Who's Answering Your Phone?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with ADT Real Estate

bluetoothGetting people to call me back is a huge pet peeve of mine. I spend most of the day every day with my Bluetooth buzzing in my ear as I try to get through the day on one charge. I have sign riders with my name and number on them so people can call me directly. I'm not in the office all that much, so I need people to call me on my cell phone in order to communicate with them. This leads me to my question, "Who's answering your phone?"

I got a call yesterday from another Realtor in the Wilkes-Barre area. I had called her and left a message on her main office line (they don't have individual mail boxes) that I needed to get into a property she has listed this weekend. When I got the call, I answered the phone as I usually do when I can't see who's calling, "Hello, this is Andrew Trevino". There was a pause and then the Realtor identified herself and explained that she had gotten a message that I wanted to see her property. I said yes I did and she asked if I wanted her to describe it for me. Now, I'm thinking, "No, I have an MLS sheet with all the details. Whatever else I need to know, I'll see when I get there.", but I told her to describe it for me because I didn't want to be rude. She went through her description and I told her, "Thanks, so I'm confirmed for Saturday?"

She sounded surprised and asked if I had made that appointment with someone else because she couldn't show the property on Saturday at all. I was wondering what was going on that she needed to be there to show a property for $39,900 and I asked as much. That's when it clicked. She thought I was a customer. Whoever took the message at the office didn't take the whole message, just my name and the property I wanted to see. So, we both had a good laugh and I hung up thinking, "How confusing was that?"

Today I got a call in the afternoon. I didn't recognize the number and, when I talked to the gentleman on the other end of the line, found that he was trying to see a property in my market and he couldn't get a call back to see it from the listing agent. He looked me up on the internet and gave me a call. You see, the property is listed with a Realtor about 40 minutes from Wilkes-Barre, so he decided to try and get a Realtor from his local market to show him the property. He told me that he had tried numerous times to call the listing agent, but couldn't get a call back. He tried the office multiple times as well, but they were content to send him to a voice mailbox that he was all too familiar with. I was all too willing to answer that call and I'll be showing him the property tomorrow.

missed callsThe bottom line is, if you want to get your calls, you need to make yourself accessible. I know, I've heard it so many times, "I don't give my cell phone number out unless I want the person to have it." Well, if this is your system, who's answering your phone? Who's making sure you get the message, the whole message and nothing but the message? If your system is working like these two cases, I can guarantee you are losing business.

This is the reason my cell phone number is on everything. It's 570-991-1073, by the way. I want people to call me directly. I want the business and will make myself completely accessible at all times to my clients. At my last office, I was able to forward any call from my mailbox straight to my cell phone. I always knew when someone had called the office and gone to my voice mail. When someone calls our office and they need an agent who's not there, I always take a detailed message with the time and date of the call and try to reach them right away to let them know who called. I wish this were the case with the rest of my office, but it's not. That's why, once again, I make sure people know how to get in touch with me when they need me. How about you? Who's answering your phone?

 

Until next time...

My name is Andrew Trevino. I am a Realtor, working in the Wilkes-Barre, PA area, and I'm affiliated with Realty World, Rubbico Real Estate. Thanks for investing your time in reading my blog. If you're interested in contacting me, please visit my website at http://www.wilkesbarrehomesales.com/

                                                                     Realty World, Rubbico Real Estate


Comments (24)

Stacy Magid
Century 21 New Millennium - Woodbridge, VA
Not only is my cell phone number on everything but my office line forwards to my cell phone if I don't answer after 8 seconds.  And if for whatever reason I am not available I always make sure to call the client back even if they do't leave a message.  Caller ID is wonderful.
Oct 04, 2007 09:07 AM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale
Jason---Maybe it's because I'm lacking in patience, but I just can't stand when I'm trying to get someone to call me back and they don't. I want to feel that the other person is just as engaged in what we're doing as I am. I'm sure you understand. Thanks for stopping by.
Oct 04, 2007 09:08 AM
Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota
Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm - Inver Grove Heights, MN

Excellent blog and excellent reasoning behind it. Couldn't agree with you more on how irritating it is for messages not to be passed along or passed along correctly!

All the best,

Beth

Oct 04, 2007 09:49 AM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Beth,

Thanks for the compliments and the comment. The best to you as well.

Oct 04, 2007 10:21 AM
Suzanne Sands
Pavao Real Estate - Somerset, MA
Somerset MA Real Estate

Hi Andrew,

I can't believe how much this still happens and your right most of the time the message is not relayed properly, just call my cell thank you!

Oct 04, 2007 10:28 AM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Suzanne,

It is incredible that it still happens and I guess it will continue as long as there are human beings answering the phones. There'll always be that one person that drops the ball somewhere. Thanks for the comment.

