VoicePad’s On-Demand Reception Solution Provides a Better, Faster, More Economical Way to Deliver Inbound Calls to a Real Estate Operation
As any real estate professional can attest, efficient communication is more important than ever as we continue to navigate the challenges associated with conducting business in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
And for CENTURY 21 Bradley Realty, Inc. in Fort Wayne, Ind.—the No. 1-producing CENTURY 21 office in the world—VoicePad delivered some very specific benefits in the months prior to COVID. They answered the phones. And that’s not a small thing in a big office, but it was accomplished with just machines—more specifically, with speech algorithms, listing data and a fancy computer-telephony platform that lives in the cloud.
It also required an element of trust to turn the entire phone-answering process within the brokerage over to an algorithm.
With a longstanding partnership that dates back to 2008, VoicePad has always provided Bradley with cutting-edge solutions that differentiated their company, and for the past few months, Bradley and VoicePad had been testing the On-Demand Reception (ODR) service at night. The agents began receiving live calls after-hours, and they liked it.
But it wasn’t until the pandemic hit earlier this year that the scope of the solution was truly put in perspective. In fact, COVID is all it took to move CENTURY 21 Bradley Realty, Inc. to “flip the switch” to use ODR on a full-time basis. This ensured their agents could be reached 24/7/365…even as the office closed.
While an agent’s spoken name is all that’s required to transfer a call, sales opportunities ring multiple agents at once (via the automated “Floor Duty” Scheduler), and ODR can even text website links to callers.
“When COVID hit, one day we were in full operation, and the next, we couldn’t come into the office,” says CENTURY 21 Bradley Realty, Inc. Operations Manager Doreen Van Ooyen, who goes on to explain that they were able to simply flip a switch and still conduct business as usual, even though no one was physically in the office.
The transition was completely seamless to anyone calling into the office, according to CENTURY 21 Bradley Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner Jim Bradley.
“We’d been working diligently on the implementation of the ODR solution for months, but as soon as COVID hit, we knew we had to get it going,” explains Bradley.
One of the biggest pain points Bradley and Van Ooyen were looking to solve? The fact that nearly 60 percent of the calls coming into the brokerage on any given day were forwarded to agents, which ultimately bogged down the efforts of their fill-time receptionist—whose main role is agent support.
“We simply wanted to automate the transfer of those calls to our agents,” says Van Ooyen, who points to the flexibility of the prompts within the phone tree as a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to streamlining the calls coming into the front desk.
“When someone calls into the office, they don’t want to talk to a person, they want to talk to the person, and with ODR, callers can get where they want to go quickly and easily,” says Van Ooyen.
Drilling down even further, Bradley can’t say enough about the reports he has access to, which provide in-depth analysis into why potential clients call and who they’re looking to reach. They even pinpoint which agents aren’t answering their phones.
“The reports are unbelievable,” says Bradley. “One important thing we learned from them is that we didn’t have control of the front desk even though it looked like we did.”
As real estate professionals continue to work away from the office, investing in the technology that’s necessary to keep business running, no matter what the world throws our way in the future, should be at the top of any brokerage’s list.
With no requirement to change-out phone providers, VoicePad simply places its technology on a local phone number so that all an office needs to do is forward their main phone number.
“It’s all about the power of technology,” concludes Bradley. “We were already moving toward On-Demand Reception before COVID, and we’ll be using it long after COVID, as it is all part of being a viable brokerage in the future.”
For more information, please visit www.voicepad.com.
Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.