The 8 Best Real Estate Phone Answering Services in 2024

Jim Gray, Lead Generation Expert6/10/2024

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There’s a lot at stake when it comes to answering leads. A single person can’t respond to every lead they get, but missing out on a great deal because of an unanswered phone call or clumsy follow-up is a painful feeling. To avoid missing out, you may want to use an answering service—companies that handle business calls on your behalf.

What’s great about that? Besides not missing important calls, you can improve your customer service experience and increase efficiency for your business. There are plenty of services out there that offer automated or live calling, but it can be hard to nail down the right one for your business.

Luckily for you, AgentAdvice has spent hundreds of hours researching the best of the best so you don’t have to. We’ve broken down our eight favorite answering service providers into different categories based on features, price, and specialty. Here are the best answering services for your business in 2024!

The 8 Best Answering Services Your Business Should Use This Year

Best Overall Answering Service

Trident

Lead Types
N/A
Features
Flat-rate pricing, assistant replacement guarantee
Best For
Solo agents & small teams
2nd Best Overall Answering Service

Raiya

Lead Types
N/A
Features
Live AI calls and texts, top-of-the-line technology
Best For
Solo agents
Best After Hours Phone + Chat Service

Money Penny

Lead Types
N/A
Features
In-house team-style feel, strong integrations
Best For
Single agents, brokers & teams
Best for Instant Activation

VoiceNation

Lead Types
N/A
Features
Robust online dashboard, easy-to-use app
Best For
Solo agents
Most Affordable Answering Service

MAP Communications

Lead Types
N/A
Features
Custom scripts, best value
Best For
Solo agents & teams
Best Admin Assistant

Davinci Virtual

Lead Types
N/A
Features
Front-to-back administrative support
Best For
Brokers & teams
Best for Dedicated Service

Abby Connect

Lead Types
N/A
Features
Dedicated receptionist team, custom transfer music
Best For
Solo agents & teams
Most Scaleable Plan

AnswerConnect

Lead Types
N/A
Features
ActiveResponse lead capture, great mobile app
Best For
Solo agents

Beautiful,Smiling,Woman,With,Headphones,Using,Computer,While,Counseling,AtUse the right automated answering service for your business

There are plenty of answering services out there with their unique features and advantages, but each one is geared for a particular kind of operation. If you’re struggling to decide which service is the best, consider how you’re handling calls now and what would supplement your current system. A professional answering service should complement your business!

We at AgentAdvice do the research so you don’t have to! We hope this guide has given you some insight into features to look for and what kind of answering service is right for you. 

Advice from the Pros About Real Estate Answering Services

jim gray headshotEarly in my career, I was an ambitious real estate agent with big dreams and an undeniable passion for my profession. I had a strong work ethic and a deep commitment to providing exceptional service to my clients. However, I found myself facing significant challenges when it came to managing my communication effectively.

Without an answering service to support me, I often felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of calls I received on a daily basis. Juggling client inquiries, leads, and administrative tasks became a constant struggle. I found myself constantly playing catch-up, rushing from one call to another, and trying to respond to messages while on the go.

The lack of a dedicated answering service meant that I had to rely solely on my own availability to address client calls. It seemed as though the phone never stopped ringing, and I felt the pressure to be available at all times. I would answer calls during family dinners, while attending important meetings, or even in the middle of the night. It took a toll on my personal life and made it difficult for me to find a healthy work-life balance.

Missed calls became a more regular occurrence for me. With my attention divided between multiple tasks, I would often find myself unable to answer every call promptly. As a result, potential leads slipped through my fingers, and existing clients were left frustrated with delayed responses. I knew that missed opportunities could harm my business growth, but I felt helpless in finding a solution that allowed me to be available round the clock.

The absence of an answering service also affected my ability to provide consistent and professional customer service. On busy days, voicemails piled up, and returning calls became a time-consuming task. Clients grew impatient and sought assistance from other agents who were more readily available. I realized that my reputation was at stake, and I couldn’t afford to lose clients due to communication gaps.

Plus, the lack of a centralized system for managing messages and inquiries made it challenging for me to stay organized. Sticky notes, scattered messages, and endless email threads made it difficult to track important conversations and maintain accurate records. It led to confusion, miscommunication, and occasional errors in relaying crucial information to clients.

Feeling the weight of these struggles, I realized that I needed a solution to enhance my communication and regain control over my business. I recognized that an answering service could be the key to alleviating my burdens. By having a team of trained professionals handle incoming calls, I could focus on providing dedicated service to my clients and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

With newfound determination, I began my search for a reliable answering service. I explored different options, seeking a service that aligned with my specific needs and understood the demands of the real estate industry. I knew that by investing in an answering service, I would not only enhance my communication but also regain my peace of mind and the confidence to take my business to new heights.

As I embarked on this new chapter, I remained hopeful that the struggles I had faced without an answering service would soon become a distant memory. I was ready to embrace the support and efficiency that a professional answering service could provide, eager to transform my communication challenges into triumphs and build a thriving real estate business that exceeded my wildest expectations.

