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Handling inbound calls in real estate the right way can make or break your real estate marketing campaigns.

They are often the result of a successful real estate marketing campaign, and the better you can handle them, the better the conversion rates of your incoming leads will get.

This article will discuss how you can get inbound calls, outsource them, and which real estate call center services you might want to consider.

The Meaning of Inbound Calls and Their Process

An inbound call happens when potential clients or customers call you first so they begin contact with your real estate business.

The opposite is the outbound calls that are part of real estate prospecting and are more proactive, which I already discussed in this article.

So, the difference between inbound and outbound calls is similar to that between pull and push marketing.

The cause for inbound calls is usually based on different marketing methods you applied prior.

That’s kind of obvious because how would potential customers know that your business even exists in the first place without you doing some sort of real estate marketing?

When you are a smaller real estate business or an independent real estate professional, you will mostly be the person handling the calls yourself.

Depending on your situation, you may also use an inbound call center service that handles your calls (more about inbound call center services later).

The importance of answering the phone fast is emphasized by these 3 statistics:

  • The vendor that responds first gets 30-50% of sales (source).
  • When potential customers can’t talk to a real person, they hang up 67% of the time (source).
  • For 75% of customers, it takes too long to reach someone live (source).

So, it might be critical for your real estate conversion rates to handle inbound calls effectively.

And by the way, inbound calls in the age of live chats can also come in text form.

Here are 4 examples of some typical inbound calls, some more and some less relevant to real estate:

 

  • Tech support (not relevant)
  • Sales inquiries (quite relevant)
  • Complaints (relevant)
  • Contract renewals (relevant for property managers)

How to Get Real Estate Inbound Calls

First, you can apply these different real estate marketing methods already discussed in several articles of mine to generate leads:

But besides these general methods and strategies to generate leads and thus also inbound calls, there are some rather concrete inbound call-attracting tactics you could use.

1) Include your phone number at the top of your website

You might be surprised how many websites of real estate professionals don’t display their phone numbers directly at the top of their page.

If you don’t have it there, website visitors may eventually find your phone number after several clicks.

But to bring them to act and increase your conversion rates, you want to have as little friction as possible and, thus, as few steps as possible to take action.

2) Have a callback option on your real estate website

Strictly speaking, a callback doesn’t count one hundred percent as an inbound call because it means that a website visitor can order/schedule a callback from you with the help of different WordPress plugins that can be included on your website, such as:

3) Enable the phone number to be copied via mobile devices

This will help users that visit your website on their mobile phones and makes your phone number clickable.

It only works when you don’t add the phone number as an image.

4) On Google Maps and on the Google business card, also add your phone number

5) Take Advantage of Google Ads

Besides the call ads you can run on Google Ads already discussed in this article, you can always add your phone number to the usual ads there.

Potential customers seeing your ads can click on the phone number in the ad and directly call you.

6) Add your phone number everywhere.

I have already given some examples, such as adding your phone number on Google Maps or the top of your website.

The idea is that you might want to think of many more places where you could add your phone number.

7) Take into consideration the different time zones of your potential customers

To serve the different time zones of your potential customers, you might want to consider extending business hours accordingly or, if they are way out of your time zone, using an inbound call service during certain hours.

8) Use a type of lead magnet that gives an incentive to call.

You could design a real estate lead magnet that is not a digital download or free little video course but, for example, a free real estate consultancy.

This one needs to be thought through well enough, so you don’t waste too much time giving too much away for free.

9) Have an omnichannel approach

In my article about following up in real estate, I already mentioned statistics about the importance and effectiveness of having an omnichannel follow-up system.

The same is true for your overall marketing activities to attract the right people.

If you use several communication or marketing channels, you can better increase people’s motivation to call you than just using one channel.

Using multiple marketing channels is, for example, when you run a Google search ad and also a Facebook campaign that retargets the same people that clicked on your search ad.

