Do You Really Need a Receptionist in Your Real Estate Business?
Right, this may be a topical subject. If we look back in time and we’re going to start a Real Estate Business, there are positions that would be normal and what you would call essential. One of those is the receptionist. As going back 20 years ago, people would shop for their next home, whether that be a rental or a property to buy, very differently. The first point of call was to walk into a real estate agency and talk to the friendly receptionist. However, times have changed, but why does this position still exist?
The buyers’ or tenants’ actions have changed and also the way that they search property. All tenants and buyers will go online and do their research and typically if they like a property, they would book an inspection online. So basically, the foot traffic into an office has dramatically decreased, but we still have this position for $50k a year, sitting at the front desk. Do we really need it? My thoughts are no, and here is why.
Human to human contact will never disappear, as people like to talk to people. They want to confirm minor details and so on. So, managing the phones is essential, however, this can easily be distributed throughout the business using VOIP. VOIP can allow you to take calls anywhere, anytime, not just at the front desk. You can also use a CloudPBX system to make sure the calls get routed to the correct person. This is not that easy to set up and takes time. However, to remove a redundant position and throw $50k back on the bottom line makes sense.
I took this to extremes. As I usually do, I get fixated on it and get it done. That is exactly what I did. I set up extensions for all of my agents, property managers, and my real estate VA’s so that the phone would never get missed and the customer can get to the right person that they want, at one press of their dial pad. It made it easier and saved money. It has got to be a no brainer.
I mentioned there that our VA’s answered the phones. They were actually the first round unless it was a new seller or management. This allowed us to answer only the calls that made us money and deflect the crap that took up too much of our producing staff’s time. This is not to be taken lightly, as you really need to be committed to training VA’s to take the calls in a professional way and they must be knowledgeable about the product. It took 3 months, but we got it to work and it had some very positive feedback.
I must say though. the public has very little patience for incompetence. This reduces if you have a Filipino on the phone. So, what I am trying to say here is your execution must be 100% or you will get burnt. I am not saying here this is the way to do it. This worked for me, but every business is different. You must consider your audience. We were in an area where you would have accents of all types ring in, so it was no big issue.
If you would like to chat about this more, I am always open to a chat and happy to spend some time and advise you on the easiest way to set it up. Thanks so much for your time. If you have got some value out of this article, show us by sharing it. Signing out, stay safe.