Are staff mobile phones a necessity or a luxury?
The property industry is all about people and building great relationships with clients, vendors, buyers and tenants.
The best staff will be both effective relationship builders and effective managers of their time. They will almost guarantee company growth and that much-loved commission.
Constantly refining ways to build good client relationships seems like a great investment and a no-brainer? But is a mobile phone the answer for all staff?
Business Development Staff
Negotiators and valuers must have a company mobile and won’t deliver to the best of their ability without one. A good Estate Agent’s office is an empty office, where everyone is out on viewings and valuations. Considering that those money-makers are mostly out of the office and on the go, a work provided mobile phone becomes nothing less than a necessity.
In addition, most top-performing agents are available for their clients even after working hours, as well as over the weekend. Providing ready contact makes a world of difference in winning a sale or a new instruction.
Admin and Managing Staff
Property managers, client accountants and other less ‘mobile’ members of the team provide a more challenging business justification for business mobile phones. Different agents have set up their operations in many varied ways. Plus Covid has required quick solutions to staff not being able to work from the office – mobile being the quick fix.
Some property managers traditionally spend almost as much time out of the office as some of the negotiators. Some managers, leave the office only a few times a week to attend property inspections and occasional emergencies.
Often management roles require communication in writing for record keeping and legal reasons. Adding a mobile phone becomes handy for unexpected emergency situations, where time to react can make a difference. But their work is mostly based in front of a computer.
Where such staff have been provided with laptops or computers, it is worth considering desktop phone apps such as Skype for Business which provide phone-in and phone-out capabilities. Collaboration apps such as Rentancy which is property focused and Slack also allow teams to message in groups and react in realtime with different conversation topics.
In summary, we believe that the business case is compelling for all sales staff to be contactable even if out of the office – ie, a mobile phone is a necessity. For other roles, especially in these Covid ‘new normal’ times it may now be that all staff need to be provided with mobiles but perhaps in combination with desktop voice apps and collaboration apps.
For all agents, we recommend an annual review of the business case. We believe communication by staff internally or externally is at the heart of business success. Either by voice, email, chat or collaboration.
Regardless of how many phones a business needs, remember that mobile phone carriers offer good incentives and deals for switching annually or for renewing a contract too.