Will RCS shape the future of customer communications for estate agencies?

Topic: Real Estate

Estate Agencies are facing some particularly difficult tests in 2018: property viewings are down (source), and so is the actual number of properties being sold (source).
To stay successful, estate agencies should be looking to find more inventive ways to interact with their customers, and in turn make sure that communications aren’t thrown in the bin, or lost in email inboxes. This is why we think RCS is so important to the property market.

What is RCS and what are the opportunities it presents to Estate Agencies?

RCS (Rich Communication Services) is designed to replace SMS as the default message format on Android devices over the next few years, and represents significant functionality improvements over the previous platform.
Estate Agencies will be able to use new tools like Call-to-Action buttons, images, maps and chat. The ease with which interactions can take place will appeal to all demographics who are keen to self-serve, rather than interact with agents through a telephone call. Processes such as booking a house viewing can be completely automated with the estate agents themselves benefiting from a reduced strain on their in-house agents.

What are the applications of RCS for Estate Agencies?

Here are just a few of the ways we’re currently exploring with our customers to provide more engaging interactions.
Rich property alerts
Getting an email property alert is great, but they can often get lost or ignored. SMS has a read rate of 95% compared to email’s 20% (source) but only supports simple text. With RCS, images, video, text, and maps can all be included which provides much more information, without having to navigate away from the messaging app.

Property cross/up – sales
As well as sending recommendations for properties which match customers’ search criteria, estate agents can also recommend properties which fall slightly outside of these boundaries. Properties from different price brackets, have an extra bedroom, or located in a nearby location can be put forward, and in turn increase the chances of making a sale.

Chat with an agent
With any property alert a button can be included to “Chat with an agent”, which, when selected, can either initiate a phone call or a text based chat which will take place within the same message interaction.

Booking a branch appointment/house viewing
After a potential customer has seen a property they like, they can register their feedback through the RCS interaction and book a follow-on viewing if required. By linking with the estate agents’ in-house CRM system a calendar can be presented which shows availability and allows a time and date to be selected.

Document exchanges
RCS is a great way to exchange important documentation when it comes to buying and selling property. Estate agents can reduce their postage costs and see instant delivery confirmations, while buyers and sellers can speed up the sales process without having to wait days at a time for the next stage of their transaction to begin.

 

How can Estate Agencies get started with RCS?

If you’re interested to know more about how Estate agencies can best use RCS, and how Esendex can make it work more effectively for you, please get in contact with our team today on 0345 356 5758 or email us at sales@esendex.com.

Author Avatar
Warren Delay

Hi, I'm Warren, and I'm the Product Marketing Manager here at Esendex, specialising in product positioning / requirement. I also have an extensive knowledge of product management, and love working at the cutting edge of new tech!