What does your voice mail message say about your real estate business?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with KD Realty - 408.972.1822 CA BRE#01366594

What does your voice mail message say about your real estate BUSINESS?

To this San Jose Real Estate Agent it says volumes.  For most businesses, the phone is the first point of contact. We only have one shot at making a first impression.  This applies to all businesses, including small businesses like independent real estate agents, independent brokerages, print shops, and more!

Woman working at a PC with a phone headset

Is your voice message greeting professional

1.  Does the message identify your name and/or the name of the business entity? 

2.  Is the message understandable in all aspects (tone, volume, background noise, etc.)?

3.  Is the message too long with a bunch of meaningless blah blah blah?

4.  Is the voice a warm and friendly voice or is it an automated robotic message indicating "no on is available to take your call" out of box kind of message?

5.  Is there no message at all - no greeting has been set up and one cannot leave a message?

6.  Will callers know they have the right number?

7.  Will callers question if they have the wrong number - hang up and call again?

8.  Is the voice mailbox full preventing callers from leaving a message?


How much business are you losing because your first impression lacks professionalism?

Frustrated woman looking at cell phoneThis San Jose Real Estate agent has high standards. I will not do business with anyone when my first point of contact, a phone call, with a business leaves me feeling the business lacks professionalism.  The person or business might be the best in the land at what they do but I will never experience that if the first point of contact, a phone call leaves me wondering:

1.  Who did I just call?

2.  I did not understand a word that person said.

3.  Gheez, alright, already ... blah blah blah ... seriously?

4.  Did I call a business or did I call someone's home?

5.  I wonder if I mis-dialed the number?

6.  Do I have the right phone number?

7.  I am so uncertain about the number I dialed I hang up and call again.

8.  If they are too busy to check and delete messages I don't think they are someone I want to do business with.

These standards apply to all businesses not just real estate. For me, it is about the experience. How do I feel when I make that first call?  Do I feel valued? It's about the quality of service which starts with the first impression ... when I make that first call. It will either win my business or lose my business.

Voice messages are just as important as how a call is answered. So many businesses have lost the opportunity to gain my business simply because they lack the professional standard I require.

What impressions are you leaving with your voice mail message and how your phone is answered?

What does your voice mail message say about your real estate business? - by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Real Estate Agent - San Jose Homes for Sale






Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds 03/20/2013 09:03 AM
Real Estate Best Practices
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Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Kathleen - You are so right.   We recently adapted ours to include an alt phone # to call and text if they are in our rush...our phones are ringing so much, that voicemail msg is becoming more and more important. And, this is a way to prevent our voicemail box from filling up and get customers to the person they need faster.

Mar 16, 2013 10:18 PM #22
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Totally agree Kathleen. I will call back a second time just to make sure that I did not misdial the first time. But after that I'm through.
Mar 16, 2013 10:46 PM #23
Betsy Schuman Dodek
Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate - Potomac, MD

This is a great remonder and I am going to review my voicemails!!!


Mar 17, 2013 12:53 AM #24
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Debbie, Both my land-line (office phone) and cell phone are used for business. I don't have a "personal" phone line. So both have a professional business greeting.
Tom, I confess I have caught myself leaving a bunch of blah blah blah ... then I erase and re-record to leave a simple message ... call me.
Toni, That is my pet-peeve too.  I don't care that you are in a conference today or cat sitting for your favorite Uncle.  Just check your messages and return calls timely.
Joan, I have no doubt that your greeting is professional because you are a true professional.
Michael,  I need to check Pat's post ... thanks for the heads up.  I hear you ... it makes me want to bang my head on the wall when people do that. We don't care ... just answer your phone or get back to me in a timely manner.
Rob, There is a concept ... answer the phone.  But I would say if you are in the bathroom or even shopping its best to wait until one is in a quiet environment and can offer their undivided attention.

Mar 17, 2013 01:12 AM #25
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Laura, It never hurts to revisit our voice messages.  In fact, I relistened to mine after writing this post!
Richard & Beth,  For me, I want to be certain I have the right number when someone answers a business line. "Hello!" does not make that happen for me.
Norman, Well said ... it does brand us as professional when it is done well.  Thank you!
Debbie, And that is why you will continue to be successful and grow your business.  Your focus in on your customers and their experience. You do what needs to be done in orde to ensure customers have a good experience and KNOW they are dealing with a professional.
Charita, I just went through that with a physical therapy group my doctor referred me to.  The recorded message was that infamous male voice "no one is available at this time" created on a out of box home answering device.  Really?  No thanks. I pay the same price for a professional service that has a professional front office.
Betsy, I'm glad you found this to be a good reminder and will check to see if your message is professional.