Answering Service Feature Guide

When considering an answering service, it’s important to look for specific features that align with your business needs. Here’s a guide to some essential answering service features:

  1. Live Call Answering: Ensure that the service offers live call answering by trained professionals who can handle calls promptly and professionally. This ensures a personal touch and avoids automated systems or voicemail-only options.
  2. 24/7 Customer Support: Verify if the answering service operates round the clock, including weekends and holidays. This ensures that your business remains accessible to customers at all times.
  3. Automated Answering Support: The use of automated systems and technology to handle incoming calls and provide customer support without the need for live operators. It involves using interactive voice response (IVR) systems, chatbots, or other automated tools to interact with callers and address their inquiries or concerns.
  4. Customized Call Handling: Look for an answering service that allows you to provide detailed call handling instructions, so the agents can handle calls according to your specific requirements and protocols.
  5. Message Taking and Delivery: Ensure that the service can accurately and promptly take messages from callers, including relevant details such as caller information, reason for the call, and preferred contact method. Messages should be delivered to you through channels like email, text messages, or a secure online portal.
  6. Call Patching and Transferring: Check if the service offers call patching or call transferring capabilities. This allows urgent calls or calls requiring specific attention to be seamlessly connected to the appropriate person or department within your organization.
  7. Bilingual Support: If your business serves customers who speak different languages, consider an answering service that offers bilingual support to cater to a diverse customer base.
  8. Setting Appointments: If appointment scheduling is essential for your business, look for a service that can handle scheduling tasks, update calendars, and send reminders to customers.
  9. CRM Integration: If you use customer relationship management (CRM) software, consider an answering service that integrates with your CRM system. This allows for efficient call management, automatic logging of call details, and seamless synchronization of customer information.
  10. Scalability: Ensure that the answering service can accommodate your business’s growth and fluctuating call volumes. Scalability allows you to adjust service levels as your business expands or experiences seasonal variations.
  11. Reporting and Analytics: Look for a service that provides detailed call logs, performance reports, and analytics. This helps you evaluate call trends, measure service quality, and make informed decisions based on data.
  12. Automated Order Taking: Offers several benefits, including increased efficiency, reduced order processing time, and the ability to handle orders outside of regular business hours. It allows businesses to capture orders accurately and promptly, improving customer satisfaction and streamlining the overall order fulfillment process.

Remember to assess your specific business needs and prioritize the features that align with your goals and customer expectations. It’s also recommended to request demos or trials from potential answering service providers to experience their features firsthand and make an informed decision.

FAQs

What is a phone answering service?

A phone answering service is a third-party company that handles incoming calls for businesses. Trained professionals act as virtual receptionists, answering calls, taking messages, and providing basic information to callers. It ensures businesses never miss important calls and provides prompt and professional assistance. It’s particularly useful for industries with high call volumes or 24/7 availability needs.

Overall, a phone answering service serves as a valuable extension of a business’s communication infrastructure. It provides a professional and reliable point of contact for callers, enhances customer service, and helps businesses manage their incoming calls more effectively. By outsourcing call handling to a specialized service, businesses can improve their responsiveness, free up internal resources, and ensure that every call is handled with care and professionalism.

How do answering services work?

Answering services work by having trained professionals handle incoming calls on behalf of businesses. Here’s a simplified breakdown of how they operate:

  • Call Routing: Calls to the business are redirected to the answering service. This can be done through call forwarding or by assigning a dedicated phone number to the service.
  • Call Answering: The answering service’s team of receptionists answer the calls using customized scripts provided by the business. They greet callers professionally and gather necessary information.
  • Message Taking: Receptionists take detailed messages, including caller names, contact information, and the purpose of the call. They ensure accurate and thorough information capture.
  • Call Handling Instructions: Businesses provide specific instructions on call handling, such as forwarding urgent calls or transferring to specific individuals or departments.
  • Message Delivery: Messages are promptly delivered to the business through various channels, such as email, text messages, or a secure online portal. Businesses can access and respond to messages at their convenience.
  • Additional Services: Some answering services offer additional services like appointment scheduling, order taking, or lead qualification, depending on the specific needs of the business.

Overall, answering services act as a professional extension of a business’s communication infrastructure, ensuring that calls are answered, messages are taken, and customers receive prompt assistance. They help businesses manage their calls efficiently, enhance customer service, and improve overall communication effectiveness.

How much do answering services typically cost?

The cost of answering services can vary depending on several factors, including the service provider, the level of service required, call volume, and additional features. Typically, answering services charge on a per-minute basis for the time spent on each call. Some may also have a monthly subscription fee or offer different pricing plans based on the expected call volume.

To give you a rough estimate, basic answering services can range from around $0.50 to $1.50 per minute. More comprehensive packages or services that require specialized knowledge or skills may have higher rates. Monthly subscription fees can start from around $50 to $100, depending on the service provider and the features included.

It’s important to note that these figures are just general estimates, and the actual cost can vary. Some answering services may offer customized pricing based on the specific needs of a business, so it’s advisable to contact different service providers and request quotes based on your requirements.

When evaluating the cost of an answering service, it’s essential to consider the value it provides to your business. The ability to capture potential leads, offer 24/7 availability, and enhance customer service can contribute to increased revenue and customer satisfaction. Assess your business needs, compare pricing options, and consider the potential return on investment when determining if an answering service is worth the cost for your specific situation.

About the Author

Jim Gray got licensed in 2013 and sold 57 houses in his first year. Over the next 6 1/2 years he went on to sell 437 homes with a small team. He went on to manage the lead generation department of the 13th largest expansion team at Keller Williams and designed lead generation and conversion systems for 60 agents in 7 locations in 4 states that drove 600 home sales in a 2 year period. Jim currently does real estate team development and coaching for some of the largest real estate teams in the country.

Last Updated: 6/10/2024