Do Real Estate Agents Need A Professional Business Voice Mail Greeting?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

 I don't know about you, but my teeth grind and my blood pressure goes over 143 when I hear a "business professional" answer their phone with, "Hello!"

The other week I called a real estate professional and he answered the phone like this.

"Hello, excuse I'm in an important meeting. Can I call you right back, who is this?"

"This is Kendall Matthews, calling about the offer my client, Dr. "X" has on your property."

"Oh yea, I really don't want to get into that in front of my client, call me back in 20 minutes."

I think my blood pressure reached 185.

We eventually canceled the contract because of communication difficulties with this real estate "professional." His business voice mail greeting wasn't much better, just the same " I will call you back as-soon-as-possible" line that millions of others have recorded on their cell phones.

Therefore, starting today I have decided to not work with any business person who answers their phone with "Hello." Feel free to forward this article to anyone who has the words, "As-soon-as-possible" in their business voice mail greeting.

Click here to read 3 Important Factors To Consider When Writing A Business Voice Mail Greeting:

Have you heard "professionals" unprofessionally answer the phone or had bad business voice mail greetings?


Your Phoenix AZ real estate agent.

Do or Don't. There is No Try.


Kendall E. Matthews

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Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Well . . . I get your point, but "Hello" is not all bad.  I prefer to answer my phone, "Hello, this is Margaret," so people know they have reached the right person.  What are your suggestions.

May 20, 2009 10:13 AM #1
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Well, you would not want to call me. I answer my direct line with "hello". On the other hand, I am available and respond immediately to calls and emails from clients and agents. Since my associates handle the showings, I am in the office during normal business hours.

 Follow me on Twitter:

May 20, 2009 10:14 AM #2
Christine McInerney
The McInerney Team with Realty Executives Associates - Knoxville, TN
The McInerney Team, Knoxville TN Homes For Sale

I have come in contact with one REALTOR who's voice mail was a recording of a comic book character....I actually hung up, rechecked the number and as I was blown away.

May 20, 2009 10:14 AM #3
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Kendall, I understand your point - but I think you're depriving yourself and your clients of great opportunities if you blow off agents who happen to say "Hello"...

May 20, 2009 10:21 AM #4
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Kendall, This is also one of my pet peeves. I answer my calls with my company name. Voice mails with no identification really get me going. I just hand up.

May 20, 2009 10:27 AM #5
Heather Fitzgerald
REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc. - Greenwood, IN
REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate

I answer my cell phone with hello, but not in the office.  I have not thought about the cell other than hello.

May 20, 2009 10:41 AM #6
Chanda Barrick
Keller Williams Indy Metro Northeast - Indianapolis, IN
in referral

Kendall, I'm a bit confused about the voicemail part.  Are you saying that you dislike people that have a greeting that says only "I will return your call as soon as possible" or are you referring to the fact that you dislike anyone making that a part of their voicemail message?  If it's the latter, would you mind explaining why it is a pet peeve of yours?  I'm only asking because it's quite possible you have a valid point and maybe I should change the wording of my message...

~Chanda (no 'r') :)

May 20, 2009 10:42 AM #7
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

My voice mail says "it is a great time to buy or sell real estate!"

May 20, 2009 10:59 AM #8
Michael J. Gallo
Florida Luxury Realty - New Port Richey, FL
Florida Luxury Realty - Gulf Home Sales Team

Just this evening I recieved a call which my voice mail answerd for me.  When I returned the call the person on the other end said "Hello".  I was calling about a part time job with a phone sales company.  Thats right the "manager" of the phone sales office answered his office phone with "hello"  I was taken back by it. 

  As far as Real Estate Pro's or Mortgage Pro's is nice to hear "Hello, this is_____".  I generally answer my cell with "this is Mike, how may I help you" 

I will admit if you call my cell righ now you will recieve an outgoing message that says "this is Mike, I can't take your call right now.  please leave your name and number and I will get back to you as soon as I can".  Is that acceptable or will we never work together because of it?  Do your customers know that you screen potential listings for them based on the other Agents outgoing voicemail message?

I get your point Kendall but you might want to re-think your position for your customers sake.   Don't sweat the small stuff. :-)

May 20, 2009 11:04 AM #9
Kendall E. Matthews
Keller Williams Realty - Mesa, AZ

@ Margaret: You are absolutely right. Saying, "Hello, this is Margaret (Your name)." That's not all bad. But saying "Hello." Then not stating who you are is bad. This month I've had 3 real estate agents, 1 loan officer and 1 home inspector answer the phone the "bad way."  Hence, I couldn't take it anymore so I had to write this article.

