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The Hidden Costs of Missed Calls: Why Real Estate Agents Need Answering Services

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hidden cost of missed call7 min read

Phone lines are criminally neglected by businesses. Most answer calls during “9 to 5” and leave the rest to voicemail and chatbots. But there are hidden costs of missed calls: first impressions matter and some clients need urgent help outside office hours. Missed calls mean missed opportunities and damaged relationships.

It’s not just a real estate problem, it’s everywhere: small and mid-sized businesses miss around 62% of calls. It is an odd phenomenon as people prefer to speak with a real person when they contact companies. And the phone call is an effective lead generation and sales tool.

The hidden costs of missed calls

Buying, selling, or renting a property are big life decisions. People crave certainty and assurance throughout the process so there will always be questions and concerns. If a phone call (or more than one) isn’t answered, it has an impact – even though the impact might not be immediately obvious.

Missing out on leads

Every call missed is an opportunity lost. 55% of inbound calls are from new potential customers and 24% of customers say initial contact is critical. There are many ways to generate leads but the phone call has the human touch, which clients want. Plus, the phone call is the most straightforward way to capture and qualify leads within minutes.

Productivity drops

Voicemail and chatbots capture basic information but they aren’t ideal. It takes time to check voicemail messages, and you need to return people’s calls. Ironically, you often reach their voicemail machines.

Chatbots can answer basic questions but they’re limited. They’re frustrating to use as only 15% of consumers say chatbots and AI resolve their issues every time. Real estate is complex. Chatbots and AI technology are a long way off in answering complicated questions about properties, neighborhoods, contracts, and the market.

Both solutions don’t capture enough information and create a backlog to reply to, which makes it hard to prioritize leads. This dents productivity as real estate agents need to do some digging as they tackle the backlog. It saps their focus away from the clients that need them the most.

Customer satisfaction decreases

Real estate agents’ workload gets too much at times, meaning clients don’t always get the level of attention they need.

There’s no shortage of real estate agents, so customers look elsewhere if they feel undervalued. It’s one of the hidden costs of missed calls: companies see a missed call but they don’t see the caller most likely called a competitor afterward. 80% would rather call a competitor than leave a voicemail.

The importance of great customer service:

People may ask if you have an out-of-hours service too. Because emergencies happen. Clients might have had to wait hours/days for help before, which left a bad taste. Letting clients know you have an out-of-hours service is a great way to build trust and secure more business from the start.

Business growth is stunted

A healthy flow of qualified leads is essential for growth. And the simplest way to find and attract more leads is to delight customers. Happy customers use your service again, refer you to friends and family, and leave testimonials that you can share to help you secure more leads.

Ultimately, missing calls means missed opportunities, damaged relationships, and more work for real estate agents. The work you put in to grow is tarnished when calls are missed; it stunts business growth.

Exceptional customer service is a powerful way to separate yourself from the competition as studies show most companies miss many calls. A rapid way to improve customer service immediately is to answer every call no matter what time it is.

How a real estate answering service helps agents capture and manage calls effortlessly

An answering service can take calls after hours or 24/7. A team of friendly virtual receptionists answer phone calls and live chats sounding just like you as they follow customized brand scripts; callers won’t know they’re speaking to an outsourced team. Receptionists will qualify every call, based on your criteria, to capture leads ready for you to follow up.

An established answering service should also offer additional services to ease new leads into your business. Appointment booking, live call transfers, bilingual services, and app/email notification options are commonly available too.

How to choose the right answering service

The real estate sales cycle is complex. It’s important to find a real estate answering service that can handle common real estate queries and manage the different types of calls.

Look for a real estate answering service that offers:

  • Flexible contracts – spring and summer tend to be the busiest months. Look for a service that offers flexible contracts so you can adjust your plan quickly to adjust for busier periods.
  • Customization options – the best answering services don’t feel like answering services. Callers should never feel like they’re speaking to an outsourced team. Customizing your experience with brand scripts ensures every virtual receptionist sounds just like you.
  • Industry expertise – virtual receptionists aren’t expected to know as much as real estate agents but some basic knowledge of the industry and your processes is essential to help callers and qualify leads. 
  • Workflow assistance – if you’ve hired an answering service but you still fear an influx of calls, something’s wrong. An answering service should ease your workflow, not make it worse. During the onboarding process, an answering service should learn about your business to see which features they can offer to help you book appointments, forward calls, and more.

There are many hidden costs of missed calls. Answering every phone call helps secure more leads, keep an organized calendar, improve customer satisfaction, and grow your business. It’s a straightforward service that can be implemented within hours and you can start seeing benefits right away.

Want to see how you can grow your property business with a real estate answering service? Book a free 15-minute consultation today.

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