Every industry in business has a unique set of communication needs; needs that must be met in order to maintain productivity levels and get the job done. School administrators need to be able to contact teachers in the event of an emergency; Remote employees need to be able to access their work voicemails when away from the office; and lawyers need to track their working hours in order to accurately bill their clients. This unique set of needs presented by each industry dictates the type of technology solution they choose to implement, so understanding your industry needs is vital.
In the real estate industry, if a buyer isn’t able to instantly find the information they need or reach an agent about a property, they will move on to the competition. Due to this client expectation, more and more real estate firms and property management companies are turning to Unified Communications (UC) solutions to provide them with the features and capabilities required to stay connected and competitive.
When researching options for a new business phone system with UC, make sure it has the top UC features for real estate agents & brokers:
CRM integration: Majority of real estate firms utilize a CRM system to keep track of buyer and seller information. A UC system with CRM integration allows an agent to view useful information when receiving a call, such as which properties the caller has expressed interest in, or how long their home has been on the market. Agents work with several clients at a time, so having this information readily available when someone calls is an obvious need.
IVR/Auto Attendant: With the IVR, your firm can customize the client experience from the first ring to the moment they hang up. The IVR can act as a simple auto attendant or be used for complex applications, such as a payment system or informational extensions. Informational extensions provide a way for potential buyers to learn more about properties listed at your agency. When an agent uses a specific extension on marketing material for a property they are trying to sell, the agent knows that every buyer that calls that number is interested in hearing about that property listing. Another way of setting up information extensions is to have one extension for the agent (which is used on marketing materials), and then a listing number for each property advertised (e.g. Call 256-111-2222, Property Listing 4). When callers reach the IVR, they will be prompted to “push 1 to reach an agent, press 2 to for property listing extensions.”
If your firm prefers a more personal touch, routing can be set up so that callers are directly connected to an available staff member. The Switchvox IVR is completely customizable and setup is simple.
Call Routing: If the client can’t reach someone, what does that say about the way your agency does business? If an agent isn’t reachable by phone, it’s important to get the client to the next best staff member who can answer any questions they may have. Call routing and call queues solve this need by grouping agents together to receive incoming calls at the same time, or creating call routes to ring specific employees in a specific order- ensuring someone answers the incoming call. Call routes and queues enable every call to be answered efficiently.
Mobility: Real estate agents are always on the move- from house showings, open houses, staff meetings, drycleaners, back to a house showing, to the print shop to pick up yard signs, back to the office. While some agents choose to use their mobile phone exclusively for work, they are missing out on all of the features mentioned above. Implementing a UC solution that includes a mobility app allows agents to take and make calls from anywhere via their deskphone or mobile phone. With a mobile softphone app like Switchvox Mobile, all calls are routed through Switchvox, which allows clients to only see the agency’s information on caller ID, keeping the individual agent’s mobile number private. This feature also comes in handy with agent turnover. With the voicemail-to-email feature in Switchvox, all voicemails left for an agent are instantly emailed to them via audio file.
Call Data: With call tracking reports, managers can see information on every incoming and outgoing call made within the system. Reports can be automatically delivered or generated on demand, and can show who called, when they called, how long they spoke to someone, whom they were transferred to, and more. Having call data arms a manager with the knowledge to staff appropriately based on call volume, as well as ensure remote agents are getting their work done and answering incoming calls.
Other features real estate agents love:
- Call recording: If an agent is driving and discussing property details with a new seller, the agent can simply record the phone call so they don’t miss any important specs. Call recording is also useful for meeting legal and compliance regulations.
- Faxing: Faxing is old technology, but a lot of communicating with clients has nothing to do with your preference, but theirs. If they would rather fax a signed contract to you instead of scanning it, you need to comply. For incoming faxes, Switchvox creates a PDF and sends it to the Mailbox of the appropriate Switchvox extension (only supported over an analogue or PRI channel).
- Whisper/Barge/Monitor: managers can listen in on phone calls between clients and agents, speak only to the agent without the client hearing, or join
In addition to all the useful features your staff members will enjoy, real estate agencies around the country are choosing Switchvox because of:
- All-features-included: the biggest differentiator of Switchvox is that all features are included in one price. There is no need for calculating individual feature licenses or passing on a helpful feature because you simply can’t afford it. They are all included! If you don’t need it, or don’t want an employee to access a feature, simply turn off the feature in the admin portal.
- Cost: Switchvox has been named the best value in UC by leading industry analysts. Complete systems can oftentimes be purchased for what most firms are paying in yearly support costs from traditional phone systems. With Switchvox, your agency can save as much as 70% off your monthly communications costs.
- Deployment options: At Digium, we believe the type of deployment you choose depends significantly on your business setup and goals. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all deployment, so we offer them all! You can enjoy the flexibility, scalability and control of an on-premises system or a virtual deployment using VMware. You can also choose Switchvox Cloud for a low monthly payment and simple management- your choice. All deployment methods come with all of the same features and user experience.