A call capture service is often touted as the end-all be-all solution for the real estate industry. However, just as with any technology employed by a business today, it is how the technology is used, not the simple fact of its existence, that will make or break a company’s success with it. While a call capture service can help an agent to increase sales leads and generate interest on a property, it can just as easily be a money sink with no return if it is not managed properly. Here are three tips that can help agents and companies alike get the most from their system.
A call capture service is, at a basic level, a better version of the standard phone line. Instead of a company having one line for consumers to call and ask questions to receive property details, a call capture service allows an agent or company to purchase a dedicated 1-800 number that lets clients and prospective buyers call for free. The cost of the call and toll free number system is picked up by the agent, but comes with features like multiple extensions on the same 800 number and the ability to record audio listings for each property that the agent has for sale – and then attach different extension numbers to all of them. Call capture services can even be used to track information about when customers call and which numbers they are calling, allowing for a streamlining of ad placement. While all of these features are intended to make the process of selling homes just a little simpler, it is up to an agent to use them properly.
The first and most important thing to remember about a call capture service is that it is a way to give a property listing a personal touch, while still offering the information on it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Real estate agents should begin by giving a property a designated extension number, and then placing that number in and around the house being sold. Next, an agent needs to create a personal recording about the home in that extension. This recording should include pertinent details about the home’s location, features, and possibly even price point or price range but leave the caller wanting more in order to encourage them to contact the agent directly. So the message should also include the option to contact the agent for more information, as well as keypad choices that are clear and easy for the potential buyer to navigate.
If possible, it is a good idea to have the agent responsible for selling the home make the recordings so that the voice giving out the information is also the one selling the property. When it comes down to it, real estate is a personal business, a one-to-one sales opportunity, and using a call capture service correctly means making it personal.
Secondly, agents and companies must be diligent about using the information that the call capture service tracks. This includes data about when customers are calling and which numbers they are dialing. In order to maximize the return on investment made in the call capture system as well as all marketing materials that are going out, it must be “tuned” to work properly. Locations that seemed stellar for an ad placement may come up dry, and areas that may appeared to be risky may have the phones ringing off the hook – and this can change on a daily or weekly basis. It is important for agents to regularly monitor call capture service stats and track advertising to ensure that ad dollars aren’t being wasted.
Lastly, call capture system technology must be used to its fullest extent. Many agents only think of it to help sell homes, but forget that it can be used to help secure sellers who are not sure about which company to list with. By showing prospective sellers how a call capture service can create a personalized listing for their home, as well as explaining how their home will have a dedicated number for information and how this system has worked for other properties in the past, an agent can help secure new business. Giving potential clients a hands on demonstration of the technology at the listing presentation will help to seal the deal.
While call capture services represent a potentially huge benefit to companies, it is the human touch and consistent human interaction with the system that makes it a viable tool for real estate. When used properly, this technology can effectively help companies gain the edge they need in a depressed market.
Brandi Armstrong is an expert author on the unique issues facing real estate agents and how technology can help. To learn more about using a call capture service in your business, or to get a 15 Day FREE Trial from a leading provider, she recommends visiting http://www.RealtyOne800.com.