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Communication is at the heart of every estate agency business. But in a digital era where we receive more online messages than ever, what’s the best way to support your potential customers – live chat or email?

We explore the pros and cons of both.

Benefits of live chat for your communications

When it comes to support, the preference for consumers is most definitely live chat. A survey undertaken by J.D Power found that live chat has become the leading digital contact method for customers online, with a massive 42% preferring live chat over other contact methods (23% for email and 16% for social media messaging).

Live chat tends to work best at the start of the sales journey. When a potential vendor or buyer makes their initial enquiry, they want answers fast and whilst they’re focused on the subject. Not when they’re back at work the next day or dealing with any of life’s other daily issues!

Frequently asked questions that you can answer quickly are perfect for live chat such as “is this property still available?”, “what are your fees?” and “does this rented property accept pets?”. However, you then have the opportunity to open up the conversation, record contact details and arrange market appraisals.

The beauty of live chat, therefore, is its immediacy. Buyers in particular are likely to simply move onto the next agent advertising the same property if their query is not answered quickly. Implementing live chat at the start of your customer journey allows you to get ahead of your competitors.

When email is the better option

While live chat is the obvious choice for quicker queries and signposting customers, there are still times when email may be the better option.

Live chat is not always great for conveying longer or more complex pieces of information, for example, although many of our chats last longer than 8 minutes. Once you engage in a more in-depth discussion with a potential client, further down the sales process, it’s often a good idea to switch to a phone call, a meeting or at least an email.

Internal resource

For busy estate agents, responding to enquiries can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the day. So what stands up better when it comes to managing resources?

Emails can certainly be difficult to manage. Where do the emails go, should I pick this one up or leave for a colleague? We don’t want to leave it to each other but both responding looks unprofessional too. Do you allocate emails to specific staff or forward them on to ensure every enquiry is replied to?

Live chat should guarantee a response to your prospects in seconds, allowing an enquiry to be dealt with, and progressed, very quickly. We’ve previously discussed how live chat helps agents to quickly qualify leads, and from a resource point of view, does allow for a rapid response. However, depending on which service you choose, can mean that you need to have someone available to manage your live chat.

At Yomdel, we offer fully managed live chat. This means that one of our property-trained professionals will be on hand to answer custom queries, signpost prospects and provide quick advice to anyone who gets in touch with your business – even when you’re closed.

UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LIVE CHAT

If you haven't yet looked into a 24/7 managed live chat service, or you'd just like to know more about the options available to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch, we would be happy to chat.

SCHEDULE A CHAT

Tim Breden

Written by Tim Breden

Tim is a founding partner, and Chief Operating Officer at Yomdel. Over 5 years Tim’s primary focus has been ensuring that Yomdel meets, maintains and exceeds its high standards of client service delivery, whilst also addressing the challenges of bringing new products to market which will grow our client’s businesses and bring them greater success. If you’d like to chat to Tim about your business, or ask him to speak at an event, just get in touch today at tim.breden@yomdel.co.uk