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’, according to new research.
The research from Moneypenny 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%.
It also found live chat to be an “increasingly important” source of leads with 26% of agents having now adopted the technology. This places the sector ahead of IT and telecoms, financial services and automotive businesses.
The research also highlighted that despite an increasing number of calls generating serious leads, one in 10 estate agents said that their branch staff find the phone a distraction and 17% said their staff would prefer customers to use email or live chat.
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.”
She added: “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 and Rural, 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.”