Sometimes, working as a letting agent can feel like a 24/7 job. Unfortunately, the multitude of problems associated with the properties you manage don’t follow a 9-5 schedule and emergencies can occur at any time. Similarly, Rightmove and other property advertising platforms are accessible round the clock, meaning that enquiries can be expected at any time of day. So how can you make sure you deliver the best service without sacrificing your free time? Luckily, we have the answer.

Outsourcing

In order to achieve the right work/life balance, you have to be able to hand over the reigns and delegate when necessary, and outsourcing your out of hours calls to a third party company is the perfect opportunity to do so. You can choose flexible temporary contracts as and when you need them, for example during particularly busy periods or over the weekend, or you can sign up for the kind of regular help that can really transform your day to day experience of the role.

What Are the Benefits?

Call handling and managed live chat such as those provided by Cymphony are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and an entire team are on hand to make sure no call or chat goes unanswered. This allows you to feel safe in the knowledge that any emergency which, if left untreated, could threaten the reputation of your business, is being taken care of.

Furthermore, being able to respond to every conversation means that you’ll never miss an opportunity to book in a viewing of one of your advertised properties, or not be able to make the most of promising tenant applications. It’s a competitive market when it comes to property lets, as you know, so speed is crucial.

Quality

Call centres have a reputation for providing a lack lustre service but this a myth, especially when it comes to companies like Cymphony. In reality, our call-handlers receive the very best training and are highly experienced and skilled in their craft. If anyone is going to convert a lead into a prospect, it’s them, whether that’s answering questions about a rental property so satisfactorily that the caller books in a viewing, or handling a complex emergency maintenance call expertly.

Emergency Call Outs

The correct handling of calls is particularly important when it comes to tenant emergencies. Time is of the essence considering the legal obligations you have to follow as a property manager. For example, leaving your tenants without heating or water for long periods of time is breaking the law, let alone morally unjust. The most common, time-sensitive emergency call outs centre around plumbing (48%), gas or heating (45%), electrics (35%) and locks (27 per cent). Imagine being without keys to your home between 5pm and 9am the following day!

The expertise given when answering these calls is just as important as making sure the calls are answered in the first place. Handling maintenance requests can be a complex process as it involves sourcing reliable contractors and negotiating costs, as well as leasing between three parties; tenants for access, Landlords for permission, and contractors for job details. Rather than giving the responsibility of being on call to junior employees, or even yourself after a busy day, when you might not be in the best state of mind to handle it, why not pass it over to energised, experienced call-handlers instead.

Cost

Many letting agencies operate an out of hours phone line, manned by employees who take it in turns, one at a time, to have the responsibility. In order to achieve this, the company must financially compensate each employee for the hours they have spent ‘on call’, regardless of the number of issues that they have had to deal with, even if no calls have been received at all. This is also usually at a premium rate as it is outside of normal office hours. Considering that out of hours phone lines must be active every evening and weekend, this cost soon adds up.

Alternatively, when you outsource to a third party call handling centre, you only pay for the time the staff spend on calls for you. This is going to equate to a considerable cost saving, and ensures that there is always a return on any money you are investing. Some letting agencies choose not to offer any help at all out of hours, but considering that more than 53% of Landlords have to call out an emergency contractor every day, this is an extremely risky move which could result in legal proceedings for failing to meet your legal obligations. Instead, stand out from competitors by having the best of both worlds; cost savings and the delivery of an outstanding service.


Letting Properties

It may feel like the phone lines are ringing off the hook during the day, with enquires about rental properties you’re advertising, but in actual fact the busiest times when it comes to property hunting are outside of office hours. Rightmove’s platforms, for example, peak between 8 and 9pm every day, which means your customers are more likely to be inspired to book a viewing on your properties during the evening. Realistically, most people are in work themselves during the day, so only have time to house hunt at night.

This, in turn, creates a further need for an effective out of hours phone and/or live chat service, in order to make the most of this interest and attract new clients. As we near the end of the pandemic, the number of potential new clients is also on the rise. Thanks to the flexible working revolution, more and more people are considering moving out of cities and into rural locations. This allows them to get more bang for their buck and enjoy a completely different lifestyle. Homes are being let 30% faster than they were a year ago and for you to be able to profit from this, it’s crucial that you make the most of every incoming call.

For lettings in particular, the post pandemic climate is looking very healthy, as the unfortunate rise in unemployment has also lead to a more careful approach to borrowing. Many people are choosing to rent rather than take out a mortgage, as it carries less commitment and financial responsibility. Preparation is key when it comes to maximising this lucrative opportunity, and making sure you and your properties are as accessible as possible should be first on the list.

Efficiency

It is also important to note that lettings offices are notoriously busy environments, as I’m sure you know, with an endless list of jobs that never seem to be completed. So, anything that is going to alleviate some of that pressure and help to create a more efficient workflow is going to be hugely beneficial. Leaving the phone lines in the hands of a third party when you go home, allows you to return to the office the next day and carry on where you left off. You can finally start ticking things off your list rather than watch that list slowly continue to grow. Outsourcing gives letting agents some much needed breathing space.

Furthermore, it’s not only calls that can be delegated to a third party, you can also outsource an out of hours live chat feature. You may already have live chat in place, but if not we can also help you to easily integrate it into your website. Live chat is the most convenient and efficient form of communication between companies and clients, so it’s an important one to consider in fields that centre heavily around this.

As you can see, there are endless benefits to outsourcing your out of hours customer communications when you’re a letting agency. It’s a tailor made solution for industries that function round the clock and have fierce competition to contend with, as it sets you apart from the crowd by maximising your accessibility, quality of service, and by helping you to meet your legal obligations. The positive impact that it can have on your efficiency is also hugely important for a field that is known for its hectic work environments; allowing you to take back control and maximise your potential. It might be time to put an end to all those evenings spent on call and pass the buck to a team of experts, ready to lend a hand.

Contact Us

Enquiry Type