How to Outsource Real Estate Inbound Calls

We already saw in the beginning how important it is to be able to reply to inbound calls because 67% of callers hang up when they can’t talk to a real person, and 75% it takes too long to reach someone live.

The issue for real estate pros with a smaller business is that they can’t answer the phone one hundred percent of the time. 

They might be with a client, have a meeting, or need to do something else important where they can’t be interrupted all the time.

For these cases, outsourcing your inbound call handling to a real estate call center service with inbound agents can come in handy.

What are inbound agents, and what do they do?

Should you outsource your inbound calls to a real estate call center service, different inbound agents will usually handle incoming calls for you.

Most of the time, you can pre-define what they will need to do with your incoming leads.

Unless they are not already well-experienced in real estate sales and negotiations, they shouldn’t do the high-stake communication for you. 

They should rather just be the first human being your potential customer can talk to. They also should do things like pre-qualification, answering common questions, and helping you schedule a follow-up call (depending on how the pre-qualification turned out) that would then be done by you.

In other industries than real estate, inbound agents also do basic things like troubleshooting product or service issues. 

This could also be a use case for a property manager, where the focus is more on customer service.

Of course, if you are a real estate agent and want to strengthen your aftersales part, you may also focus more on customer service and use inbound agents for that with pre-defined use cases.

A good real estate call center service can follow your pre-defined instructions and scripts.

In this context, you may want to read my article about how to automate your real estate business.

It describes how you can identify different repeating tasks and create an operations manual out of them to better outsource them.

The better you can identify, define and describe the tasks related to your inbound real estate calls, the better the real estate call center service can handle this first phone contact when you can’t respond to the phone immediately.

How Many Calls a Day Can a Real Estate Call Center Take?

There may be the case that you have a really good marketing campaign that brings you a flood of daily calls that definitely can’t all be handled by you.

In this case, you might wonder how many calls a day a call center can take, but you may also wonder about their call center metrics.

So, first, how many calls can a call center take?

A call center agent can take up to 50 calls per working day (source) and since I don’t know about call centers that employ just one agent, you are more than likely covered with handling all your real estate inbound calls.

By the way, if you really want to get nerdy about the number of inbound agents you need, you can look at this interesting online calculator (source).

It is rather addressed to call center businesses wondering how many agents they would need to operate.

However, there are other metrics of call centers you might need to consider and thus help you make decisions on a real estate call center service.

Some of the metrics I will provide you here are more and others less relevant from the perspective of real estate customers that want to use a call center. 

Before deciding on a real estate call center, you may ask the respective provider to give you some of the metrics.

 

10 Call Center Metrics to Take Into Consideration

More Relevant for a Real Estate Pro

1) Abandonment Rate

This means the number of calls that do not even connect to an inbound agent and hang up before. 

Just a busy signal doesn’t count for the abandonment rate.

2) Average Talk Time (ATT), After Call Work (ACW), and Average Handle Time (AHT)

The average amount of time an agent talks to customers is the average talk time (ATT). 

The time an agent needs to wrap up a call is the After Call Work metric (ACW), and the Average Handle Time is when you combine the abovementioned metrics (ATT and ACW).

3) Service Level and Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

The service level is the number of seconds an agent takes to answer calls. 

The lower this number, the higher the service level can be considered.

4) First Call Resolution

This number measures the percentage of customer calls that could get resolved the first time.

5) Cost per Call

While this is rather from the perspective of the call center, it is also important to know it as a call center customer. 

So, this is the cost of a call arriving and being answered.

6) Call Quality

This metric asks how well an agent deals with customers and why industry standards don’t exist in this regard. 

Each call center usually has a list of criteria to determine the call quality. 

It can be things like how agents can resolve a call and how they answer and end the calls.

Less Relevant for a Real Estate Pro

1) Adherence and Shrinkage

How well an agent sticks to their schedule is defined as adherence. It is the relation between the time an agent works and the paid time. 

This is more relevant to measuring the performance of call center staff.

