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Bridges Estate Agents
25th March 2014 Voice, Matthew Cox
Bridges is a well-established, professional Estate Agent in South East England, specialising in residential sales, lettings and new homes.
Bridges currently has eight sites situated in the Hampshire and Surrey areas of the UK. This includes a new branch recently opened in Farnham, Surrey.
- Bridges is a highly respected, growing Estate Agent operating in the South of England
- Their previous telecoms setup was incapable of supporting their business & expansion plans
- The company previously dealt with multiple providers, proving both costly and confusing
- The new solution needed to improve connectivity between branches, prove reliable with a strong feature-set, and provide Bridges with a single point of contact – while demonstrating a solid ROI
- Nomis Connections achieved a 40% reduction in overall call costs, including a 63% reduction in mobile call costs
- Improved connectivity across eight branches allows customer calls to be transferred around the network at will
- Nomis Connections provide Bridges with a single point of contact for telecoms across their business – simplifying provider relations
Bridges’ previous solution was proving unreliable and no longer up to the task of handling communication in a multi-site business of their size. Nor could it handle expansion plans.
The main limitation of their previous phone system was the inability to transfer calls between branches – something staff, and management, found frustrating.
Little interconnectivity across their eight branches made communication inefficient: Should Bridges wish to pass a call to another branch, staff had to request that the caller dials the branch directly. This raised concerns that the approach wasn’t ‘sticky’ enough, and risked losing callers to competitors rather than calling back.
In addition, Bridges previously dealt with a number of different telecoms suppliers. This setup was confusing for all involved, and needed to be simplified.
Carlo Stocchetti, Group Managing Director at Bridges, took the decision to replace the current setup across their eight branches, in order to achieve three main objectives:
The first, and most crucial, was the ability to transfer calls between branches without the caller needing to redial.
The second was to ensure that the new setup is secure and reliable, so that the systems would carry the business forward without worry.
The third was to deal with a single supplier for their telecoms solution as a whole.
Alongside these objectives, Carlo needed a solution where both customers and staff benefited from the features of the system.
Carlo approached local telecoms specialist Nomis Connections, tasking them with implementing a solution to meet these objectives.
With our plans to expand to eight offices it was crucial to find a solution that enabled the customer, and our staff, to have quality features and robust communications; and most importantly that customer calls could be transferred at will around our network.
Carlo Stocchetti - Group Managing Director, Bridges Estate Agents.
Connectivity across branches
It’s vital for Bridges that if a prospect rings into a branch, and needs to speak to a negotiator at another branch, staff can easily transfer the call to the right person.
Nomis Connections administered a solution that connected Bridges’ branches by installing phone systems across their eight sites. The systems allow staff to conference and transfer calls between branches for free.
The solution enhanced communication between staff, across branches, and with clients – allowing calls to be transferred at will around their network, and ensuring callers speak with someone able to address their enquiry straight away.
Reliable, efficient communication
The systems offer the latest technology to give Bridges the reliability required: Additional phones can be added to facilitate new staff, and new branches can form part of their existing network. This makes the solution both reliable and future-proof.
The systems also present a feature-set that both Bridges’ staff and customers benefit from.
Informed decisions, improved efficiency: Alongside their phone systems, Nomis Connections provided Bridges with TIM call logging software.
Call logging enables Bridges to streamline processes according to customer needs – ensuring staff are working when needed most, and minimising lost calls. This makes Bridges more efficient operationally.
Bridges’ management staff can access powerful statistical information on calls into and out of each branch. This information allows management to track call patterns through wall boards and detailed reports, and amend branch opening hours accordingly.
Single point of contact
Bridges’ solution was installed by Nomis Connections with little downtime to the business, and is now fully maintained and supported by the Nomis Support Desk – giving Bridges’ staff a single point of contact if they have any queries or faults.
Competitive mobile calls
Bridges frequently make calls to mobiles rather than landlines, as most buyers and sellers are not available at home during standard business hours. This results in a high number of mobile calls – which can prove costly.
As a result, Bridges were placed on a competitive mobile call tariff. This reduced their mobile call spend by 63% a month – showing a conclusive return on investment.
Return on investment
In addition to a solid feature-set that addressed Bridges’ main objectives, Nomis Connections also demonstrated a strong return on investment for the solution:
Keeping an enquirer on the line, instead of giving them another branch’s number to call, is key to Bridges securing customers. With a potential revenue of around £5k per transaction, the risk of losing an enquirer to a competitor needed to be eliminated. As inter-branch calls and transfers are free of charge, Bridges have achieved this with no extra costs incurred.
Alongside valuable insight for management, Bridges’ call logging software provides key information and performance statistics that will help ensure peak times are covered, and ROI on new enquiries is maximised.
Having a single provider has simplified things administratively for Bridges; reducing the company’s costs on recurring monthly charges and invoice processing.
40% saving on call costs: A tailored call rate aided in cost-justifying the project; reducing Bridges’ total call spend by 40%, including a 63% reduction in their mobile call spend.
Nomis Connections’ solution provides Bridges with a solid and reliable telecoms setup; one that aids efficiency within Bridges, ensuring that customers are looked after in the best way possible. The solution met with all Carlo’s original objectives and has provided a notable return on investment.
With the continued support of Nomis Connections, Bridges have a telecoms setup that meets all present expectations, and will continue to meet future needs as the business grows.
Nomis were able to achieve the goal on time, at budget and with little impact on downtime to our business. The net result is we feel more efficient and productive and the ongoing data and support has really been helpful when making decisions going forward with strategy and further expansion.
Carlo Stocchetti - Group Managing Director, Bridges Estate Agents.
Industry Analysis: Estate Agents at a Glance
The telephone is the main medium of communication between estate agents and their clients – be they buyers, sellers or tenants. It’s also the main medium of communication between branches for multi-site estate agents.
The dynamic nature of the industry emphasises the importance of clear, collaborative communications for estate agents – allowing their staff to converse with clients, and between sites, in the most efficient way possible.
Branches need to be flexible due to the business to consumer (B2C) nature of the industry – as agents often need to make calls and schedule viewings outside the normal 9-5 business hours. Staff are also frequently out of the office at viewings, meaning they may be unavailable to speak. Both aspects emphasise the importance of flexible communication.
Due to the competitive nature of the industry, it’s imperative that estate agents align their sales and marketing to make themselves as ‘sticky’ as possible – keeping the consumer attached to their brand. Customers who receive an unsatisfactory service will simply go to the competition.
Although house sellers are primarily price-driven when selecting agents, the reputation and appearance of the estate agent also influences decisions; clients are likely to select an agent who shows enthusiasm and professionalism. Communication plays a great role in this situation: If the agent is difficult to get hold of, the client can perceive this as un-interest, and look elsewhere. This makes telecommunication a key resource for estate agents.