Following an analysis of over a quarter of a million applicant enquiries sent from agent websites and the property portals, Reapit Analytics have found that just 43% of enquiries are made during normal working hours.
Agents will also be handling telephone enquiries and other forms of contact during working hours, meaning that activity levels are still generally higher during the day, but the volume of out-of-hours enquiries represents a meaningful proportion of leads. For the purposes of this research, normal working hours are defined as Monday to Saturday 9am – 6pm.
Much has been made of agents’ responsiveness to enquiries in recent times with suggestions that many take too long to respond. In this detailed chart, we look at the total breakdown of internet enquiries received as a percentage of total enquiries, hour by hour, throughout the week, with green representing quieter periods and red representing peak times.
Even for the most diligent and customer-focused agents, this data presents a big challenge. Internet enquiries are coming in 24/7 with many of the busiest periods occurring outside of normal working hours. Monday evening after 9pm was the busiest hour of the week with Monday to Thursday evenings generally being the most active times for internet enquiries. Sunday afternoons and evenings were also a significantly active period when agent offices are traditionally closed and a timely human response is not possible.
With customers used to being able to carry out comprehensive self-service in banking, shopping, travel and other sectors at times that suit them, the approach of waiting for any form of response until the next working day could be seen as somewhat outmoded and inconvenient. Previously, there has been little choice or alternative, but online agents have started to deliver in this arena with features like online booking and automated responses to other requests and customers are responding positively to this shift in doing things on their terms.
Reapit is helping its customers to compete in this arena with tools like our integrated website trackers and autoresponders to portal enquiries with the aim to ensure they can provide a great first impression to potential clients at any time, day or night. This research is part of a wider analysis of trends in internet registrations covering differences in how, when and by whom registrations were generated and how they were handled, or indeed not handled, by agents. We also look at what happened subsequent to the registration in terms of offers and listings.
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About the data: The data in this report is taken from a sample of just over a thousand offices and represents a broad spectrum of geographies and agency sizes from single office operations to national brands. All are based and operating in the UK property market and using Reapit’s award-winning software solutions to automatically process internet registrations. The data covers all applicant internet registrations processed by Reapit for these clients between January 1st 2016 and June 30th 2016. Just over two-hundred and seventy-eight thousand records were examined in total. A snapshot of the current status of the contacts linked to each internet registration was taken on 18th August 2016 and this is the data used to calculate handling and conversion rates.