Waiting a day or two to reply to an e-mail was once considered acceptable. However, with faster lifestyles, communication expectations are higher. Private Property offers tips on how estate agents can meet them

Why the sudden urgency?

In a recent survey conducted by Private Property, 53% of e-mail leads and 27% of phone enquiries were never answered. Clients expect more. The internet and our enhanced connectivity means that we’re more used to instant gratifi cation than we used to be. Think of how quickly we can order online and have goods delivered to us or the ease with which we can call a taxi or book a flight. But buyers also have an added sense of urgency when looking for a home to buy or rent and a fear of missing out if they can’t get in touch with the agent fast enough.

“Expectations on response times are certainly getting shorter, but I don’t think we’ll get to the stage where 10 minutes is the norm. People generally understand that estate agents are busy professionals who are often out of the office and will make allowances for that.”
Simon Bray, CEO, Private Property.

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Tips to respond more quickly

Answer the phone whenever possible, even if it’s just to acknowledge the call, or phone back as soon as possible.

• Use your cellphone to respond to e-mails when you’re on the go.
• Set aside time in the day specifically for responding to queries.
• Forward calls to the office if you know you won’t be available

Risks of a slow response

1. Lost sales
2. Lost mandates
3. Irritated clients
4. Damaged reputation

Maximum response times

• Telephone: answer immediately or call back within an hour
• Voicemail or SMS: between one and six hours
• e-mail: 12 hours
• Social media: within a few hours

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