Everyone knows immediately who I'm talking about. Doesn't matter if it's a first time buyer or a real estate investor, it's the client who calls/emails all day long with every question which pops into their minds. I think we all feel for these clients, it's a big purchase/transaction, they are unsure of the process, or the timeline, or the costs, or the disclosures, and they need to speak to you; you need to explain it to them and ease their minds.
Of course....that's part of the job. The problem is that unless they are your only client (and that's a problem for another post), we just can't stop throughout the day to handle all these questions, and we don't want to have them feel we are ignoring them either. Solution? I have one!
1)I start every day by sending an "update" email to all my active escrow clients. I include any action items they still have to do and updates on what I, or my assistant, will be doing on their behalf that day. I also include a timeline going forward and future action items (such as a scheduled home inspection or HOA documents which have been ordered). This is an easy and quick email to put together because some days, nothing has changed from the day before and I keep a copy to use as a template.
2) I also set up a specific hotmail account for each escrow. The address my be firstname.lastname@example.org I use the automated vacation reply to give the same basic information, where we are at in the process. I also have my clients email me directly to their private hotmail address and they can feel comfortable that I won't miss something they send.
3) Phone calls....I encourage them to call me anytime. I also let them know that when I'm out with clients (just like when I'm with them) I do not pick up the phone but allow it to go to voicemail. Then I will listen to the message and try and get them the correct information before I call them back, so it might be a late return call, if I need to speak to escrow or the other agent. This sets the expectation that they might not get a quick call back, but will get an answer when they do.
4) I return all calls/emails the same day.
I believe it's part of our job to handhold the clients who need it....but it doesn't have to consume our day, if we have a system in place to handle it well.