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Industry first? Meet the agent allowing tech to book all his rental viewings

Four-branch estate agency Jeffrey Ross is believed to be the first high street firm in the UK to process viewing bookings entirely online.

Nigel Lewis

hoopernash

A large estate agency renting out over 40 properties a month is taking the unusual step of turning off its telephones and emails to inbound property rental viewing leads and handling them via an automated online booking system.

Major Cardiff agency Jeffrey Ross is believed to be the first traditional high street firm to take this route, which is being achieved by using the Homehere.co tech platform.

The four-branch estate agency is one of the firms trialling the Homehere.co platform in the UK ahead of its soft launch later this year.

It enables agents to engage directly with all of their inbound lettings leads form the portals and let prospective tenants book their own slots to view each property after filling in a pre-qualification questionnaire.

“Although it seems like a big jump, the public expects to be able to book appointments online, think airbnb or booking.com. Taking bookings over the phone is actually old fashioned,” says Elliott Hoopernash Director of Jeffrey Ross (pictured, above).

“I think there’s a misconception good customer service has to be over the phone. Our approach using homehere means the process is more consistent as enquirers are engaged immediately and encouraged to book in for a viewing time that has been set up by us, after they have qualified.”

‘Jeffrey Ross has always prided ourselves on trying new technology that improves the customer experience and makes us more efficient.”

Cardiff connection

Homehere.co was launched two years ago by former Cardiff student lettings agent Lou Quinn (pictured, below) with tech expert and angel investor John Curley, and claims to help agencies achieve 80% of their revenues even in difficult markets.

Quinn says the agency already uses his tech to handle 80% of inbound leads but that the decision has been taken to go the whole hog in the next few weeks, and also handle its website leads later on too.

“So many leads are lost when they’re handled manually – whereas with our system a letting agent can go out of the office and come back to find all the viewings automatically booked for them,” says Quinn.

Hoopernash adds: “When we started using homehere to schedule viewings I was sceptical as to how popular it would be, but the uptake from enquirers has been incredible. We’re now taking over 80% of our bookings online via homehere rather than over the phone.

“This is saving us hours on inefficient labour and providing a great experience for customers and staff alike.”

Visit homehere.co

September 9, 2020

3 comments

  1. Knowing the Homehere team Lou Quinn and John Curley, and as importantly their super efficient solution, built around the needs of working agents, and in collaboration with them, they are a model of how technology, automates boring repetitive processes that machines can do faster and more effectively. Giving the hardworking sales teams quality time to plan strategy and move businesses forward.

    The fourth technological revolution is not all about 100M rounds of funding, it is the effective solutions at grassroots that deliver huge savings and drive big profits. Agencies embracing the correct digital solutions built around their specific needs – is the future, and I guarantee from experience that Lou & John do not blind agents with science, they just quietly solve problems.

  2. Lovely idea.

    Only flaw in the “Cunning Plan” is the humans.

    I booked an appointment for 5.30pm yesterday.

    The rule is, if you do not call 30 minutes before an appointment, we do not attend.
    Sure enough, no call and we did not attend.
    No irate email or call. Why?

    Members of the public feel that we have nothing better to do with our time. That is why lots of landlords use agents to find tenants.

    A long hard look at the time wasted will give the employers a much better perspective of what is actually going on.

    This is not the Nirvana that all the “Spin” is suggesting, only due to us dealing with people.

  3. Knowing the Homehere team Lou Quinn and John Curley, and as importantly their super efficient solution, built around the needs of working agents, and in collaboration with them, they are a model of how technology, automates boring repetitive processes that machines can do faster and more effectively. Giving the hardworking sales teams quality time to plan strategy and move businesses forward.

    The fourth technological revolution is not all about 100M rounds of funding, it is the effective solutions at grassroots that deliver huge savings and drive big profits. Agencies embracing the correct digital solutions built around their specific needs – is the future, and I guarantee from experience that Lou & John do not blind agents with science, they just quietly solve problems.

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