Apartment community leasing offices are busy places, bursting with activity from rental prospects coming in for property tours, the phone ringing constantly and residents coming in with requests. It is nearly impossible to answer every call that comes in. In fact, research shows that 49% of all calls go unanswered. So, what is a property to do? Many management companies are enlisting the help of call centers to handle the barrage of calls during and after business hours. Hiring a call center to handle calls and represent your properties requires careful consideration.
Let’s explore the pros and cons of using a call center to handle your calls, when leasing teams are unavailable.
The leasing team has the task of juggling phone calls along with in-person requests. With the help of a call center, they are able to focus on giving site tours and handling leasing requests, without worrying about answering the phone.
Over 80% of callers will not leave a voicemail when they have the option to do so. A call center can ensure that calls don’t go to a voicemail message that is often hung up on.
The call center staff is trained to answer common leasing questions and set tour appointments on behalf of the leasing staff.
Call centers tend to be an expensive solution. The cost can often exceed the benefits once all of the fees are calculated. So, it is important to uncover if there are additional fees, like appointment setting and guest card collection.
Since call center representatives are not actual employees of the management company, they often do not offer a consistent experience. The quality of the calls, if not monitored regularly, can suffer and impact the possibility of setting appointments. Also, call center companies usually have multiple customers, so the staff is not singularly focused on one specific property or management company.
The apartment hunters of today have done their homework and often have two questions they want answered: pricing and availability. Call center representatives are trained to go through a script, so the experience for the caller is less personal and takes longer for their questions to get answered.
Once you weigh the pros and cons, you may seek an alternative solution.
Consider leveraging AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology to handle your call overflow and after hours traffic. AI conversational assistants, like LeaseHawk’s ACE™ Virtual Leasing Assistant, offer a cost-effective, customizable and consistent experience to callers. ACE uses the same AI technology that powers Google, to provide callers with a modern and conversational experience. ACE handles calls, answers common leasing questions, sets appointments and collects guest card information. The caller is able to quickly get their questions answered, like pricing and availability, and feels more empowered by having the ability to drive the conversation based on their specific needs.
To learn more about ACE, visit leasehawk.com/ace
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