How to deal with a growing number of property enquiries
New York recently imposed drastic new rules for short-term lets - with an immediate impact. So, how far should the UK government go?
A huge increase in the number of calls to letting agents is seeing staff spend more time than ever answering the phone. At Agent Rainmaker, we've heard how agents are reporting up to ten times the number of daily incoming calls in recent months. But these pressures can be reduced through the use of technology-focused solutions.
Phones ringing off the hook
The spike has been fuelled by a lack of property stock, with around 150,000 - and rising - private rental homes being sold now each year, according to HM Revenue and Customs.
This means that, in 2019, an agent received an average of six enquiries per property. Now, Rightmove research claims they’re getting 20 calls from prospective tenants for every single home they advertise.
This situation is understandably stressful for potential renters, and we’re seeing the media reporting tenants having to offer over the asking price or move outside their preferred location or compromise in other ways in order to secure a home.
A growing task for letting agents
Of course the flip side of this, is that it’s also creating a great deal of extra work for the letting agents who are dealing with all of these enquiries.
Agents are finding themselves constantly picking up the phone which of course takes time away from everything else they need to do, whether that’s talking to new landlords, developing additional services, or otherwise supporting the growth of their revenue and business.
But there are solutions out there to support agents and reduce the time spent answering this ten-fold increase in volume of incoming calls.
A virtual solution
The ideal scenario would be that the government reverses the section 24 rule which would enable landlords to pay tax on their profits not their turnover – meaning retaining their properties would once again become a viable option.
But that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. So that means agents must be proactive and change their systems in order to handle the huge volume of phone calls and applications.
I'd recommend agents look into the technology which can assist them – such as Agent Response, a system developed by Michael Nettleton which sees the majority of calls diverted from the office to applications instead.
Call-answering companies such as Moneypenny and PropCall can also prove hugely valuable, as can Virtual Assistants who can process and triage applications as well as handling additional admin relating to the business, leaving agents free to focus on other tasks.
The potential benefits
If they don’t, then the team is not only being diverted from what they’d normally be doing, they’re also experiencing an increased amount of pressure which could result in staff loss.
So, implementing that single, simple technology solution will help save the business money in the long run, and help growth, revenue generation, and a healthy work environment.
To hear about solutions to the challenges being experienced by agents in 2023, book your tickets to Agent Rainmaker Live, on 9-10 November in London.