@ Christine & Jennifer: Wow, I've called real estate agent who actually had their child create the voicemail greeting. Cute-Yes. Professional-No.

@ Chanda: Sorry about the confusing voice mail part. As I was writing the article, I just couldn't stop. This article could actually be broken up into two parts. But I'm not trying to be a Business Voicemail Guru.

Here's the issue I have with "As-Soon-As-Possible."

I don't have "As-Soon-As-Possible on my watch. Neither does our clients. I don't dislike people who recorded "as-soon-as-possible" on their voicemail message. If that was the case I would not like 90% of the population. Chanda, you see that is where the opportunity lies.

I personally don't want to be lumped in with 90% of the other business professionals out there. Do you? Of course not. I am different. I am unique. Even my voice mail message is special. I need every competitive advantage I can in making a great first impression because I don't look like Denzel Washington or Wesley Snipes.

So what I am suggesting to do, Chanda, I am 100% sure that only a very small percentage of people will do... and that is to succesfully be different. To have your voice mail greeting say, "Ms. First-Time Home Buyer, if you look at your watch right now it says 2:18 pm. My owner, Chanda, is going to call you back between 4 and 5 pm. Oh by the way, who was the person who referred you so she can personally thank them."

Then Chanda, when you call back that person at 2:22 pm. They are pleasantly surprised, because their expectations have been surpassed.

Even better from a time management stand point, the majority of people who call me only call during my designated times. Which frees me to do the most important thing in business? Lead Generation.

Does that make sense?


May 20, 2009 11:55 AM #10
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX
Over 2,000 homes sold…..

We have gotten our society to answer the phone no matter what we are doing.  Let it go to voice mail in respect of what you are doing, your client, and how you will respond on the call.  Nice post.

Sell on..........

May 20, 2009 12:24 PM #11
Kendall E. Matthews
Keller Williams Realty - Mesa, AZ

@ Michael: Thanks Michael for sharing. I really appreciate that. The great thing about being in business for yourself is that you can run it however you want.

Thank you for the 3 questions:

1) "This is Mike, I can't take your call right now.  please leave your name and number and I will get back to you as soon as I can".  Is that acceptable?

**Answer** Not for me. If it was I would have a voice mail message that would state that same thing. The question is not is it acceptable or not. Why can't you take their call right now?  Are you playing golf, sleeping in, working out? Why can't you take my call right now?

Why? I'll tell you why you can't take a prospects call right now?

Your so busy writing mortgage applications and closing escrows because the price of real estate and interest rates have dropped so low... you are going to have the greatest year ever!

The better question to ask is, "Kendall, what would be an acceptable voicemail then?

If you had a sales assistant would you want that person to take messages for you your way?"

Or would you rather have your sales assistant say, "This is Mike. I'm making things happen for my clients and I can't wait to do the same for you. Please slowly leave your contact information and I will return your call within 2 hours.

2) Will we never work together because of it?

**Answer** I will work with anybody who wants to partner with me in finding ways to generate more business and professionaly serve my current and future clients.

3) Do your customers know that you screen potential listings for them based on the other Agents outgoing voicemail message?

**Answer** Yes and luckily I don't have any customers. I have clients. They come back to me like a boomerang. To work with me, I have folks go through an interview process. Why?

Because, I am my best client! In my business, I refuse to work with just anyone. I only work with certain folks who meet the requirements for my business. If they don't meet those requirements I refer them to someone else.

However, I might need to re-word a sentence or two in my article. My major pet-peeve is with "professionals" who just say, "Hello" and nothing else.

My personal dis-taste for "as-soon-as-possible" is in the fact that I don't know what time on the clock is "as-soon-as-possible." Is it half-past as-soon-as-possible or a quarter-past-as-soon-as possible? I am just confused and I sweat the small stuff.

I'm quite sure you heard Mike... At the 1999 Pan American Games, in the 100 meter women's back-stroke event there was only a 0.77 of a second difference between first place and fourth place.

The small stuff determines the victory or defeat. It determines, if you close escrow or lose another short-sale listing to foreclosure.  I say, "Sweat the small stuff. Sweat it hard."

May 20, 2009 01:00 PM #12
Chanda Barrick
Keller Williams Indy Metro Northeast - Indianapolis, IN
in referral

Kendall, yes that does make sense.  Only thing is I'd have a tough time outlining a specific time in which I'd be available to call them back; hence the "as-soon-as humanely possible" portion of my message.  :)  Thanks for clarifying though as I do understand where you are coming from.  I could probably change it to reference that I will return their call the same day...


May 25, 2009 11:49 AM #13
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