Letting agents are being urged to make better use of technology to try to meet growing demand for out-of-hours service, yet also give staff an improved work-life balance.
A study by PropTech supplier The ValPal Network showed that the most popular times for valuation are outside the traditional working day - 07:00 to 07:59, and 18:00-19:59.
Craig Vile, director of The ValPal Network, is warning that agents could lose rental and sales leads without real-time responses.
“Many agents have already adapted to having automated online valuations as part of their website, rather than requests that require a human to manually calculate. Equally, chat boxes/bots can help to ensure that questions are answered 24/7 to engage with the client there and then and keep them as a hot lead.
“Valuations are only one request that agents deal with on a day-to-day basis. There are many more that could also benefit from being automated.”
Vile continues: “Quick responses demonstrate that you provide a reliable service and give agents the best chance of converting that all-important lead. Personalised lead generators and nurturers – such as our MovePal product - can help to ease stress and fatigue amongst agents because when they are away from their desk opportunities will no longer be missed.”
And he suggests that agents may not keep up with rival companies in the long term if they stick with outdated methods.
He concludes: “Considering the amount of new research that shows a preference for shorter working weeks and a high number of business requests outside of office hours, procedures that avoid losing these leads and keep agents happy must be explored.”
The ValPal Network is owned by Angels Media, publisher of Letting Agent Today and other Today industry news websites.