The property sector has been known to have a traditional way of conducting itself, even as the property business has changed beyond recognition. The huge hike in house prices in many areas of the UK, the burgeoning private rental sector and the challenges faced by many would-be buyers have all brought immense pressure to bear on an area of business that is attached to deep-rooted practices.
However, for many estate agents and property managers, how they interact with customers is set to change significantly.
“For estate agents, building solid relationships with their customers is the key to success,” observes Russell Mills of Chat Heroes, “but at the same time they find increased competition online, as well as pressure on their own resources.”
“It is not always cost effective for estate agents or property managers to be spending huge amounts of time face to face with eager customers, and the sheer volume of traffic can make this increasingly difficult,” Russell continues.
“There is the issue of customer visibility, for online property businesses, in that they might not know who is spending time online looking at their sites”
Whereas traditional estate agents may want to pride themselves on their face-to-face service and dismiss online operators as being too remote, there is a key way of integrating the two, bringing the traditionalists into the 21st century while humanising their digital counterparts.
Live Chat Benefits
By directly engaging with web visitors through live chat, estate agents can be fully responsive while keeping the customer firmly in control. Text-based live chat is instant, convenient and cost-effective.
“Live chat enables website visitors to interact with the online estate agent or property business at a personal level, making the website much less of a passive shop window and more a virtual walk-in property agency”
“You don’t have the demand on resources, or the associated negative possibilities, of a call centre,” Russell observes, “but you do have a means of improving the customer experience by personalising it.”
For estate agents and others, live chat also offers the crucial opportunity to gather information from potential customers.
“You invite browsers on your website to have a live chat, to discuss what they might want from you. It’s not a hard sell, but it does provide a way in to begin a dialogue with them,” Russell states.
Added Analytic Value
Live chat can be fully integrated into an existing website, providing full visibility of visiting users, and enabling businesses to build up a clearer picture of their customers’ needs, worries and concerns.
“For property businesses, knowing what their customers’ pain points are provides enormous opportunities. It can help refine their whole approach to interacting with customers, as well as driving greater sales conversions”
The UK property market is full of uncertainty, but developing a greater understanding of their customers’ needs can only help property professionals thrive in testing times.
“It is key that property professionals are properly equipped to initiate live chat,” Russell concludes. “If they haven’t the in-house resources to fully commit to it, the best solution is to outsource their live chat. That way, they can be sure that it’s fully effective and gives them the option to extend their hours of availability to customers.”