Email autoresponders cut through the obstacles which get in the way of responding to the many property email inquiries an agent receives all day. Bill Shields examines how they can help you boost your client experience.
Many of us are thinking about how we will do things differently post-COVID-19 and, perhaps, what things will stay the same.
While the market re-emerges, it presents a renewed opportunity for you to provide great service and stand out from your competitors.
Email autoresponders cut through the obstacles which get in the way of responding to the many property email inquiries an agent receives all day, every day.
They automatically deliver an immediate, tailored response, which provides exactly the information the customer requested.
Portal inquiries are often our first real interaction with new clients.
The importance of responding quickly and professionally with valuable information should not be under-estimated.
They create an immediate first impression of professionalism, availability, knowledge, and deliver real-time information directly to the customer at any time, day or night.
The major portals allow you to specify where your email inquiries go, and they all support sending a copy to your CRM.
Check if your CRM supports auto-responses and, critically, whether it can be customised for each listing.
As the majority of inquiries ask the same questions – when can I view the property; price indication; rates and body corporate fees; likely rental return – we can prepare these answers in advance.
It’s easy to update your auto-response as things change, ensuring all subsequent inquiries get the latest information.
We don’t always advertise these details for various, good reasons.
In not doing so, it brings us inquiries which, of course, we want.
We welcome the opportunity to add these potential customers and their inquiry into our CRM, to ensure we can keep in touch in future – but we must respond to their requests with speed and quality.
Treat this as an opportunity to raise the bar and differentiate yourself.
Buyers will often make many inquiries across numerous properties and agents.
The promptness and professionalism of your response can form their first and lasting impression.
You can take one of two approaches with your auto-response.
- Try to make the email look like it came from you.
- Don’t hide the fact that a computer probably did it for you.
It’s worth remembering customers appreciate real-time information and are not concerned if you are using technology to improve their experience.
They wouldn’t expect a response from you at 1am, but they sure do appreciate it.
It can be a bit daunting setting up an auto-response for the first time, so here is a handy checklist to help you get started:
- Thank them for their inquiry.
- Remind them of the property and key details, including your contact details.
- Answer the common questions.
- Single out a few emotive aspects of the home for particular praise.
- Include notable nearby attractions, including schools, transport or shops.
- Remind them of the next open home or, if it’s by appointment, encourage them to make a booking by suggesting a time slot that is convenient for you.
- Include links to any additional information or resources you don’t advertise on websites, such as building and pest reports, your brochures, personal brand elements and social media.
Remember, most of these inquiries will come from major portals where your company and personal brand may not be prominent.
It’s a great opportunity to include an invitation to learn more about you and your agency, and invite them to subscribe to your property newsletters and social media platforms.
If your CRM doesn’t support auto-responses, you may still be able to improve the quality and efficiency of your replies.
Use Quick Parts if your email client is Outlook or Canned Responses if you are a Gmail user. Stop by Youtube for tutorials on these features.
Agents who use their CRM’s autoresponder report that they deliver real-time savings by removing the need to constantly monitor and manually respond to repetitive inquiries.
Additionally, they significantly remove that back-of-mind stress and frustration associated with knowing you are not getting back to everyone when your days are busy.
So, as our markets ramp up post-COVID-19, consider making email autoresponders your new way forward to ensure you fully service every inquiry with a great first impression, and free yourself to concentrate on new opportunities the wakening market will bring.
Bill Shields is the Managing Director of Inhabit, and has built some of the most highly-regarded and used residential and commercial platforms in the industry. For more information visit inhabit.com.au