Real Estate Introverts, Pick up that Phone!

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Okay - calm down. I'm an introvert thru and thru, so trust me, I won't ask you to do anything I wouldn't do myself.

We introverts like our email. It's safe, it's efficient and we know we aren't hassling anyone with our attempts at communication. Our prospects can choose to read it... or not. They can choose to read it NOW... or later. We're oh-so thoughtful that way. We don't want to impose our friendship on anyone who isn't open to it.

(As in my earlier post about hand-shaking, the EXtros are now saying "HUH?" But the Ntros know what I'm talking about.)

But here's the thing, unfortunately for us ...

It's hard to establish a professional relationship via email. Oh, yes, it can be done, but at a risk. A risk of losing the prospect to a more aggressive salesperson. A risk of drifting into a never-ending cyber-chat with your online prospect, during which you become complacent and, frankly, afraid to break the ice and make the call. It's so much more comfortable to continue your online relationship; it seems to be working fine!

But if you get on the phone, right away, and establish that voice-with-an-email-address rapport, you have a much better chance of:

1. Creating a personal relationship with your prospect, which encourages loyalty

2. Getting on your prospect's calendar (very important!)

3. Truly understanding your prospect's situation and knowing whether or not you can help

And you know what? Once you've broken the voice-to-voice ice, you'll feel SO MUCH more comfortable with this person. (Or not, as the case may be, which is good to know also.)

Several years ago, I contacted 5 real estate agents in the Wilmington, NC area, via email. Two responded - one via email, one on the phone. I chatted with both for the next several weeks, but my loyalty was 100% with the one who called me. Yeah, I'll admit I led the emailer on, picked her brain and took advantage of her offer to send me a daily update of new listings. But when I arrived in Wilmington, who showed me around? Yep. The one who called me.

When you get an Internet inquiry, pick up that phone. Be assured that your hot new prospect is emailing agents all over town, although the good news (for you) is that the vast majority of these agents won't respond at all. But if you make the call, right away, with a big smile on your face, and in your voice, you'll get that cyber-prospect, if you want them!


Copyright Jennifer Allan 2007

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Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing


Thanks for the reminder of what is important....personal communication..... we are building relationships, not just a clientelle....



Aug 29, 2007 09:31 AM #9
Janie Coffey
First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty - Ponte Vedra, FL
Uniting Extraordinary Homes w/ Extraordinary Lives
 Great reminder that we need to be Velveteen Rabbits (ie REAL) and make ourselves known as real people.  Email is great to hide behind b/c there IS a certain level of comfort distance, but that goes both ways and that is how the potential client sees us also, as long as it is email we are just a cyber person, not a Velveteen Rabbit!
Aug 29, 2007 10:25 AM #10
Ava Anderson
A-Z Atlanta Realty - Snellville, GA
Selling Atlanta from A-Z!
Thanks for the reminder, I find that email can sometimes be a little impersonal.
Aug 29, 2007 03:23 PM #11
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!

I like your new picture Jennifer, BTW.   Not sure if I can do the phone thing though. If someone calls me, no problem, but me call them? If I get an internet lead, especially where my phone number is prominent, and they choose to email me instead of call me, I feel that this is the way they want to interact. Or am I just using an introvert's excuse?

Aug 29, 2007 04:00 PM #12
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Karen - I'm the same way - believe me - I HATE picking up the phone. And, it's not the end of the world if you choose not to and I know that some prospects will appreciate that. Especially if you're that uncomfortable with it, it will come across in your voice. But yeah... I think that for the most part, it's an excuse. (one I use all the time, too). I look at this way (from an introvert's perspective) - I dno't want to bother anyone with a phone call, so I email them. But if they call me back, I'm fine with it. Considering that most of the world ARE extroverts, the odds are in your favor that the person will appreciate your call.

But I just had a thought... Y'know how we females are trained NOT to call men - we wait for them to call us? I wonder if that applies here, too. I know that whenever I call my DBF, he's usually busy and isn't in a mood to talk. When he calls me, things are fine! So, maybe you can compromise - just call the FEMALES who contact you via email and see how it goes!!!

Janie - good analogy! We should talk... LOL

Bryant - I agree - email is great once the relationship is established. But I find that in my professional relationships, periodic phone calls are a must to keep things on track. Otherwise, little misunderstandings start to creep in...

