The Real Estate agency had 11 employees, and needed to update their old system because it was coming to the end of its rental contract. The agency had a property management team and a sales team, and they wanted to keep these two teams as two distinct, separate business units.
It was also very important to be able to transfer callers to the sales staff mobile phones - providing it could be done cheaply. They had a fleet mobile deal with 6 mobile phones and as estate agents they were constantly on the move.
The receptionist was emailing staff messages and this was taking up a lot of their time. Also they were the only person answering calls and had only an ad hoc backup from other staff.
After hours, all calls were being diverted to the on call sales person's mobile phone and the property managers, so calls that could have been addressed the next morning were going through to the staff member that night
We provided the client with a SpringCom Hosted pbx. This gave them all of the features they needed (and more!) and allowed them to cut their phone bills by over 60%.
The Brief From The Owner:
The brief in this instance from the owner was relatively simple because he didn't really know what technology was on offer. As such we addressed many issues they hadn't considered because they didn't know there were even alternatives available. He wanted to have a phone system that could:
- Separate the sales and property management teams
- Deal with calls after hours more effectively for the property manager
- Can transfer calls to mobile phones
- Cut costs where possible
- Never miss a sales call
- Makes them sound more professional
- Easy Finance options
Keeping the sales and property management separate
As the estate agency already had an excellent internet connection with the NBN, we installed the SpringCom Hosted solution which allows dedicated numbers for the different teams. They also now have dedicated direct numbers for staff! When callers ring for either division the receptionist knows how to answer it because it comes up on screen.
Plus, because we installed an Auto Attendant for them we can treat the divisions as entirely separate entities. If the receptionist is busy and a call is coming through for sales it greets the caller with, "Thank you for calling ABC real estate, your call is important and we will be with you in a moment". This ensures they never miss calls, and it sounds incredibly professional.
Conversely, if a call is coming through for property management it greets the caller with, "Thank you for calling ABC property management, your call is important and we will be with you in a moment".
If that's not enough, the system supports separate on hold messages so that each listener is played content that is relevant to either Property Management or a Sales call. Now that's clever and very targeted!
Transferring calls to staff on the road
SpringCom Hosted has brought a whole new meaning to communications technology. The staff mobile phones are integrated with the office phones seamlessly, and so calls can not only be transferred at the touch of a button, but if a staff member knows that they will be out of the office they can set all incoming calls to their desk phone to forward to their mobile phone.
Receptionist emailing messages
We installed Voicemail so that customers can leave messages for the property management division. This eliminates unnecessary duplication and now tenants and property owners alike can leave detailed messages when the property manager is unavailable. Even better is we installed voicemail to email so that if they are out and about they can either have a call diverted to their mobile or a message that gets sent to their smartphone.
On the sales side they no longer have the need for taking messages because they transfer callers to staff mobile phones whenever possible. This has saved time and money and gets the call to the salesperson straight away which is infinitely more effective.
Diverting all calls after hours
Rather than divert all calls immediately we now have the auto attendant answer and provide options. The sales side has its own greeting as does the property management division.
When they call Property management rather than simply diverting to the on call person straight off it has significantly reduced the number of timewaster enquiries they received before. It now says "Good evening, Thank you for calling ABC property management. Our office hours are 9am- 5pm. If your matter requires urgent after hours assistance please press 1 now, for all other enquiries please press 2." When they press 1 it now gets diverted whereas pressing 2 will send them to a voicemail message that can be retrieved the next day and dealt with accordingly.
By not diverting immediately and using the words "urgent after hours assistance", this has stopped so many unnecessary calls and people are now opting to leave a message instead. It's professional and we can't convey enough how grateful the property management team were at implementing this!
Plus after hours all calls are then transferred for free to either the sales or property management staff on call.
We provided the client with a completely managed and cloud hosted solution. This allowed them to cut their phone bills by over 60% with cheaper calls rates - the ability to have unlimited calls at a fixed price was brilliant for them! Also, as it's a completely managed phone system, as staff come and go they can easily manage their phone system by calling the SpringCom support team and having the Australian based IT specialists make their changes without any ad-hoc costs.
Sounding more professional
Here we installed Professional Messages On Hold as mentioned previously - this capped off the solution and made their business sound incredibly professional. They now cross promote their property management services to buyers and vice versa. (Some buyers are actually professional investors that don't want to manage their own properties) That said, the messages have been carefully created with each division in mind.
Here we installed the latest Plantronics cordless headsets for the receptionist as well as several of the staff. This cut down background noise and the cordless headsets freed them up to move around and still answer incoming calls. When you spend that much time on the phone you deserve to be comfortable doing it. Read more.
To say the owner was happy with the outcome is an understatement. She said "it's like getting paid to get this new system with the money I've saved". A great outcome.
Alternative Real Estate Phone System Options
eMG80 depending on bandwidth etc. Current handsets... if iPECS, might just update the box to take advantage of SIP, iPECS has a mobile & desktop app.