Hey, Fellow Agent, How about telling me WHY you’re calling!

Real Estate Agent with John L Scott Market Center 700512026

Hey, Fellow Agent, How about telling me WHY you’re calling!


My principal broker and I got to talking the other day about something that realtors often do. They will call and leave the cryptic message, “call me”, but that’s ALL they say. They don’t tell you WHY they are calling and as a result, it doesn’t give you any opportunity to be prepared with a file or research answers before calling back, or or or….we’ve all been caught off guard and we don’t want to seem disorganized, we want to look as professional as possible. It sometimes gives a false sense of urgency or even worse, makes that agent look egotistical and "above" leaving any information because they are just too darned busy and important to do that. It's ANNOYING. And guess what?  They might not get a timely return phone call because of it!


So, Mr. or Ms. Realtor, take a lesson from homebuyers, they usually let you know why they’re calling. They even give you valuable information like the MLS# or when they want to see your listing!









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Alyse "Aly" Sands
Village Real Estate Services - Nashville, TN

I always do and I'd like the same from others.  My beef is when I call and leave a detailed message (perhaps after an unanswered email) and I don't get a call back.  After a day or two of working on other things, it hits me that the ball's back in my court.

Feb 20, 2012 05:00 AM #49
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I couldn't agree with you more. Frustrating, isn't it?

Feb 20, 2012 05:36 AM #50
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Nan~Manners yup!

Oh, Bill, I agree because I always have to go back through the entire msg. to get the phone number sometimes as my voicemail doesn't let me skip forward a little bit at a time.

*Peg*--this seems to hit some nerves for many of us!

Caryn~oh the games we have to play...sad, huh?

Gwen~Frustrating as all get-out.

Rob~It was just like the talk I had w/my principal broker, when someone will simply call back the number on their phone and then she would have to ask around the office, did you call this person?  It's redundant and puts the onus on US to figure it all out.

Pamela~you are onto something....

Oh, Jamie, I feel your pain and ALL OF MY PHONE CALLS ARE LONG DISTANCE. (I don't have cell service out where I live/work).

Mike~Isn't that sad???  Wouldn't it be nice to have classes devoted to that sort of thing besides the ethics, law, etc. classes that we take for our licensure?!

Shelley~I listened to my own voicemail msg. and I ask for that and they STILL don't do it.

Alyse!!!  Oh my gosh, you are SO right!!! I'm dealing with that very thing right now with an agent that I've had to hound to get the disclosures to us, because I have SERIOUS buyers and I've called her AND e-mailed her several times, underlining the fact that my (cash) buyers are serious about this. It's been more than a week now that it's been on the market with her. This property has been listed for as long as I've been in real estate--over 6 years--with NO offers. I know this because I listed it TWICE! You would think she'd be bending over backwards to get it done quickly since they've had six realtors represent them and they probably could fill these out in their sleep, not to mention that you have a ready buyer, begging to see them. It makes US look bad, too. And it's not even our fault!

Feb 20, 2012 05:38 AM #51
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

I get people all the time that call me 'about a house'. It's got red brick. Then they leave their name & phone number while they have their head hanging out the car window.  I can't make out the #.  Go figure.

Feb 20, 2012 06:11 AM #52
Carol Rutgers
Keller Williams Realty - Bluffton, SC
Quality service using technology for your benefit

Yes, it is annoying when agents call without leaving a reason for their call, but I also don't like agents who call me back by hitting their "missed call" redail on their cellphone without listening to my voicemail and say, "Hi, I saw that you called me and don't have time to listen to my messages, what did you want?"  I then have to repeat everything--often when they are calling me at an inconvenient time. 

Also, I agree with Bea in Post#22 who wrote:  "My favorite is the long, drawn out diatribe about nothing that finally ends with the call me at 999-999-9*99.  HUH?  WHAT?  SLOW DOWN and give the number clearly!"  I have gotten phone calls on my office number that I listened to over and over to try to decipher the garbled phone number that the agent left at the end of a looooooooooonng voice mail.  It always amazes me that agents sometimes say their phone numbers at the end of the call and say it so quickly as if they are in a "fast talker" race or as if they are running out of battery power on their cell phones!

Feb 20, 2012 07:56 AM #53

Well said everyone. Amazing to me that anyone in this age of information and technology cannot learn how to leave a message with the important details. If you don't have time to say this is Anna and I want to show 123 A Street at 4 p.m. and I can be reached at 555-555-5555. Again this is Anna at 555-555-5555, don't be surprised that your call isn't returned until tomorrow morning when I am not so rushed. 

