Old Technology Still Counts as Much as Ever
Posted by Peter Vekselman Monday, 19 September 2011 04:25 No Comments
Over the past year, I’ve written several articles about technology that focused heavily on the internet. A couple of my technology suggestions have been creating email lists, having a Facebook page, and writing a blog about your community, among other ways of staying in touch with your potential customers. And I’ve touted the importance of creating videos that market your real estate.
While that is critically important to today’s real estate investor, it’s just as important that you don’t take your eye off the old fashion telephone. If you’re running your real estate business correctly, you’ve probably invested several thousand dollars and countless hours promoting and marketing your business.
The entire purpose of it all is keeping your business in the forefront of people’s mind so that when they have a need for a rental or they are looking to buy a property, your business is the first one they contact. Even with all the technology you are using, that first person-to-person contact is likely to be a telephone call.
I want you to take a moment right now to stop and think about how your business phone is answered. Too many of us don’t give this the attention it deserves.
Do you have a hired receptionist or someone other than yourself that answers your business phone most of the time? Do you know how they answer it?
You or they should be answering every call as is there is a $50,000 check at the other end because there may well be. Besides the tone of your voice and the greeting you use, are you making sure all incoming calls are answered promptly?
My point isn’t to give you a lesson in telephone etiquette. I think anyone that can become a real estate professional can easily figure that part out. What I want to do is make sure you are doing what you already know is the right thing to do.
If your business telephone isn’t being answered within the first three rings, you need to remember, your competition is one click or one call away. Too often, I see busy entrepreneurs let a ringing telephone go to voice mail. That might be alright if you recognize the number as your janitorial service and you don’t have any pressing business with them. But if you don’t recognize the number, you need to assume it’s a customer wanting to put $50,000 into your bank account – treat the call accordingly.
Now let’s take this a step farther. Do you use any online forms or other ways such as online customer service to communicate with customers? If you do, how long does it take to get back to them when they send a note? There’s a reason that online retailers use automated response software to send a sales confirmation. It’s because that’s what customers have come to expect.
It’s not realistic for you to sit at your computer waiting to instantly reply to every inquiry that comes in. But you can use automated reply software to set an expectation with customers that you will get back to them within 24 hours or less. Without some type of confirmation that you’ll shortly be in touch, they’ll assume it might not be until the middle of next week. You should assume that they’ll be off checking in with your competition and taking that $50,000 deposit with them. If they do, all of your marketing will have been for nothing.