The coronavirus pandemic has done nothing to slow down the UK property market, with demand for sales and rentals remaining buoyant. With an influx of new landlords coming into the market – and many others prevented from maintaining properties themselves due to lockdown restrictions – some property management companies have rarely been busier – all the while trying to balance their service responsibilities with the demands of working from home. How do property management companies sustain a business-as-usual service during the pandemic while ensuring that no new sales leads are missed?
A property management call handling service offers a way out of this conundrum, supporting your team while remote working and ensuring every call is answered professionally. As not all call handling businesses are set up to address the specific needs of Property Management companies, here’s what to look for when choosing a service provider:
1. Response Rate
How long, on average, does it take for the call handling business to pick up your calls and what percentage of calls are answered. Pickup time should be short and answer volume should be high, especially in a competitive market for property management companies, in which a missed call could mean a missed customer.
2. Operating hours
As property management companies take calls from both tenants and landlords, and as many residential landlords also have 9-to-5 jobs, a call handling service should have the flexibility to offer after-hours and weekend cover. Check the provider’s hours of operations and if any surcharges are applied for out of hours calls.
3. Setup time
Check how long it takes for the provider to set up your account, including script preparation, training and other matters. An experienced provider should already have the tools and processes in place to handle customer service and sales enquiries, so setup time, although dependant on complexity, should be relatively short.
A professional, friendly, and courteous approach is essential for any call handler, but especially for property management, as in some cases tenants may call up with complaints and be agitated. A call handling professional should be able to defuse potentially negative situations and provide helpful solutions, strengthening the relationship between landlord and tenant.
With many property management services taking on new clients at the moment, a call handling provider should have the contractual flexibility to scale your account as your business expands –to accommodate higher call volumes and different needs.
6. Security and confidentiality
Call handling services need to be trusted to handle sensitive data regarding not only your own business, but that of your tenants as well. This data should be handled professionally and in compliance with all relevant regulatory and data protection standards, including the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Enquire about the call handling company’s data handling and storage procedures, and ensure you have full access to call transcripts when required.
7. Customer testimonials and case studies
A lot of call handling companies look impressive on-screen, but the proof of good service is often found in independent customer reviews and testimonials, and in detailed case studies. Request both from your prospective call handling partner, and do independent research as well. Good reviews on Google, Facebook, and relevant business aggregator sites such as Trustpilot are good benchmarks of quality as these aren’t regulated by the business and are difficult to fabricate. Request case studies that address the day-to-day issues faced by your tenants, and are preferably no more than 12 to 18 months old. Case study experience from within the pandemic is a bonus.
Find our more
At Answer4u, we provide flexible call handling and virtual receptionist services to property management companies across the UK, with a service tailored to your operating hours and the needs of your customers. For a free quote or to find out more, please give us a call today.