Digital Mitel System Helps Century 21 Barbara Ricca Realty Connect with Customers and Agents
Frontier Communications recently implemented a new Mitel phone system for Century 21 Barbara Ricca Realty, which is based Kingman, Arizona. The new system has seamlessly solidified communications between the company’s home office and two key remote audiences: its agents, who often work from the road, and prospective customers, many of whom are located out of state.
The partnership between Century 21 Barbara Ricca Realty and Frontier is delivering improvements in productivity, cost savings and reliability — and is completely scalable, an important feature for a company operating in the up-and-down real estate industry.
Century 21 Barbara Ricca Realty had leased a Nortel PBX system for 12-plus years. Based on older technology, the system was increasingly at risk of failure, and a challenge to fix due to the system’s advanced age and the cost of the parts. In addition, the service contract on this equipment was about to expire.
While phone system issues can inconvenience any organization, Century 21 Barbara Ricca Realty relies on its phone system more than the typical company. The reasons? First, success in real estate relies on agents pounding the pavement, showing house after house to prospective buyers. As a result, agents are hardly ever in the office. To be successful, the agency needed a phone system that could easily connect incoming calls from prospective buyers and sellers to agents’ cell phones.
“If you want to make real estate agents unhappy, try telling them you can’t connect the calls we receive in the office with their cell phones,” said Tammy Diaz, office administrator at Century 21 Barbara Ricca Realty. “Our agents rely on our phone system to act as their immediate link to the office and to their clients. Connectivity is everything to them.”
Second, when prospective buyers and sellers call the office, owner Barbara Ricca is adamant that the calls never be answered by a machine. “Most of our customers are calling from California or other states and have no particular loyalty to Century 21. If they get an answering machine, they just call the next real estate agency in the phone book. Not being able to answer a call personally can mean up to $20,000 in lost broker fees,” Ricca said.
But with no dedicated receptionist, having folks run to the front desk to pick up calls wasn’t a viable solution. Ricca and her team wanted a smarter system to “ring and roll” to where people were, as needed.
The final challenge the firm faced was how to address its current phone needs, and provide flexibility to adjust the system as the company grows or shrinks. This is always a possibility in an industry that’s subject to the wide fluctuations often seen in real estate. Unfortunately, the older Nortel system that the firm was using was not scalable. The system had been set up during the real estate boom of the early 2000s. Consequently, the agency was paying for double the lines needed in today’s more subdued real estate market.
Frontier Account Executive Michael Christiansen sat down with Ricca, Diaz and the rest of the Century 21 team to find an appropriate alternative. The solution to the company’s challenges was a Frontier Mitel phone system.
“The new system provides the connectivity that the agency needs,” Christiansen said. “Incoming calls roll for easy answering by any number of people in the office, and connecting callers to agents in the field on their cell phones is simple and seamless, as is operating the entire system.”
And Century 21’s Diaz said the shift to the new system could not have been smoother.
“There’s always the fear of change — concerns that learning a new phone system would be difficult and time consuming, and that productivity would suffer,” Diaz said. “In actuality, the transition to the new system was remarkably easy.”
The new system’s ability to serve as a true hub for the agency’s phone communications has served Century 21 Barbara Ricca Realty well. And new features that did not exist with the old system — like caller ID — have helped increase office productivity.
In addition, the agency experienced immediate monetary savings. Concurrent with the phone system upgrade, the agency changed its 1-800 and long-distance plans from Sprint to Frontier, resulting in a significant cost reduction.
And thanks to the system’s scalability, the agency has been able to reduce the number of lines it uses (and pays for) from 26 to 13 — while still having the option to increase lines again should business demand it.
“The new phone system that Frontier has set us up with provides us with an economical, scalable and fail-safe solution that meets our needs as a business and keeps pace with the always-shifting winds of the real estate industry. And the ‘attention to every detail’ approach with which this new system was introduced was wonderful to experience,” Diaz added.
About Frontier Communications
Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:FTR) offers broadband, voice, video, wireless Internet data access, data security solutions, specialized bundles for residential customers, small businesses and home offices, and advanced communications for medium and large businesses in 28 states. Frontier's approximately 18,600 employees are based entirely in the United States. Click here for more information.
Companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500® companies, rely on Frontier to deliver FiOS®, high-speed Internet, voice, advanced Ethernet and business telephone systems nationwide. Visit http://business.frontier.com/ for more information.
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