Getting that extra engagement from buyers and vendors with PropertyFile
Northamptonshire-based estate agents Mike Neville have embedded Alto’s PropertyFile functionality into their Rushden branch – and it’s led to benefits across sales journeys for their buyers and vendors.
Tell us a bit about your operation
Our branch is in Rushden in Northamptonshire. We work across sales and lettings, but only use PropertyFile on the sales side at the moment.
We’ve been using the vendor portal aspect of PropertyFile for some time, and have recently activated the applicant portal feature.
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We tend to be the first of our branches to adopt new technology, with the other branches following later. We envisage PropertyFile following this same pattern, with us expanding it out to our other branches soon.
Which systems did you use for customer communications before using PropertyFile?
It was a very manual process, just using spreadsheets and that sort of thing. PropertyFile has really complemented what we do in terms of customer communication, and made the whole process so much slicker and easier.
What drove your decision to start using PropertyFile?
We wouldn’t have necessarily gone out of our way to find something like this – but the fact that it seamlessly syncs with Alto means it’s a case of ‘Why wouldn’t we?’. Now we use it, we couldn’t imagine being without it.
What changes have you noticed since you started using the platform?
For software to work, it needs to have a genuine benefit for the customer. Sometimes it can complicate rather than complement – and that’s where PropertyFile really stands out, in that straight away they can see the benefit for their sale or purchase.
And how would you say your customers have benefitted specifically?
We pride ourselves on offering a personal service, but in reality, you can’t always speak to people face-to-face – especially if the vendor works shifts or is abroad, for example.
That’s why PropertyFile has been so brilliant for us – it lets us meet the vendor need for information so much more quickly. They can see all of the viewing requests and feedback for themselves. It’s particularly useful for vendors who have more than one property.
Some vendors want feedback from a viewing really quickly, straight after the viewing, particularly if the property is vacant. PropertyFile helps us do that in a much more efficient way, especially when we’re out and about between viewings.
Altogether, it’s helped keep our customers happy – without it, they wouldn’t have had that extra point of contact.
Would you say PropertyFile has helped you generate more engagement from your vendors and buyers overall?
We’ve implemented PropertyFile valuation and viewing request widgets on our website – this pulls straight into Alto, making us a much slicker operation overall.
At the other end, we’ve found that issuing requests for feedback on viewings through PropertyFile generates much more useful, honest feedback from the buyer than you can get through a phone call.
Also, because it’s so easy to submit the feedback, you’re much more likely to get feedback through PropertyFile anyway.
Being able to choose exactly what vendors see is also a big benefit, so that we can tailor what they see and ensure it fits into our overall communications strategy.
The market is particularly busy at the minute – has PropertyFile helped on that front?
To say we’re busy at the moment is an understatement – we’ve completed more sales in the past few months than we have in the same timeframes over the past few years. So PropertyFile has been key in keeping those sales moving.
Customers are aware of certain info before we speak to them. We’ll put certain notes under the milestones and they’ll then have the document we need ready much more quickly.
And it works both ways – often they’ll proactively email us on the back of info they’ve seen in PropertyFile.
Also, in the viewing feedback request area, we’ve noticed a reduction in phone calls, because of the ability of the vendor to self-service in PropertyFile.
When you’re simultaneously dealing with around 40-50 viewings as we are, that all adds up to a massive time saving.
And, that frees us up to focus on other tasks that will help grow the business, generating more viewings and listings, for example.
Would you recommend PropertyFile to a fellow agent and if so, why specifically?
I think one of the key benefits for agents is transparency. Vendors can see for themselves the viewing requests for their properties – and that’s especially useful to open up further dialogue about sales strategies.
It’s really user-friendly and makes us more thorough and efficient as a business. And we get great feedback on the system itself from our vendors – they’re always really impressed with it. It’s a great addition to the relationships we already have with our customers.
Find out more about how PropertyFile can boost your vendor and buyer engagement – book a free, no obligation demo today.