Stephen - "as usual you are right" . My, my I could get used to this! Thanks!

Loreena - I had YOU in mind as I wrote this!


Aug 29, 2007 11:56 PM #13
Jim McGrath
Roseland, NJ
Great Blog.  The thing we all have to remember is that 'knowledge is power'.  We know more about Real Estate and home sales than any consumer.  I use that when I pick up the phone, knowing that I can help educate the person on the other end.
Aug 30, 2007 12:02 AM #14
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)

I agree whole heartedly with you on this one.  Introvert or not, the phone is better than email, but person to person is better yet!


Bob Mitchell

ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc. 

Aug 30, 2007 09:21 AM #15
John MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes
I did. You answered. Now.....wasn't that special?
Aug 30, 2007 09:51 AM #16
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

John... it was absolutely delightful to speak with you. Thanks for picking up the phone!

Bob - I waved at you on Sunday!

Jim - YES. That is so important. Knowledge = Confidence!

Aug 30, 2007 09:57 AM #17
Cynthia Bartch
Granville, OH

Hi Jennifer-I didn't pick up the phone but your posts have inspired me to walk into a local store w/ my product and ask the owner if they would consider carrying my designs. Well the answer was an enthusiastic yes! I wasted no time and placed my product the following day.

Just wanted you to know, and thank you for your wonderful writings.

Sep 01, 2007 04:27 AM #18
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Yay You!!
Sep 01, 2007 04:34 AM #19
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge
You certainly don't look like an introvert!!
Sep 02, 2007 03:52 AM #20
Donna Yates
BHGRE - Metro Brokers - Blue Ridge, GA
Blue Ridge Mountains
You are so right!  I forced myself to call two prospects today and had a really lovely chat with one.  Now she's coming up to see properties with me.  The other didn't answer but I've left two messages.  It really is difficult sometimes to fight the inner introvert!  Thanks for an inspiring post.
Sep 02, 2007 08:45 AM #21
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

You're welcome Donna! For me, to pick up the phone takes a lot of courage. So, I start small - scheduling a massage appointment or calling my vet with a question. After that, it's easier to make the social phone calls that kinda scare me!

Tracy - Most people are surprised when I tell them I'm not a people-person... that is, until they see me at a party, hiding in the corner.

Sep 03, 2007 01:41 AM #22
Roberta LaRocca
Simply Vegas Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, NV. Lic BS.507
This is very good advice.  If someone contacts me on my website, I would just email them back.  Now, I will email them and pick up the phone!  Thanks!  I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one who is uncomfortable picking up the phone.  I am trying to overcome those fears.
Sep 07, 2007 05:30 PM #23
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
Roberta - keep me posted on how that goes! I think you'll find a better connection ratio. If you call someone and they aren't happy to hear from you... well, better to find out now than later. As long as you have a song in your voice and a smile on your face, I doubt you'll get much resistence... and will probably gets lot of smiles in return.
Sep 07, 2007 11:19 PM #24
Susan Goulding
Crown Key Realty, Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate - Tracy, CA
Northern CA - Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate

Jennifer - you sound more like a Shy extrovert than an introvert.  I will hide in a corner at a party or hang on to someone I know.  Are you the ones your friends call to have fun with, if yes, you probably are more of a shy extrovert than an introvery -- I should know --- I see one everytime I look in the mirror.  PHONE CALLS -- AUGHHHH - so scary!  Even to my Sphere let alone strangers!


Sep 22, 2007 07:16 AM #25
Pam Graham
All Real Estate Options - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville, Clay & St Johns Counties
Great blog! I love your view points.
Sep 26, 2007 06:01 AM #26
Denise Eider - Ticor Title Company (Renton, Washington)

Jennifer, I really appreciate your insight!  It is so easy to get caught up in that loop of email only.  You are right about picking up the phone though.  It truly makes a difference to really connecting with people.  Thank you!

Dec 05, 2008 02:44 AM #27
Mary E. Raymond

First I want to thank you for your blogs.  They are insightful and well written.

I consider myself an introvert.  Your blogs and emails have been right on for me with one exception.  I was a "SweatHog" years ago and was forced to overcome my fear of calling.  I learned the phone is my friend and have used it rather successfully ever since.  I usually have a list and a number of calls I hold myself to and it works.

Mar 21, 2009 11:13 AM #28
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