With the onset of COVID and the current climate in the building industry, having time as an OSC is nonexistent. Homebuyers are forced to begin their search online whether they like it or not. Even prior to the pandemic, the internet has become the top source when searching for a new home. With the amount of volume that builders are seeing across the country, OSC’s are becoming more and more spread thin.
Imagine you are a baseball player practicing your swinging skills. You are clutching the base of the bat in preparation for the automatic pitcher to send the first ball your way. You see the first ball release and as you go to swing you realize that the machine is malfunctioning. The second, third, fourth, fifth ball and so on are shooting out flying towards you. You, at first, attempt to hit the balls with your bat but realize you cannot react as quickly as they are being released. You end up running away in fear of getting bombarded. This is similar to the anxiety an OSC feels when leads keep rolling in.
Long gone are the days when a few form-fills and phone calls rolled in at a reasonable, sane pace allowing OSC’s to actually do their job and answer fast, provide personalized service, and listen to a prospect’s pain points. Now, builders are receiving calls, emails, messages via chat, text messages and a myriad of other ways homebuyers make their way to the top of lead funnel. It’s a never-ending cycle and they just keep coming, same as the baseballs in the malfunctioning automatic pitcher.
How do we combat the constant attack? We time-block and prioritize!
In any life situation, we prioritize. What needs to happen first (A) before we move on to B, C, and D? What is the most important task or set of tasks that will give you the most return on your time and efforts? Or to be blunt, what action and tasks will ultimately put money in your pocket and in turn, your builder’s pocket, when it comes to online sales?
This is where time blocking comes in to play
Take an eight-hour workday and block it out. An hour and a half to clean out your inbox, 2 hours in your day to return phone calls. 3 hours to manage your daily tasks in your CRM and so on.
Within these time-blocks, prioritize – Return those phone calls and answer those emails to the leads who are ready, willing, and able to set an appointment. Respond to the leads that are coming in asking questions on how quickly they can move into their dream home. Yes, as an outsider it may seem like a no-brainer. However, when you’re immersed in the day-to-day actions with baseballs (leads) being thrown in every direction, it gets harder and harder to strategize. Remember to time-block downtime too, you know, like lunch and bathroom breaks? We aren’t robots.
It’s also important to keep in mind that interruptions WILL happen. Someone will need something and ask for it hurriedly, however, stick to the designated schedule and do not let leads run the show. Keeping sanity is the goal.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is, no one is dying.
If an OSC is on a call with a potential homebuyer, and a text message comes in along with 3 new emails, those 4 people can wait.
- Setting up autoresponders to text messages and emails will make a world of difference
- Having a welcoming voice message stating that their call was received and will be called back soon as possible is necessary
Swinging frantically is no good for anyone
An OSC should not have to feel rushed or frantic knowing that those new leads cannot be attended to at that very moment. Not that we take the job lightly, but OSC’s are simply that, online sales consultants, NOT surgeons. It is not a life-or-death situation. As long as an OSC lets the lead know that they will be back in touch with them at some point, that is ALL they can do.
Give the attention to the person we are currently talking to is the most important thing we can do. It will show we genuinely care.
Lastly, an OSC’s job is never-ending
However, it HAS to be. We no longer can do this job 24/7. It’s a recipe for burnout. At some point, turning off the phones, emails, texts, etc. is crucial. Remember, OSC’s are not physicians on call who take pages from ailing patients throughout the night. OSC’s are assisting potential buyers on the homebuying process. It can wait until the morning. This is where AI and chatbots, can really help those night owls who want to talk all night long. But that’s a post for another day.
If you are in a constant flurry of balls being thrown at you day after day, week after week, month after month it’s time to re-evaluate growing your team.
Just remember, relaxation matters, family matters, health matters and OSC’s time matters. Take a step back, breathe and move on to the next homebuying lead.