Realtors are always on the go and they’re usually on their cell phones. The thing is, there are too many negatives to using your cell phone as your primary business line, like not being able to screen calls efficiently and appearing professional, just to name a couple.
Rather than a one-off buyers agent that represents friends and family on occasion, a professional phone system can reflect the image you want for your real estate business – current and effective. There are a million and one ways to customize your phone system.
Recently Realtors have been using Telzio in a neat way, so I thought I should share how real estate businesses can make the most out of a VoIP phone system like Telzio.
Local Listings Should Have Local Phone Numbers
First of all, getting a local phone number costs only $1 per month, which will barely put a dent in your marketing budget. You can get a 323 phone number to attach to your new property listing in Hollywood and print it on all the signage and marketing materials. This way you don’t have to list your cell phone or office number that might be a different area code and show that you have an established local presence, and also keep your calls much more organized.
Each phone number is attached to a call flow which determines the route of incoming calls, and you can turn on Call Screening to announce the call flow that you’ve named “88 Hollywood Blvd” so that when someone calls, the person answering the phone will hear the name of the property being announced before they respond to the call.
With that local phone number, you can create a fully automated menu with various options, or simply forward all calls directly to your cell phone. You can attach multiple phone numbers to a specific call flow. So if you have an associate working the Beverly Hills market, you can assign a 310 phone number to each property listing in that market and forward all of those calls to that agent.
Add Marketing Value for the Property & Your Brand
So it’s important to specialize and be the expert in your market. Having a local phone number will add value to not only marketing for your listing but for your real estate brand. Not only does it convey that you have an established local presence but it’s a small expense to let your clients know you are serious and committed to details. There’s about a million Realtors in the United States alone, so any way to give yourself a competitive edge seems pretty important.
People Like Current & Pertinent Information
One of the best things about Telzio is that it’s easy to make changes yourself. We’re obsessed with DIY and simplicity. You or your assistant could easily record new information on the greetings on a daily basis right through the computer.
First you would create an IVR menu, where you would record a greeting with keypad options to direct callers, like “Thank you for calling… Please press 1 for current listing information, press 2 for directions to the property, press 3 if you’re a buyer and would like to speak to an agent directly.” From there you can create additional IVR menus or forward calls to your office or cell phone.
People ask if toll free numbers are still useful as a marketing tool for businesses. They might be, but I guess that mostly depends on who your customers are and where they’re coming from. NAR says that the Internet makes up 90% of where home buyers find their information, and a third of them find Realtors online as a result of those Internet searches.
In places like Los Angeles where there are new buyers and investors coming from everywhere every day, providing a toll free number online might make you stand out to those potential clients. Last year international buyers made up $62 billion in sales in the US market. Read more on the profile of international home buyers here.
It’s Cool to be Functional
Another way to impress your clients is to provide them with an easy way to speak to both you and their loan officer via a conference call. When a client has a million questions, it might be helpful and show impeccable service to get both experts on the phone by simply providing them with a phone number and PIN and boom there they are in the conference call.
Never Miss Calls from a Billionaire
Mr. Billionaire Buyer just sold his software company and is browsing Zillow for a chic upscale loft. You look friendly from your headshot so he gives you a call on your cell. You’re in the hills showing a house and the call goes directly to voicemail. There are three other agents listed right underneath you, so he moves right along. Doh!
What you could do with a phone system is set backup numbers for the system to dial if you are ever unavailable, so that your partner or assistant would be there to catch that call.
Give Your Business its Own Legs
What’s the fun in making money if you’re not going to make a lot of it, right? Part of growing a business means automating processes and making sure it can run and continue to earn you income even if you’re not there to manage every detail and pick up every phone call. Eventually you need to give yourself a break. Having a dedicated business number with an automated system is a start.
Diana is the Chief Customer Officer at Telzio and enjoys helping customers get the most out of their Telzio services.