I read this article and wanted to share it as I feel it so important to be accessible and professional in your communication as you build your real estate business. Enjoy!
Regardless of how much time you spend marketing, you’ll never reap the benefits if your organization isn’t in the position to capitalize on new opportunities. Utilizing the internet is crucial here, and it’s the easiest place to start, but what about the telephone? Can prospects reach you on the phone? And if they can, what image are you projecting?
By not advertising a telephone number or advertising a phone number that goes straight to voicemail, you’re putting the legitimacy of your operation in question, which will ultimately affect your bottom line. There’s no sense marketing if you can’t be trusted.
Enter the real estate call center.
Providing a variety of different services, these companies answer telephone calls on your behalf and act as an extension of your business. Instead of you paying employees, most call centers only charge for time spent handling your calls.
In terms of marketing, utilizing a call center allows you to maintain a professional image around the clock. Instead of answering calls yourself and running the risk of sounding unprofessional (either because you don’t answer in the name of your business or because your busy and come off as being rude), a call center will ensure that calls are consistently answered in a courteous manner.
While it’s true that call centers are sometimes associated with dubious operations, they’re also associated with some of the biggest and most reputable companies on the planet. Whether your call center comes off as good or evil depends on how you implement it. If you use it to shield yourself from the public and never return phone calls, it’s going to work against you. If you use it to process leads, route phone calls, and act as the first line of communication before reaching others within your organization, it will boost your image and help you make a positive impression.
Ultimately, people want to do business with experienced professionals that they can trust, and putting some thought into how your telephone calls are handled is one way to exude this image.
Beyond the way a call center can improve your image, which is part of building a strong brand, there are additional benefits that come from improved efficiency and data collection.
Call centers log and record every call, giving you access to an incredible amount of information. Using this data can help you determine which marketing campaigns are effective and which are wastes of time.
Though it costs a little more in terms of setup, modern call centers are also capable of advanced integration, which allows them to upload data directly into CRM programs and interact with web based software applications. These improvements can streamline your lead qualification process and reduce the amount of time you spend on data entry. Sure, your marketing may yield thousands of responses, but if you can’t process every piece of data you aren’t getting the most out of your investment.
Done correctly, making a call center part of your real estate operation will improve your legitimacy and make it easier for people to do business with you, something that’s of critical importance if you’re looking to succeed in this highly competitive marketplace.
If you have any feedback on using a call center in your real estate business, I’d love to hear from you. Whether your relationship was a success or a complete disaster, I always find it advantageous to speak with people and learn more about what is working and what isn’t.
Gere Jordan works in business development, marketing and operations at Continental Message Solution, Inc. (CMS), a nationwide provider of call center services based in Columbus, Ohio. He has experience designing and implementing effective call center solutions, improving communication workflows, and helping companies share their success via the web.