Have a great week everyone. Have to go my phone is ringing!

Feb 20, 2012 08:49 AM #54
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

It is difficult sometimes to return calls, and some agents never return calls, even with a detailed messgage left.  Is it acceptable to send a text message after leaving a voice message?  I find that I can return a text with greater ease than having to listen to voicemail, save or weite down all the messages, and then try to return a call.

Feb 20, 2012 09:22 AM #55
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

As Suzanne said earlier, in Comment#6, this seems to have struck a nerve with many of us. It's nice to know that it's not US, that we definitely find that in this land of fast and furious, we need to take the time 

to be courteous

to one another. Because after all, we're still making real estate happen and many of us have had to leave this wonderful career.


Lyn, Carol, Anna and Karen, here's to you four for still making things happen and knowing the pitfalls and still "having that phone ring"!!

Feb 20, 2012 10:19 AM #56
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I think they only people I do that to is my kids and maybe my wife.

Feb 20, 2012 10:39 AM #57
Sharon Tudor Isler
ERA Landmark Real Estate - Bozeman, MT
TWO Generations Serving ALL Generations

Thanks for the post, Gayle.  I love it when agents leave a short message and I can get back to them with the info.  And - if they're not available, I can leave a message with the answer.  When everyone is busy, sometimes the only way is to "talk to our machines!"  MOST IMPORTANT!  Speak clearly and distinctly!  And, in a rural area, be sure that you're in cell range and I'm able to understand your call back # (best to repeat it!).  

Feb 20, 2012 02:10 PM #58
Mitch Muller - Charlotte NC Real Estate
ProStead Realty Charlotte, NC CRS CDPE mitch@prostead.com - Charlotte, NC
Certified Residential Specialist

Greap post Gayle! I wish we could send this memo out to ALL agents, and include with it, oh and by the way RETURN YOUR CALLS!!

Feb 20, 2012 09:25 PM #59
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Gayle - When this happens from a call left on my cell phone, I'm always hopeful that at the end of the message, I hear the following:  "To Reply to it, Press 8".  If you hear that, you can press 8, and just state, "OK I called."  Then press the # key twice, and it leaves a message back in their voice mail without you having to speak to them.  This only works if you're both using the same cell provider.  It won't work otherwise.

Feb 20, 2012 10:21 PM #60
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Gene~Hope that's ok w/them!

Sharon~cell range, good point. And as others have said, speaking clearly and possibly repeating the ph#. I usually try to say my # slowly, if it's someone I've not spoken with before.


Brad~Well, that's one solution no one came up with.Good job. Glad you didn't simply Press 8 here to reply!

Feb 20, 2012 11:20 PM #61
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta

It certainly can help make the conversation that is held later go more smoothly if the listing agent can be prepared, like you said, with the right file. 

Feb 20, 2012 11:26 PM #62
Dave Sato

Well, now that you've heard from listing agents, you might want to consider what your client wants.  I've had listing agents never answer calls, which by the way is very unprofessional.  I've left detailed messages and not so detailed messages.  I had one recently that only works M-F, 8-5 and no weekends.  I left a message about 4:45 and guess what, it was never answered.  Does that serve your client?  Probably not.  In this day and age, when there are many of other choices than your listing, I think it would behoove people to at least return phone calls. 

Feb 21, 2012 01:03 AM #63
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Gayle, I agree.  The other thing that annoys me is the listing agent trying to sell ME on their listing.

Feb 21, 2012 05:03 AM #64
Ranji Singh
Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd. - Newmarket, ON

Hi Gayle ...... exasperation is the feeling. I recently returned a page ... to only a name and phone number regarding a condo I've listed. As I move into pre-qual territory, I asked "do you know the building"? She says "No, tell me about it". After about 3 minutes she stops me, "Oh, I am an agent, and I do live in the building". Turns out she was looking for a unit for her son. I counted to 10 then continued as a professional would.



Feb 21, 2012 05:39 AM #65
Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator
West USA Realty - Phoenix, AZ
Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro

it is a better usage of time to leave a message of what the call is about.

Feb 21, 2012 12:57 PM #66
Jairo Arreola
Lotus Group Realty - San Jose, CA
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area - South Bay

It is always frustrating! I always leave a detailed message and also repeat my number twice =)

Feb 23, 2012 01:34 PM #67
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I am so with you on this.  I always think it's so weird when I get a message from a Realtor with no other information.  What is the purpose?  I leave detailed info so that if they call back and I am unable to answer, question can be answered on my message.  Phone tag over.  -Kasey

Mar 15, 2012 05:21 PM #68
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate

"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905
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