Residential Lettings Case Study

phones

Our client is a Northwest based residential letting agent. Before working with PropCall, they used a well-known answering service to answer calls on their behalf once their office closed at 5pm.

 

While the service they were using was adequate in capturing the information needed for enquiries, it was limited with regards to maintenance requests. In the event of an on-site situation, the calls were forwarded to a choice of only 3 numbers (the property management team of the client). Before forwarding these calls, there was a very limited number of questions asked to triage the issue before passing over, as the answering service preferred to lean on the side of caution.

 

PropCall replaced this service with full out-of-hours property management, meaning callers with maintenance requests were dealt with by experienced property managers who could ask the right questions to help resolve issues and/or identify whether contractor attendance was necessary.

 

Allowing us to handle these calls meant that property managers for the client would be undisturbed through the night and any contractor call outs were managed on their behalf if deemed necessary. In most cases, issues can be managed until the next day, but in some circumstances emergency call outs are required. Good examples of this may be properties where the tenant has a new-born baby or vulnerable/elderly residents.

 

Our property managers worked with the client to identify how they would manage these issues themselves and what action would be taken for every eventuality, with reports prepared for every callout to explain justifications, action taken, outcomes and associated costs. This meant the clients property management team weren’t left handling issues first thing in the morning when their working day started, as PropCall’s team had taken care of things on their behalf.

 

Using PropCall’s remote video assistance tool, callers were frequently supported, and issues successfully rectified using video calls and expert guidance. Typical issues include minor leaks, loss of electricity and boiler problems. By guiding people safely through how to resolve these issues, resident satisfaction was improved across the board.

Alongside this, the enquiry capture process was enhanced dramatically. PropCall’s team used the calendar booking system that the client themselves used to schedule viewings and calls with potential customers. In doing this, the subsequent OOH enquiry contact success rates doubled as these calls were booked into both the caller and the letting agents calendars for a time convenient for all.

 

Limitations of generic answering service:

 

  • Information was collected and emailed only
  • If there was a maintenance request of any kind, the company would forward these on to a choice of 3 different numbers.
  • Calls were not handled by experienced property managers, meaning general advice which may have proven useful couldn’t be given
  • The number of emergency contacts was limited to 3
  • Calls and appointments were not booked in for the client’s sales team, meaning they had to call the client upon arrival to the office which often resulted in no answer. The customer was calling at a time convenient for them due to work, hence the out-of-hours enquiry
  • This led to property managers still receiving unwanted calls outside of office times, with only general enquiries being filtered as not requiring forwarding
  • This then had an adverse effect on productivity as often managers were woken in the middle of the night for situations which could have been better handled over the phone by an experienced property manager
  • Answering service reluctant to act in the event of no contact with emergency numbers – this could have serious consequences and allow damage to property to continue unattended

 

Service Improvements by working with PropCall:

 

  • Enhanced enquiries capture and appointment booking process
  • Maintenance requests handled by PropCall, not just forwarded to PMs
  • 24-hour availability by experienced property managers, not just message taking
  • Video Technology used to handle and rectify issues safely alongside the caller

 

Results:

 

  • Improved job satisfaction due to well rested staff with no requirements for added OOH work
  • Improved productivity through the day with no residual work from previous evening’s maintenance requests
  • Dramatic decrease in calls received by the client’s property managers out of hours
  • Significant enquiry success rates, leading to huge ROI
  • Improvements in resident satisfaction
  • Client reputation enhanced as forward thinking, 24 hr organisation