Using IRE tech to pre-qualify property enquiries
Adam Farrell has seen a lot in his twenty plus years in property, but one of the most significant developments he’s witnessed has been the proliferation of property portals in the UK. Today, there is no shortage of portals for property seekers to choose from when they go to look for a new home. Rightmove, OnTheMarket and Zoopla are enormously popular with home buyers and tenants, and then there are a host of others, including home.co.uk, Nestoria and Prime Location to name just a few. More portals means more leads for sales and lettings agents, but as the team at Sawyer & Co. discovered, that’s not always a good thing.
“The challenge for us was the quality of the leads coming through, which was overwhelming. The other problem was that a lot of the leads coming through were people we couldn’t transact with,” says Adam.
“The other problem we had was that a lot of the leads coming through were people we couldn’t transact with because they were not suitable for the properties they were enquiring about.”
It’s all very well to cast a wide net, but Adam and his team were finding that many of the people that were enquiring about their properties simply weren’t suitable for one reason or another. That presented two challenges: How to qualify those leads and how to let unsuccessful applicants down gently. Enter the IRE platform.
“IRE looked like the perfect solution because it meant we could deal with all the leads coming in, it could reply to them and it could book in the viewings,” says Adam.
However, for Sawyer & Co. the ability to efficiently pre-qualify leads was key. With a series of qualifying questions built in to the enquiry system, the IRE platform gives users complete control over how they filter the vast numbers of leads that come through the property portals.
“With IRE, you don’t have to worry about the quality of leads coming through because there’s a huge selection of questions you can use to qualify them,” says Adam.
“But the key for us was the ability to be able to say, ‘you were unsuccessful in booking in to view this property, and it might be due to these reasons.’”
Setting aside the matter of common decency, letting people down gently makes good business sense. With many property seekers looking at a few homes before they sign a lease or pay a deposit, it pays to keep people on side. After all, today’s unsuccessful applicant today could turn out to be tomorrow’s new instruction. The good news for Sawyer & Co. was that the IRE platform helps you do just that.
“The system would alert us when that had happened, so we would still have the opportunity to contact them,” says Adam.
Another benefit of the IRE platform is the ability to keep everyone in the loop – whether that’s buyers, tenants or landlords – in real time. One of biggest shifts caused by digital technology has been our expectations around immediacy. We live in an age of instant gratification, yet property hasn’t necessarily been quick to adapt. Since implementing IRE’s automated communications, Adam and the team Sawyer & Co. have been able to impress leads and clients alike with their timely updates.
“People expect immediacy and we have had some good feedback from tenants, but landlords in particular like the immediate feedback we capture through the mobile app,” says Adam, noting how easy it is to capture feedback at a viewing and send it on immediately.
Of course, streamlining processes is not just about impressing people. Automating what were once manual processes has saved the Sawyer & Co. team a staggering amount of time.
“It’s saved our negs so much time and allowed our main lister to focus entirely on winning new landlords,” says Adam.
IRE has also helped them compete in a crowded market. With many of Sawyer & Co.’s new instructions being multi-agency listings, the pressure is on to achieve a sale or lease before their competitors. So far, the IRE platform is helping Andrew and his team win new business and position their agency for growth