2) Punctuality and Attendance

These metrics are rather self-explanatory. 

Punctuality means an agent shows up on time for their working shift and is on time after breaks. 

Attendance means if an agent shows up for work in the first place.

3) Occupancy

The occupancy metric measures the capacity for call volumes. 

It checks how well the agents are scheduled for the call volumes.

4) Turnover

While this is also a metric for internal call center use, it is also good for you to know how the turnover is. 

It checks if staff members choose to leave or are being asked to leave (fired).

 

All Metrics at a Glance

More Relevant for a Real Estate ProLess Relevant for a Real Estate Pro
Abandonment RateAdherence and Shrinkage
Average Talk Time (ATT), After Call Work (ACW) and Average Handle Time (AHT)Punctuality and Attendance
Service Level and Average Speed of Answer (ASA)Occupancy
First Call ResolutionTurnover
Cost per Call
Call Quality

inbound call real estate

7 Real Estate Call Center Services

Now, I will provide you with a selection of seven different real estate call center services that received the highest ratings on Cluth.io.

I selected only the ones that would be suitable for rather small real estate businesses and that are U.S. based.

I checked individually if they also serve the real estate industry on each of their websites.

1) Davinci

  • Virtual office space

  • Live receptionists
  • Web chat services
  • Meeting spaces

Pricing:

No pricing information is publicly disclosed.

You can check it out here.

 

2) answerconnect

  • Live call answering
  • Live chat support
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Video calls

Pricing:

No pricing information is publicly disclosed.

You can check it out here.

 

3) VoiceNation

  • Mobile app
  • Call patching (forwarding urgent calls)
  • After hours of live answering
  • Bilingual operators
  • 24/7 service
  • Order processing
  • On-call scheduling
  • Reports and analytics
  • Call screening
  • Live chat
  • Online dashboard to manage scripts and calls
  • US-based operators

Pricing:

  • free 7-day trial
  • $39/month for 20 minutes (only this one doesn’t have custom scripting)
  • $89/month for 50 minutes
  • $249/month for 150 minutes
  • $449/month for 300 minutes
  • $799/month for 600 minutes

You can check it out here.

 

4) AnswerForce

  • Personal answering service
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Appointment setting
  • Lead capture with CRM integrations
  • Order taking

Pricing:

No pricing information is publicly disclosed without leaving your contact information.

You can check it out here.

5) Answering Service Care

  • Live answering services
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Call recording
  • Bilingual operators
  • Custom on-hold music
  • Post-call follow-up emails
  • On-call scheduling
  • Salesforce integration

Pricing:

  • 50 minutes for $49/month
  • 150 minutes for $145/month
  • 250 minutes for $225/month
  • 500 minutes for $440/month

You can check it out here.

6) Ruby

  • Live virtual receptionist and chat 24/7
  • Live call answering
  • Call routing by type of call
  • Optional bilingual answering
  • Appointment scheduling
  • 7 hold music choices and option for custom music
  • Local area phone number
  • Toll-free numbers
  • App for notifications
  • Voicemail transcriptions

Pricing:

  • 50 minutes for $199/month
  • 100 minutes for $309/month
  • 200 minutes for $589/month
  • 500 minutes for $1369/month

You can check it out here.

7) easybee

  • Live answering 24/7
  • Message taking
  • Call forwarding
  • Bilingual answering in English and Spanish
  • Scheduling

Pricing:

  • 50 minutes for $69/month
  • 100 minutes for $109/month
  • 200 minutes for $199/month
  • 300 minutes for $279/month
  • 400 minutes for $369/month

You can check it out here.

 

Complete Pricing Overview of All Mentioned Real Estate Call Center Services

ProviderPricing
Davincin.a
answerconnectn.a
VoiceNation$39 - $799 per Month
AnswerForcen.a.
Answering Service Care$49 - $449 per Month
Ruby$49 - $449 per Month
easybee$69 - $369

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher

Tobias Schnellbacher