It’s been a great year for estate agents so far. Properties are selling fast and for record prices, which means that life is busy.
How can you keep up with demand without letting standards slip? Delivering a stellar customer experience is crucial to success in this competitive market, but when you’re pulled in every direction, something’s gotta give.
Our top estate agent tip of the day: outsource key services to professionals so that you can focus on what you do best, buying and selling houses.
Why Should You Outsource?
House buyers and sellers are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting an estate agent to market or purchase a property. There are hundreds of high street, online and hybrid agencies currently operating in the UK. It’s a tough market.
To succeed as an estate agent in 2021, you need to master a growing list of skills, from sales and negotiation to customer service and marketing. How can you do it all?
Put simply; you can’t. At least, you can’t do it all well, and with so much choice, your customers will expect first-class service. If you don’t deliver, this will negatively affect the agency’s reputation and revenue.
Outsourcing allows an estate agency to offer its customers the highest levels of expertise while potentially making significant cost savings. Many business owners dismiss outsourcing as too expensive, but paying one person with advanced skills and knowledge in delivering a service will generally work out to be more cost-effective than paying several in-house staff members to muddle through tasks they do not have the experience and training to do efficiently.
Estate agencies of all sizes are realising the advantages of outsourcing. No matter how established or committed you are, no one agent can be the best at everything their customers expect from them.
What Services Should You Outsource?
So now that you’re sold on the benefits of outsourcing, which services should you delegate?
1. Telephone Answering Services
During peak periods, when all the top agents are out showing or valuing properties, a telephone answering service is an efficient way to make sure that no calls or new business opportunities are missed. In today’s 24/7 culture, potential client’s won’t wait around until you’re available. Miss their call, and they’ll have a string of other agencies lined up to give their business to.
An answering service can also be used to receive calls out of office hours. Being available around the clock could give you an edge over your competitors who stick to the traditional nine to five. Buying or selling a house is an emotional and stressful experience for many people. By providing human interaction exactly when your client needs it, you’ll earn major kudos.
2. Property Photography
The majority of property searches start online and it’s the images that immediately draw the eye in and entice a click. Good quality photos that show the property in its best light will lead to more viewing requests and chances of a sale. People lead busy lives and they don’t have the time to waste visiting a property that has no chance of becoming their home.
Hiring a professional property photography agency will improve your agency’s listings and help to boost your success rate, making it a worthwhile investment. A professional photographer will know what features to capture, how to get the lighting rate and they’ll make sure that the property is staged to look its best before they start snapping. All of which contributes to a great customer experience that will enhance the brand’s reputation and increase referrals.
3. Part Exchange and Chain Repair
Estate agents might be riding an exhilarating wave of easy, fast sales at the moment, but if there’s no plan B in place, you might start struggling to bring in the commission later in the year. Property experts predict that the market will cool considerably at the end of 2021, after the stamp duty holiday ends on 30 September. The end of the government’s job retention scheme is also likely to impact house sales as buyers are forced to withdraw from sales they can no longer afford when their jobs are cut.
Partnering with a specialist part-exchange (PX) and chain repair company will give you the peace of mind that you have a ready-made solution for clients who struggle to sell or experience property chain problems. HBB Solutions works with estate agents throughout the UK to keep sales moving when problems arise. We have the funds to buy your client’s property to avoid a chain breaking, which means a faster sales process, excellent customer service and no lost commission. We also offer PX services to help your clients purchase a new home or a retirement property without having to wait for their existing home to sell. Having an established part-exchange scheme will also help you to win lucrative instructions from new home developers.
There are efficiency and financial benefits to outsourcing. Estate agents and their customers will enjoy a better experience by involving professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver the highest standards of service exactly when it is needed. Outsourcing may feel like an extra expense, but if you crunch the numbers, we bet you’ll realise that it’s a business savvy way of keeping up with demand and beating the competition.