Oct 04, 2007 11:55 AM
Cris Burlew
Beach & Luxury Realty, Inc. - Saint Pete Beach, FL
Broker ~ St Pete Beach FL Real Estate
I'm the one answering my phone! I have always used my cell phone number on everything. I can't trust someone to take a message for me...I'd rather have a caller get my voicemail and I will return the call, and I'm usually quick on the return calls!
Oct 04, 2007 02:25 PM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Cris,

That sounds like a great plan to me. I'm usually pretty quick on the call back as well. Thanks for the comment.

Oct 04, 2007 02:31 PM
Universal Funding Partners
Universal Funding Partners - Scranton, PA

Andrew,

Great post!  This annoys me to no end. 

I also have my calls forwarded.  I use it as a selling point when talking to Realtors or clients.  I'm completely accessible without having four different contact numbers to notate.  All you need is 836-8336.  That number gets me anywhere I happen to be.  It's my home/office/mobile number.  I answer it up to 8pm.  If you get voice mail, I'm probably talking to a client or referral source.  I feel it's rude to interrupt a conversation with another call.

I get the feeling that some clients feel that the "one number" approach gives me some professionalism.  The most beautiful thing about it is that the service is free for me.  I just looked it up in the front of the phone book.  It's just a simple call forwarding service that you can do from any phone.  It just gives the impression of some expensive and sophisticated phone setup.

Thanks,

Kevin

By the way, I work here in NEPA.  We should get together sometime.

Oct 04, 2007 03:42 PM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Kevin,

That's a great advantage of having a single line. Our system is a multi-line system and I'm told it doesn't have a call forwarding feature for each extension. We're supposed to get that feature with the new phone system when we move. In the meantime, my cell phone number is 570-991-1073. LOL

We'll definitely have to get together. I'd love to meet other AR members. So far, I haven't met any at all in person, though I know a few who are close. Thanks for the comment.

Oct 04, 2007 04:33 PM
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
Andrew - This was such a good post.  I also strongly prefer that everyone call me on my cell phone, which I answer myself, unless I am tied up in a meeting or writing an offer.  Maybe I should be investing in your market - what can you get for $39,900?
Oct 04, 2007 05:40 PM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Jason,

I'll be out looking at multi-unit properties tomorrow with a client. All of the ones I'll show tomorrow are doubles, need some repairs and are under $50K. My initial search came up with 34 such properties in the Wilkes-Barre area alone. It's a great market to invest in.

Oct 04, 2007 10:24 PM
Adam Waldman
Westcott Group Real Estate Company - Hauppauge, NY
Realtor - Long Island
ANDREW:  I am answering my phone.  Me and me alone, unless we happen to be at home or driving and I'm busy, then my wife answers.  I only give out my cell phone for the reason that you are talking about.  I've had calls lost, messages garbled and total misinformation given back to me.  If I answer, I only have myself to blame if there's a mistake.  If anyone wants to reach me, call 631-357-2036.  I'll be waiting.  Great point.
Oct 04, 2007 11:23 PM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Adam,

If anyone calls for you, I'll be sure to forward the message. Thanks for the comment.

Oct 04, 2007 11:44 PM
Diane Velikis
Coldwell & Banker Busch Real Estate - Luzerne, PA
Luzerne County Real Estate
Andrew, I'm with you! My cell phone is on EVERYTHING! and I will even give out my home phone if I know that's where I CAN BE REACHED AND IT'S AN IMPORTANT call I'm expecting...
Oct 05, 2007 12:18 AM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Diane,

I don't give out my home phone number, but that's just because I never use it. I think the only reason we even have the thing is because I need a phone line for the DSL to work. LOL I can always be reached on my cell phone. Once, I woke up in the middle of the night because I heard voices. It was because I had gone to bed with my Bluetooth on and fallen asleep. In the middle of the night I rolled over on it and the voice recognition kicked in. LOL Yes, I can be reached anytime!! Thanks for your comment.

Oct 05, 2007 03:05 AM
Maria Couto
RE/MAX Premier - Berkeley Heights, NJ
Realtor with "Results That "MOVE" You'

My direct number is set forward to my cell phone showing my office as the ID. When that ID pops up I'm pretty sure it's business. I too never miss a call unless I'm with a client.

Oct 05, 2007 05:18 AM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Maria,

That's a great plan as well. Thanks for commenting.

Oct 05, 2007 07:19 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Andrew, Such a good post and the reason you have to be a successful agent. Along these same lines take a look at   Yes, I DO!  Feel free to delete if you like.  My home phone number is forwarded also to my cell.

Of course I knew it was you....just late I guess.

 

Oct 05, 2007 02:36 PM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale

Margaret,

Hey, I'm Andrew!! Anyway, don't worry about linking in my comments section. No worries. Thanks for the comment.

Oct 05, 2007 03:25 PM