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Addressing After-Hours Emergencies: The Role of Answering Services for Real Estate Agents

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after hours answering service6 min read

It only takes one mistake or unfortunate event to cause an emergency but the aftermath may take hours, days, or weeks to rectify. After-hours emergencies for real estate agents are common. So it’s important to be prepared as a quick response beats a delayed one.

75% of people report being “highly annoyed” when they can’t speak to a person on the phone. And when there’s an urgent matter, it only adds to frustrations. Agent emergency support eases stress and builds trust with clients as you take action to fix the problem before it gets worse.

Common after-hours emergencies

1. Last-minute appointment cancellations/requests

Agents schedule multiple property viewings in quick succession, which makes late cancellations a major headache. Viewings can be reorganized if the person wishing to cancel can talk to someone outside of office hours.

2. Utility issues

After-hours emergencies for real estate agents often involve an urgent need for a plumber, electrician, or locksmith should utilities break down. These are urgent issues that can’t wait as they’re a major inconvenience or potentially even a health hazard.

3. Tech issues

Automated processes can stall, software/apps crash, or online payment systems fail – all of which cause processes to break down. Most of the time, this is nobody’s fault but real estate agents need to know about these issues immediately to find a resolution.

4. Property damage

Damage is a common occurrence and it can leave properties untenable (broken windows, cracked floors, mold/termite infestation, etc.). Whether it’s accidental damage or something out of tenants’ control, agents need to be informed to assess damage and organize repairs.

5. Financial emergencies

Mortgage approval delays, missed rent payments, or payment processing problems require swift action as these can cause move-in dates to be missed, failed applications, contract breaches, and more.

6. Private emergencies

Tenants, buyers, and sellers can suddenly pull out or go radio silent should a private emergency occur. These are difficult situations to handle that require empathy while keeping other parties informed as you manage the situation.

7. Break-ins

Real estate agents need to respond as soon as possible should a crime occur. The police must be contacted and premises need to be deemed secure. Agents may also be required to document the break-in and list damages to schedule repairs.

8. Unforeseeable events

Some scenarios can’t be predicted. The COVID-19 pandemic flipped the real estate industry upside down. Real estate agents were bombarded with urgent matters as laws and lockdowns forced processes to change overnight.

Why an after-hours emergency service is essential

After-hours emergencies for real estate agents are often dealt with in the mornings when office hours resume. But the companies that do provide agent emergency support know that an after-hours service is much more than just a “repair tool”. There are many benefits:

  • Respond appropriately – some emergencies require an immediate response. Having a protocol to follow ensures the right actions are taken as soon as possible.
  • Stand out from the competition – clients like to know you have after-hours service as it builds trust from the start. Buying, selling, renting a property can be stressful so it makes clients feel safe knowing you are available should anything go wrong.
  • Strengthen relationships swiftly dealing with an emergency makes clients feel taken care of. People don’t forget great customer service, so they’re likely to use your service again.
  • Protect your schedule – starting the day dealing with an emergency that happened outside of office hours can ruin your schedule. An after-hours service can cancel appointments, inform clients, and rebook them for you.
  • Capture more opportunities – avoid missing out on viewing/rescheduling from callers that phone outside of office hours. 
  • Avoid further damage – emergencies involving security/damage require immediate attention. A delayed response could lead to further damage and more complications when speaking with authorities and other parties.

How an answering service helps real estate agents with after-hours emergencies

A distressing situation doesn’t need to damage a relationship. Relationships break down if clients feel neglected when they need urgent help: the number one reason why customers switch to a new brand is feeling underappreciated.

The first and most important step when handling urgent situations is to have someone on the other end of the phone ready to help. An answering service can provide after-hours or 24/7 support to ensure phone lines are always open.

A friendly virtual receptionist can take calls when your office is closed and agents aren’t available. They’ll answer calls using your brand scripts, so they always sound like you. Following your protocol, they can get the wheels in motion to take the right actions, adjust your calendar, and forward calls to the right people/departments as soon as possible.

There will be many different kinds of after-hours emergencies for real estate agents, all of which require different solutions, but clients will always reach for the phone when in urgent need of help. A real estate answering service ensures clients always get to speak to someone no matter what time they call.

Want to see how a 24/7 answering service can help you deal with after-hours emergencies? Book a free 15-minute consultation today.

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