Telephone Professionalism or "The Lady or the Tiger?"

Services for Real Estate Pros with Hearth & Home Videos

How would you feel if you looked up the number of a store, called with a question and had the phone answered brusquely with a snapped out "Hel-LO?"  I'm willing to bet you'd hang up and call a different store for your needs.

I work with real estate Realtors/agents all the time and am amazed at how many do not seem to realize that your cell phone is your business phone. 

The way you answer your phone conveys a lot about you to the caller - whether you want it to or not. 

A rushed, almost hostile sounding Hello is quite off-putting.  I've gotten this response more often than  I should when I am returning a phone call from a voicemail.  I am always taken aback for a second and then want to apologize for obviously catching them at a very bad time or disturbing them in some unknown way. Your greeting should not be so brusque that it makes the caller feel they should apologize for calling you.

Another one that I've gotten more rarely than the above, but not as rarely as I should, is the "Oh my God, who are you and why are you calling me?" panicky tone of Hello.  This makes me feel like you rarely get calls on your cell phone, or when you do it is unpleasant news/people.  Neither makes me feel warm and fuzzy as a potential buyer/seller.

But my BIGGEST PET PEEVE with phone call answers is NOT SAYING YOUR NAME!!!  This is your business line.  I feel awkward when I return a call to Mary Smith who left their phone number and I get a surprised sounding "Hel-LOOO?" and nothing else.  Feeling I may have dialed wrong, I ask "Is this Mary Smith from XYZ Realtors?"  I should not have to ask you if you're who I think you are when I dial your business number you gave me.

Please treat your cell phones as the business line they are these days.  Be pleasant, and say "This is Mary" or "Mary Smith speaking". 

The first impression you make may gain or lose you a client.


Amy Hunter,  Hearth & Home Videos/Photography, Metrowest MA 




Posted by

Amy Hunter,  Hearth & Home Videos    Serving the Metrowest Area of MA

Comments (6)

Dana Couch-Davis
Kendall Haney Realty Group - Memphis, TN

You are so right Amy.  Too many people forget that our cell phones are an extension of our business.  We need to answer them professionally and make sure that your VM on your phone is professional too.

Mar 30, 2010 01:38 AM
Sandra White
John L Scott Real Estate - Port Townsend, WA
Experienced Residential Resale Broker

Great advice.  I think we are all so overloaded, it is beginning to show! Thanks for the reminder.  Sometimes I want to throw my cell phone off a cliff, but that would not be practicle.

Mar 30, 2010 01:38 AM
Jay Schmitt
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA
Gettysburg Real Estate Agent

Could not aggree with you more. There is no excuse for poor phone manners. There is also no excuse for stupid voice mail messages.

Mar 30, 2010 01:50 AM
Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady!
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Nampa, ID

Great post and so very true!!!    Thanks for the reminders!!  

Mar 30, 2010 03:21 AM
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Amy ~ You pegged it - answering your business phone without identifying yourself is my pet peeve too. I usually ask - in a tone that suggests something's wrong - "Is this Susy Q???".  Drives me nuts.  And if you give out your cell number in a real estate context it is your business line.


Mar 30, 2010 11:24 AM
Ellie Shorb
Compass Real Estate - Chevy Chase, MD
Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert

You know, not everyone has caller ID (my home phones do not) and I have the same awkward moments occasionally when someone calls me, says, Hi... and assumes I know who it is automatically. When calling clients and potential customers, other agents and contractors we must ID ourselves right away.

Apr 11, 2010 02:22 PM