Mar 17, 2013 01:20 AM #26
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Kathleen! I included this post in Last Week’s Favorites.  Please drop by and check it out, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Mar 17, 2013 02:30 AM #27
Kim Gaston
FRONT PORCH TEAM REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY STYLING - Brokerage, Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs REALTOR®, CNE (719)661-6987

Hi Kathleen, coming over from Patricia's blog - excellent post and well deserved feature. Your voicemail can potentially be your only chance at a first impression. Thanks for the reminder!

Mar 17, 2013 02:49 AM #28
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Voicemail is an art and I would add the way call another agent is critical as well.  I have a problem with someone who calls and doesn't identify who they are but just start asking about a listing so I don't know if they are an agent or a consumer.

Mar 17, 2013 05:00 AM #29
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

I hate messages that go on and on about their appts that day and returning calls during X time. They should call me back as soon as they can, not just during a scheduled time.

Mar 17, 2013 09:28 AM #30
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Patricia, Thank you so much.  I read your comment that you changed your voice message.  Thanks so much for including this in your Last Week's Favorites! 

Kim, Thanks for stopping by. That's how I feel. Our voice message sets the stage for a potential business relationship.

Cindy, I completely agree.  I see red flags all over the place when someone jumps right in and does not identify who they are.  I often ask, are you an agent?  It also sets the stage for how it would be to do business with them.

Donna, I know many agents who state in their voice message ... I return calls between 10-11, 2-3, and 5-6.  I agree. Does not matter to me ... I don't need to know their schedule or how busy they are ... just return my call. 

Mar 17, 2013 12:31 PM #31
Katrina Rockel
The Rockel Group - Fayetteville, NC

Kathleen, I came over after seeing Patricia put this on her Last Week's Favorites. You made a great point and I need to listen to mine and make sure it's not a turn off. Thanks for the tips.

Mar 17, 2013 12:52 PM #32
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Katrina,  Thank you for stopping by. 

Mar 18, 2013 02:18 AM #33
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

There is a serious problem with messages from folks on cheap cell phones.  I use a land line and can tell the quality of the cell phone used to call me. 

One of my referral agents has a voice message so long I have been known to just hang up  Sometimes. . . . . . .

Mar 20, 2013 09:10 AM #34
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

Hi, Kathy

Came here from Debbie Reynolds re-blog. Nice post and so true. There's an agent in our area who changes his outgoing message every day, telling the call what he is doing -- every. hour. of. the. day. Enough already. People don't care. Keep it simple. One of the nicest compliments, I think, is when a caller tells you that you sound happy on your voicemail. That first impression is so, so important.

Mar 20, 2013 09:11 AM #35
Shawna Green
Keller Williams Realty-Fayetteville - Fayetteville, NC
The key to your real estate needs!

Great points!  Just like curb appeal, most times you only get one chance to make a first impression!

Mar 20, 2013 09:18 AM #36
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Lenn,  I use a land line 90% or better of the time.  I will only return calls on my cell if absolutely necessary.  I understand why people just hang up ... it's frustrating.

Peggy,  I recall a few agents who recorded a new message everyday with minute by minute details of their day.  Seriously, why do we care?  We don't!  I stopped doing business with a lender who did the same thing.  I've been told my voice greeting is professional and pleasant.  It's nice to get that feedback too!

Shawna,  I like your analogy to curb appeal.  It really is the same thing ... what is the caller left feeling with a voice message and how does a buyer feel when they drive up to a home for sale. 


Mar 20, 2013 09:31 AM #37
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Selling Norfolk County Homes

Hi, Kathleen...I saw Debbie Reynold's re-blog of this post! Love what you've said!! I especially cannot stand it when I call an agent's number and the machine says, "you've reached 617-222-1111 please leave a message." Have I reached the right person? Why doesn't the agent want to say his name, his company, something? It seems unprofessional and almost evasive.

Mar 20, 2013 11:24 AM #38
John J. Woods
Aardvark Appraisals - Palm Desert, CA


   Great 'laundry list' of answering machine/service pet peeves.


Apr 08, 2013 05:40 AM #39
The Villages Realty
The Villages Realty - San Jose, CA
"Our Performance Will Move You!"

Nice post loaded with some good information. Thanks for sharing.   

Dec 30, 2016 06:51 AM #40
Eagle Ridge Realty
Eagle Ridge Realty - Gilroy, CA
"Our Performance Will Move You!"

Kathleen, you've written another good post.  Thanks for writing these as they are informative.

Dec 31, 2016 07:07 AM #41
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Kathleen Daniels

San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist
An Independent San Jose Real Estate Brokerage
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