Offering the agency experience online with live chat software

Many estate agents are proud of the standard of customer service they offer, and rightly so. House hunters are met with support and expert service from the moment they step inside the agency door, right up until their property search has ended.

Increasingly, though, the customer journey didn’t start with that foot through the agency door. It started online. Today, a massive 90% of home buyers start their property search on the internet, and the number of these people looking for web chat to quickly consult advisors has grown by a third over the past year.

The question is: has your service followed the digital shift? Here's how a live chat channel could help you offer that excellent agency experience online.

 

 

Step 1: hitting the website

 

  • Before live chat

A property buyer lands on your estate agency website. They start scrolling through your home page, forming snap judgements on your site and service. Within a few short moments, the visitor will decide whether to stay or stray based on your website design and usability.

This is where a digital service deficit can first lose you leads. Your website can look slick, but if there is nobody on hand to help the prospect, you can appear absent and inaccessible.

 

  • After live chat

A property buyer lands on your estate agency website. They spot the familiar live chat option in the bottom right-hand corner of your homepage, and know this means instant online service.

While the prospect might not need help right away, that clear support availability is a reassuring factor. Not only does your website look the part, it also duplicates the agency experience with a helpful presence upon entry.

 

 

Step 2: finding suitable properties

 

  • Before live chat

Next, the house hunter starts to click through your property portfolio. Their journey is unassisted, and they’re searching through suitable listings for their ideal home or rental.

Because the prospect isn’t always a property expert, this might not be an easy task. They might not know the ins and outs of the local or regional market, or the best place to start a family, for example. So, although the house hunter can easily search your site, they might not necessarily be getting the best possible results for their needs.

 

  • After live chat

The lead is still clicking through your property portfolio. This time, however, they decide to get a little guidance before wading through listings.

With a simple click of the live chat button, the website visitor can connect to an estate agent and seek advice about their search. Just as you would in your physical offices, you can assess the prospect’s requirements before suggesting viable options. It’s the bricks and mortar experience, transposed to the digital world.

 

 

Step 3: narrowing the search

 

  • Before live chat

As the house hunter singles out appealing properties, a few questions crop up. Unfortunately, the customer has no way to ask them immediately. They make a mental note of their queries and concerns, to ask later down the line.

However, the prospect doesn’t have time to call right there and then, and forgets to draft an email. Again, this is a crucial touchpoint where a lack of online service can prove costly.

 

  • After live chat

The prospect has a question while reading up on a property. With a live chat channel, they can ask it while it’s fresh on their mind.

So, the visitor launches a chat session, asks their question, and gets an immediate answer. There’s no cooling delay, and no awkwardness of waiting for enough questions to justify the pressure of a phone call. Plus, the agent can direct them to similar listings of interest and help them locate more potential properties. Your agency standards have once again been kept up.

 

 

Step 4: arranging a viewing

 

  • Before live chat

Arranging a viewing forces the house hunter to launch a separate channel to communicate. They leave the agency website, open their emails or pick up the phone – all after finding the relevant contact details to proceed.

This is inconvenient and often frustrating, as the prospect must navigate between two or even three sources for the information that they need.  The result is an inefficient experience that takes time out of the customer’s day and makes information difficult to keep together.

 

  • After live chat

The prospect is interested in viewing a property. A live chat option means they can set that up easily and instantly, as part of their browsing session.

Rather than opening a new line of communication, the house hunter can click a single button and get a viewing sorted on the spot. It’s a streamlined journey that’s quick, convenient and obstacle-free. The stellar service you give in your offices is now just as smooth online.

 

 

Instant reassurance

The property market is a stressful place for your clients. Your service is the reassuring force that makes the experience as positive and easy as possible. Property buying isn’t all about inventories: it’s also about engagement and relationship building.

Part of building these relationships is being readily available and helpful, right from the start of the customer journey. Agencies have nailed the in-store service – now it’s time to provide that agency experience online.

 

Start offering your great agency experience online today, with WhosOn SmallTalk, our completely free live chat solution for estate agents.