Case Study: Winkworth Southfields

Winkworth partner with YourBusinessNumber on WhatsApp solution for all branches.
Adam Taylor, Senior Negotiator, Winkworth Southfields and George Lineker, Co-Founder, YourBusinessNumber.
 Rolling out WhatsApp Business with YourBusinessNumber has ensured we are more GDPR compliant and saved our staff so much time compared to phone calls.
- Adam Taylor AssocARLA, Senior Negotiator, Winkworth Southfields
Branch: Southfields, London

Branch Director: Russell White - rwhite@winkworth.co.uk 

Key Takeaways:

- Russell and his team have been using YourBusinessNumber with WhatsApp Business for over two months…

- The team’s comms are now more GDPR compliant

- It was easy for staff to set up both WhatsApp Business (for work messages) and WhatsApp Messenger (for personal messages) on the same phone

- Using instant messaging is quicker and more efficient, leading to stronger relationships with clients.

- Clients prefer instant messaging over email and phone

- Staff feel they are more able to ‘leave work in the office’ during out of office hours and have a better work-life balance

How can a busy estate agent team leverage WhatsApp Business to get the best results for their team? 

We spoke to Adam Taylor AssocARLA, Senior Negotiator, Winkworth Southfields, to find out why using YourBusinessNumber with WhatsApp Business has been a great move for his team.
1. How big is Winkworth as a business?

We have two Winkworth offices in our franchise, one in Southfields and one in Putney. We sell and let everything from large family homes and multi-million pound developments to period flats and purpose built apartments.


2. How big is your team? 

We have 8 people in our Southfields office, made up of sales managers, negotiators, property managers and administrators.

3. What are your goals as a team? 

We aim to provide an honest, practical and reliable service to all of our clients. 

4. Why did you decide to use Whatsapp Business? 

We’ve noticed a dramatic rise in clients reaching out to us using WhatsApp instead of email or phone –people really seem to prefer communicating in this way these days.

This meant that our team sometimes struggled to keep on top of all the personal and work messages coming through to them when they used just one WhatsApp account. It was a challenge to ensure that all messages had been responded to promptly. 

Some team members also found it difficult to set boundaries with clients messaging them outside of working hours. Our team’s wellbeing is very important to us so it was crucial to find a solution that would enable the team to work at their best.

With this in mind, we were keen to ensure that we provided a professional experience to our clients over WhatsApp, making sure that we could maintain the same standards that we traditionally would have provided over email or phone, while allowing our staff more control over the frequency and times that they communicate with our clients. 

5. What problem did you experience before using YourBusinessNumber?

Without using YourBusinessNumber, our estate agents required either a second phone, or needed to use their personal numbers to communicate with clients. As you can imagine this would have caused quite a headache if a staff member left the business or needed to hand the chain over to a colleague while they were on leave, for example.
Additionally, WhatsApp Messenger (which most people use every day) introduces privacy and GDPR complexities. On the other hand, WhatsApp Business is built from the ground up for Business-to-Customer comms, and is GDPR-compliant if used as intended.
Now, we can manage phone numbers quickly and effectively, and ensure that our estate agents feel comfortable communicating with a separate work number.
YourBusinessNumber has also removed the need for a separate phone, which is one less thing for our estate agents to have to think about. Fewer devices with work contacts on is also useful from a data protection perspective.
6. How does your team use Whatsapp Business and YourBusinessNumber?

Each employee has both their personal WhatsApp Messenger app and a separate WhatsApp Business app installed on their personal phone that they use with their new YourBusinessNumber number.

We have heard excellent feedback from our staff in terms of now being able to manage personal and business chat separately over weekends to give them proper downtime. 

 It has also given us comfort and security knowing that these two types of contacts are no longer in the same app.
7. How easily was it to set up new numbers with YourBusinessNumber?

We found it very easy to implement for our team. There is no install required at head office – we just have an account at YourBusinessNumber.com to manage the numbers and billing.

YourBusinessNumber sent each employee their own number via SMS and they were up and running in minutes.

8. Did you face any difficulties in the transition process?

Some investment of time is needed to move groups and contacts over to the new compliant WhatsApp Business app – but we used WhatsApp short links for this process.

With short links, we can send a simple link or QR code to clients, which once tapped or clicked automatically initiates a WhatsApp Business private chat thread with our agents.

We have future plans to embed short links on our website too. So when someone wants to request details on a property - a single tap will instantly start a chat with the Agent who is responsible for that home.

9. Have you found using Whatsapp Business has saved you time?

In general, the speed with which we can respond to issues and pass on information is much quicker. The conveyancing process is traditionally quite slow as delays in relaying information and responding to queries can take time. However, we’ve found that over WhatsApp communication is much quicker and easier, leading to more efficient sales progression.

 
10. Have you found using Whatsapp Business has improved your customer relations?

Business tools such as Away Messages and Quick Replies are great for improving relationships with customers. For example, Away Messages provides an automatic response for out of office hours or while an agent is busy, such as on a viewing. This puts clients at ease as they know when they can expect a response, helping to manage expectations and improve the relationship overall.

For urgent queries, the Winkworth business profile offers a range of quick contact channels if we are not available, so clients can always get in touch when they need to.


11. How has using Whatsapp Business improved the process for home buyers?

WhatsApp Business has made it much quicker to arrange viewings at properties that home buyers are interested in purchasing. We’ve found that it has reduced missed calls between potential buyers and our estate agents, and when the market is as busy as it currently is, the quicker we can move in terms of arranging appointments, the happier our home buyers are.

Having a written trail rather than requiring our agents to take notes after calls has not only made our workflow easier, but it has reduced the number of queries from home buyers to clarify information that has already been shared. Being able to copy and paste property details over to potential buyers is another huge benefit of using WhatsApp Business.

 
12. How has using Whatsapp Business improved the process for home sellers?

WhatsApp Business allows us to communicate quickly and effectively with home sellers. It has sped up the process of booking in viewings for our clients, making it easier for them to share when the property will be available to view and any key information that they would like us to pass on to clients, without the need to set aside time in their day to chat on the phone.

We’re able to offer quicker feedback after viewings, which as anyone who has sold a house knows, is invaluable to improve the experience for future viewings. We’re also able to provide prompt updates as the sale progresses, putting our home sellers at ease as they are kept fully up to date with all the latest information.


13. Have you increased sales since using Whatsapp Business?

It is early days, but we are confident that our team is more efficient than they were before WhatsApp Business and YourBusinessNumber. Eventually, more time will mean more sales. Watch this space!

14. How has using Whatsapp Business improved the team’s productivity?

As mentioned, using WhatsApp Business has saved the team valuable time. Also, some of our staff are using the desktop version of WhatsApp Business so are able to stay focused on PCs and laptops instead of constantly needing to check their phone. 

 
15. How has using Whatsapp Business improved work-life balance for the team?

Home time now means home time with two separate apps. Also, the requirement of keeping a second headset charged up is a thing of the past. 
Let one of our favourite customers explain how YourBusinessNumber and the new WhatsApp Business App can help you and your team.
Interested in WhatsApp Business and YourBusinessNumber for your branch?
With their second number your teams will be able to download and verify WhatsApp Business for their own phones. This Business-focused official app includes many special features:
  • Quick Replies: Instantly send pre-written replies to your most commonly asked questions.
  • Business Profiles: Share your business contact info, services and social media accounts from your profile.
  • Labels: Quickly organise your various chats using customisable labels.
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