I have spent the majority of my working life, excluding the military, in some kind of customer service profession. Even though I spent over 25 years in high tech, one of my most important skills was customer service, and the biggest component of good customer service is timely communication. One of the skills that I learned and developed was to make sure all phone calls were returned within one hour or less.
We in the real estate game are, like it or not, also in a customer service profession. And, regardless of how well we know the market, how quickly and accurately we can whip up a contract, how polished our presentations are, perhaps, communication is the most important skill we can perfect. Yet I am continually amazed at how many in this business seem to feel that returning phone calls, all calls, is an important part of communication.
I am getting more and more calls from people contacting me because they don't get a return call from another agent. And more and more agents are loosing potential business because they won't pick the phone and return my calls in a timely manner.
I just received a call this afternoon from a someone trying to contact another agent from another company. They called the number on the sign but have not had the call returned. So, they did an internet search and found me. I now have a lead that looks very good, a couple that wants to buy in the $150,000 - $200,000 range and are ready to move. We are meeting tomorrow.
I am still waiting for a return call from a couple of calls that I placed to an agent on Saturday. I was showing a couple around, looking at a few foreclosures. We got to the last one and I took out the listing sheet to validate the lock box code and went to the front door and no lockbox. Now, I had just been to this place about 3 weeks earlier and the lockbox was there. It is still an active listing. I called the agent, twice, to find out where the lockbox was located (we looked all around the house) and left when it started raining. Have still not heard back from that agent.
The previous Friday I talked to an agent, in person, and asked her to set up an appointment to show one of her properties the following Monday. She said she would check with the owners. I had to call her again on Monday to see if it was ok to show. She responded yes and that she assumed that if I didn't hear from her I would know it was ok. No, I could not know that it was ok unless she told me.
A couple of weeks ago I called an agent about a property she had listed. Her answering message stated that she was unavailable and would return the call no later than her next normal business day during her normal business hours, but, she failed to say what those hours and days were. I left the message on a Thursday, got a call back on the following Tuesday (not a holiday weekend).
But, I look at it this way. I return all my calls, whether to customers, clients, agents, basically, whoever leaves me a message. And, I return them usually within minutes of the time that the message is left. So, I would just like to thank all of you out there that wait to return calls, or not return them at all. That just makes me look so much better when I return calls quickly. And remember, most people making sign or internet calls are only going to wait 20 minutes, if that long. So, go ahead, wait 4 days to return a call. I bet someone finds me, or someone like me, way before those 4 days are over.
And to all of you agents, lenders, etc, that need to find an agent in northeast central Georgia who knows how to comunicate with you and your clients, we, Call Me, Don't Be Afraid You Can Call Me!