The late Bob Hoskins once said, “it’s good to talk,” and he wasn’t wrong. The famous actor may have been referring to conversations had over the phone, but everyone knows using a telephone is so 1995. Today, it’s all about messaging and live chats. Especially if you’re a letting agent or renter.
The last 20 years have seen a general shift in the way people consume content. We live in a tech-driven world where hailing a cab, ordering food from a restaurant, and watching an entire season of Stranger Things on Netflix provides instant gratification - and the experience often starts in your pocket.
Such expectations have shifted into communication, and renters looking for their next home expect an instant level of interaction. If you’re a letting agent, you have the opportunity to facilitate renters’ needs and create an enjoyable experience for the renters when it comes to finding a new home.
Happy renters equal happy tenants, which also makes landlords happy. And happy landlords mean you’re doing a top-notch job. It’s a win-win-win, and it’s communication that is the main driver behind all that happiness.
Here’s how to have great chats with renters.
Unlike most live chats, the initial message from a renter often serves a more defined purpose. While some might be thinking about moving, most have already decided to find a new home. And, more often than not, the renter will be asking about a specific property.
This puts you in a great position to move things forward. Being friendly goes without saying, but sometimes you can easily find yourself stuck between a cordial and professional tone.
Come across as too casual, and you might find yourself slipping into the kind of text speak you share with your friends. However, this is a chat, and the word lends itself to being more relaxed. Coming across too formal doesn’t usually evoke calm in the people you’re interacting with - especially as lots of renters are in the 25-35 age bracket.
Striking a balance here is key. Do so, and it offers the best chance to set things off to a good tone.
Finding a new home can be stressful. Some renters are moving through choice, while others have been forced into the move: everyone’s circumstances are different. Being relatable and understanding the ‘why’ in a renter’s reason for moving will go a long way.
Get a feel for their situation. There could be more behind that seemingly simple request for a one-bed flat. At the very least, finding out a renter’s reason for moving helps them feel more comfortable in the situation.
As an agent, you’ve likely been in this scenario many times before. For some renters, however, it’s their first experience of renting. Knowing they are talking to someone who ‘gets’ their situation will have you striking the right chords.
Understand the uniqueness of live chats
Many letting agents are used to arranging viewings and conversing with renters over the phone and via email, where lots of information is exchanged. Live chats might be more informal, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the details. Treat live chats the same as any other method where you receive a lead.
Get renters registered, suggest alternatives properties if need be, and ask the right questions to find the best possible solution for the person enquiring. The point of live chat is to make everything more accessible, which is beneficial for the renter and the letting agent.
It’s much easier opening an app and finding your latest communications than it is sifting through your inbox and complicated email threads. Renters also benefit from keeping all their communications with multiple agents in one handy place.
Keep it active
Be positive in your communication by using active text instead of passive. You don’t need to be a wordsmith, conjuring up great lines more akin to dramatic Shakspearian moments. But, you know, sounding like you’ve got a ‘can do’ attitude makes a big difference.
What do we mean by passive and active? A passive conversation goes along the lines of, “Thanks for registering. Your details will be processed by our admin,” whereas active sounds a bit more encouraging: “Thanks for registering. I will get the admin department to process your details.”
The differences might seem small but have the potential to make a big difference in the tone of the conversation. Keeping an active tone is more assertive and will give renters more confidence in your ability as an agent. Building confidence is key, and using positive language is one way of doing it.
One of live chat’s most significant benefits is its convenience. Renters don’t always have time to pick up the phone and make a call, especially if they’re busy with work. Being able to fire off a quick question in a message is a time-saver.
If you’re the letting agent who can respond to that message quickly, then you’re already on your way to providing a five-star service. The convenience of live chat means that both parties don’t need to message during working hours. We’re not suggesting that you reply to a query at one in the morning, but live chat helps you to be more available.
Becoming a live chat whizz increases your chances of fostering better relationships with renters. In turn, the likelihood of finding good-quality renters for your landlords also increases - especially if you’re using Movebubble’s chat feature.
With features like “suggest properties,” being able to keep everything on a single channel, and the ability to pre-qualify renters opens up and faster and more intuitive ways to find tenants.
After all, it’s good to talk - just as long as it’s by live chat.