard and customer contact solutions. In total, more than 13,000 businesses across the UK benefit from Moneypenny’s mix of extraordinary people and ground-breaking technology.
For more information about Moneypenny’s work with the property sector visit www.moneypenny.co.uk/property