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.”
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.”