How estate agents can benefit from outsourcing their call answering | Kerfuffle

How estate agents can benefit from outsourcing their call answering

How estate agents can benefit from outsourcing their call answering


Attending viewings, chasing offers, catching up with clients, acting as the go-between for buyers and sellers, and trying to find new leads.

With all this going on it’s easy to see how phone calls can be missed or left to go to voicemail when you can’t answer, leaving you trying to catch up on messages between viewings or meetings – or even in the evenings or on weekends.

You could spend more time in the office to make sure you’re available when the phone rings (or have a member of staff sit at a desk to cover the phones).

But we know from our own clients that it’s the work you do out of the office as an estate or letting agent - attending viewings and valuations, and building those important relationships that will have the biggest impact on a business, not sitting around in the office waiting for the phone to ring so you can make sure it’s answered.

With that in mind, there are several benefits that could make outsourcing your call answering a good business decision.


1. No more lost opportunities

In 2024 the average estate agent fee is around 1.42% and the average house price is £281,913, making the average fee just over £4,000.

So, losing a single lead could mean thousands in lost fees.

We stress the word average here, because there are going to be regional variations in house prices and fees, but you get the point.

Even missing one opportunity a week could be £16,000 a month, or £192,000 a year - on average.

Outsourcing your call answering means you’ll capture every new business lead, while still having the time to get out of the office on revenue generating tasks.


2. More call handling at a lower cost

If you don't want to outsource your call answering, one option is to hire a receptionist to handle your incoming calls, and it’s a valid option.

But not the most cost effective.

The basic salary for a receptionist can be upwards of £20,000 a year. And that’s before you get into the tax, insurance, pension, holiday pay and the general admin that comes with employees.

Even the base salary can be much higher for an experienced receptionist, and higher again if you’re in an expensive city like London.

Plus, one receptionist can only handle one call at a time. Once they answer a call, they can’t answer another one until they’ve finished.

The only other option is to put the next caller on hold. But that defies the point of having a receptionist in the first place.

And what happens when your receptionist goes to lunch, makes a drink, or goes to the loo?

Again, you’ve got no call cover - but you’re still paying the salary.

Outsourcing your agency’s call handling relieves this problem.

With the right call answering service - like Face For Business - you get a team of receptionists who can cover each other to ensure you always have someone available to answer your calls.

For example, we give you a Lead PA who will be your point of contact, who is then supported by a team of between 3-5 other receptionists who will answer calls, take messages, transfer calls and handle enquiries directly, just as if they were sitting in your office.

And it’s all at a much lower cost than the £20,000 salary of a receptionist for your office.


3. Get more of your time back

No doubt you’re inundated with phone calls from buyers and sellers. And with the cost of a missed lead being in the thousands, you’re sure to want every call to be answered.

But how many inbound calls (apart from those buyers and sellers) are actually wasting your time?

Whether they’re sales calls, nuisance calls or even people trying to arrange a viewing on a house they can’t buy, but they want to have a nosy round (it does happen, right?)

Even for genuine calls, it’s not always the best use of your time to answer them. It might be people wanting to confirm you’re opening hours or your address.

They might not be time wasting, but they can take up time to answer when you have a lot of them, and these types of calls are low value compared to finding leads, attending viewings and valuations and working towards a sale.

Again, outsourcing your call answering can help here by dealing with many of these calls for you, so you have more time to handle higher value calls and tasks.


4. Offer out-of-hours and weekend call answering (without the extra work)

One common issue we hear from our estate agency clients is that many enquiries come in out-of-hours and at the weekend, because people can’t necessarily call during the day when they’re at work.

This can lead to agents and directors often having to work longer hours and going weeks without a day off while they have out-of-hours enquiries transferred to their mobile after they’ve left the office.

One of our clients, Lancasters Estate Agents in Bolton had this exact problem with director, Ben Washington, telling us he found himself unable to have a day-off because calls were being transferred to him out-of-the-office to make sure they were answered.

Now Ben can have a day off knowing our receptionists are answering his calls and he can still have urgent calls sent to him when he wants.

You can read more about the challenges Ben was having here.

With our out-of-hours service we’ll cover your calls in the mornings, evenings, and weekends, ensuring no calls are missed or enquiries lost.

Depending how you want the service to work, we can take messages for you and your team to deal with when it’s convenient for you, or you can have some calls transferred to the right person to deal with immediately – like urgent enquiries.


5. Create a more professional service

When you’re a buyer or seller, either looking to spend £100,000s on a home or looking for someone to get you the best price on your house, being greeted by a robotic voicemail likely isn’t going to make the best first impression.

Afterall, if they can’t get through to a real person during these first interactions, how can they be sure someone will answer the phone later down the line when they’ve got a question or are chasing an update.

By outsourcing your call handling you’ll know every caller will be greeted by a friendly, professional voice, every time.

Even if they must leave a message, at least they know they’ve spoken to a real person and that their enquiry is being dealt with.

“It is great knowing there is always someone friendly to speak to our clients. Personalising the call settings is also excellent, making sure the right person calls them back,” said our client Hayley Brooks from Edwards Lettings (Fine and Country).


Could outsourcing your call answering give a helping hand?

If you’ve read this and identified some of the issues as something you’re dealing with in your own agency, then outsourcing your call handling could be a real benefit.

Face For Business is a great value call answering service for busy estate agents, helping dozens of independent agencies and larger franchises make sure all calls are answered, while giving teams more time to focus on what they’re passionate about.




Find out how Face For Business can help your agency here.

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Posted by

Chayne Bennett

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