Busy real estate agents like you can spend the bulk of the day out of the office. If you’re not meeting with an appraiser, you’re showing a home, talking to a developer, or checking on the status of your sales. If you’re doing all of that, sometimes in a single day, when do you have time to pay attention to the calls you are receiving, and how are the calls from your Spanish-speaking customers being handled?
Voicemail Is Not Enough
There is plenty of sophisticated bilingual voice mail and automated queue answering systems out there. Although they may cost money and time to install and learn, these systems can and do help direct calls to the proper person. However, they can’t speak with callers in real time or guarantee that the person who answers even speaks Spanish.
Also, at one time or another, you have probably experienced the downsides of these automated systems yourself. Perhaps you were forced to go through a long list of menu items or had no choice but to leave a message. Maybe you were inexplicably disconnected. Whatever your past experiences, chances are that you wouldn’t want your customers to endure this when they get in touch with you.
How Important Is It to Reach the Spanish-Speaking Community?
The Spanish-speaking community in the U.S. is the second largest in the world, and it is expected to become the largest in the next few decades. Not only that, but thanks to technology and social media, many businesses are able to expand their reach to other countries, increasing their customer bases and bottom lines.
If you’ve been looking to expand your reach in this way, you will need to know how to form, nurture, and maintain relationships with your Spanish-speaking customers—an impossible thing to do consistently unless you have the staff to do so. As well, even if your Spanish-speaking callers speak English, an important thing to remember is that this is not their native language and that they likely prefer to communicate in Spanish.
A bilingual answering service can accomplish all of this and more.
Non-Automated Customer Service
What is a bilingual answering service? It is a real person; a professional operator who fluently speaks both Spanish and English and who answers calls to your real estate office. Instead of forcing your Spanish-speaking customers to communicate in a language they aren’t as comfortable with, a bilingual answering service greets and converses with them in their native language.
Bilingual Answering at Any Time of Day
Unlike automated systems which utilize recorded messages and queues to process your calls, a bilingual answering service offers instant answering by a real person, no matter when a call comes into your office. Imagine their surprise when your Spanish-speaking customers’ after-hours calls are not only answered by a real person but in their native language.
Nothing Gets Lost in Translation
In providing Spanish-speaking customers with service in their language, you can ensure complete clarity. This may not seem significant until you consider that, in being able to communicate with your company in Spanish, your customers’ perceived value of your real estate business will increase. Why is this? Because, in being able to be completely understood, your Spanish-speaking customers will know they are respected and appreciated by you.
Word Will Spread
Once your customers know they can get service from you in their native language, they will tell others about it. It’s this word-of-mouth advertising that will inspire even more potential customers to contact you when they are looking to buy or sell a home. Before you know it, you will have built a solid reputation with the Spanish-speaking community, all because you now know how to reach them effectively.
It Grows with You
In addition to not having to pay in-house employees, an answering service also gives you another benefit: you can adjust it to your requirements. If certain times of year are busier for your real estate business, you can select a higher level of service. During the times of year when your business tends to be slower, simply choose the next level down. With a Spanish answering service, you never have to pay for what you don’t use.
Your Service Is Outsourced
One of the benefits to your business of having a Spanish-speaking answering service is that it saves your business money. How? Wages, vacation time, and training can cost you thousands of dollars a year. However, with a real estate answering service, the company that provides the service is responsible for all of the training, salary, and vacation time their employees need.
Industry Knowledge and Professionalism
As mentioned above, all of the operators who will supply you with bilingual service have been professionally trained to do so. This means they have excellent over-the-phone skills and will be friendly and professional with every caller.
However, their training goes beyond excellent phone manners to include industry-specific experience working with real estate businesses. This valuable knowledge can end up serving your business very well in ways that are described more in detail below.
Much More Than “Hello”
Although you may think that all a bilingual answering service can do is to pick up the phone and greet callers, the truth is that it can do far more than that.
Your answering service can answer and redirect calls, but it can also prioritize calls for you. If you have been spending the first few hours of your day going through the messages on your answering machine, those first few hours could mean less revenue. When you have an answering service that prioritizes all of your calls for you, all you need to do when you get into the office is to start going through your list of calls.
Of course, not all callers who get in touch will automatically want to buy a home through your office; many of your Spanish-speaking callers will be calling your office to get more information. For example, they may want to know your hours of operation, the details about a particular property, or how to find you. Trying to answer these calls, as well as handle calls from existing customers, can mean there are not enough hours in the day.
With a bilingual answering service, however, you can do it all. You can have the service handle all general information calls and have important property inquiries transferred to your direct line. Imagine the time and resources this will save you.
Real Industry Knowledge
In being trained specifically for the real estate industry, telephone answering services can add real value to your business. Customers who call the service won’t typically know much about the real estate business; that’s what they are counting on you to provide. Instead of forcing them to leave a message or go through an automated queue, your operator picks up the phone within the first few rings and can get right to giving them the information they need.
In addition to providing information and prioritizing your calls, an answering service can also help to nurture potential leads. Remember, they do much more than say hello; in being able to offer Spanish-speaking customers service in their native language, your operator can start a conversation with them about what else they may be looking for from you.
However, these kinds of conversations take time to progress. This is exactly what an answering service can give you; time. While you are out showing homes and meeting with your clients, your professional receptionist could be representing your business while engaging your Spanish-speaking customers in conversation about the kinds of neighborhoods they want their families to grow up in.
Professional Service That Puts You Ahead of the Rest
In being able to offer this level of personal service to your Spanish-speaking customers, your business will stand apart from your competition. Your company will be seen as one that truly cares about every call it receives—one that ensures the customers’ needs will be met no matter when they call.
So, how can you get all of the above benefits of bilingual answering service for your real estate business? With AnswerMTI. As a nationwide leader in professional, bilingual answering service, we offer several levels of service to fit every budget. Discover how easy it is to get started by contacting us for more information today!