This Was a Test. Would you have passed?

Real Estate Agent with Elite Realty NW - Keller Williams, Vancouver Washington

Homes for sale Vancouver Wa

Today I was making prospecting calls to out of state agents in an effort to build my referral business. we are located in Vancouver Washington and we have built a nice referral business by reaching out to agents who work right across the river in Portland Oregon. Many of them have clients who are selling their homes to relocate here in Vancouver in an effort to take advantage of the superior school districts and the liberal state tax laws. (No state income tax!)

Would you believe that I made 25 calls and only was able to speak with 2 agents? I left messages for the others and as of right now(about 3 hours later) have only had one agent return my call. Hmmmmmm...

So here is a question for my agent friends:

Would you have passed the test? How many clients are getting away because nobody answers the phone?

Posted by

Mark Hall

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Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

I am constantly amazed at how many people either do not answer or do not know enough to call back! Maybe they do not need the money!? Anyhow I would have passed your test....or at least called you back immediately!

Nov 01, 2011 04:58 PM #24
Wendy Cutrufelli
Alain Pinel Realtors - Walnut Creek, CA
Contra Costa Realtor

OK, I confess, when I see an out-of-state number, I allow it to go to voice mail even if I'm not with clients so I can first determine if the caller is yet ANOTHER solicitation.  I would like to believe that the 23 agents who didn't pick up their phones were all in listing appointments or showing homes!  Likely? No, but I like my dream world.

Nov 01, 2011 09:54 PM #25
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Many agents screen their calls because of telemarketers. I have not yet marketed to out of State agents.

Nov 01, 2011 11:41 PM #26
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

While I think I would pass, I'd also give folks another day or so before "running the numbers" on return calls. In any day, there are calls that take priority and those that quite honestly are B & C priorities...not that they don't get returned, but a same day return call isn't likely unless I didn't have much on my agenda for the day...or nothing comes up that becomes an urgent priority. Hopefully by week's end you'll get a few more return calls! Those are the agents you want to work with anyway, not the ones who ignore your message.

Nov 01, 2011 11:49 PM #27
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Mark, it appears your calls weren't at the top of their priority list. Hopefully, you will get more answere soon.

Nov 02, 2011 01:36 AM #28
Margo Otey

To control my time, I let unknown area code calls go to voice mail, then listen before returning the call.  Most of the time these are sales calls and no voice mails are left. 

Nov 02, 2011 01:48 AM #29
John King
Bluefax Realty, LLC - San Antonio, TX
President & Broker

I even return sales calls when I have the time.  It will keep them from repeatedly interrupting me with the redialers....and you never know the connection there.

I had breakfast the other day, actually i was the one at the table NOT eating.  The other guy was an insurance salesman, okay, you see where they may be going with this right.... well,he was also a homeowner, and an HOA president.

Even silently, ABC = Always Be Closing

Nov 02, 2011 03:22 AM #30
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Mark, I have to ask... what did you say in the voicemail messages that you left?  While I don't like long messages, I also don't like messages that don't provide any indication as to why the person called and they essentially state "This is Jane. Please call me at (###) ###-####"... and nothing else because about 95% of the time when I call back it's someone trying to sell me something or recruit or pick my brain (and get nothing in return).

As for not picking up the phone, I guess I'm one of those few who likes to give customers/clients I'm in front of my undivided attention.  I like to make them feel important and I can't do that if I answer every call I get while I'm with them.  When people I'm with answer every call they get... personally, I just think that's rude (but, hey, that's just me! To each his own.).  The only time I answer the phone while I'm with a customer/client is if I truly think it's important/urgent and even then I pardon the interruption before answering (something I've noticed few people do). 

I also like to control my time as best as possible and while the timing may be great for the person doing the calling, that may not be the case for the person receiving the call.  They could be preparing to meet with a client/customer and don't want to run late, in one of those rare locations/stores where they can't get reception, away on vacation, or any of dozens of other great reasons which, by the way, can also include they're in the bathroom!  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and understand that they are professionals, too, who will return a call at their next available opportunity. 

I'd be curious to know, now that it's the day after you left those messages, how many of the 23 who didn't answer have returned your call.

Nov 02, 2011 03:43 AM #31
Mark Hall
Elite Realty NW - Keller Williams, Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington

Wow! Isn't it fun to wake up and log on to find that your post has been featured? I have appointments today and I will write responses to your great comments as I get time.

Thank you everyone!

p.s. If you try to call me while I am in the above mentioned meetings, either my partner, Janice, or our office manager will answer the phone.

Nov 02, 2011 03:58 AM #32
Mark Hall
Elite Realty NW - Keller Williams, Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington

Ron - I love referrals too. Who do you know who...? Hahahaha!

Lisa - I run across that all the time. Too bad their clients don't test them on their phone skills regarding their listings. Maybe things would change.

Sonja - We have a large number of out of state clients so I am excited to see out of state numbers calling. One of the great things about the internet is that it knows no boundries. My blogs get alot of attention from people moving into the area.

Nov 02, 2011 04:08 AM #33
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Not returning calls is never acceptable. One of my pet pieves is with agents that don't return feedback calls/e-mails.

Nov 02, 2011 05:45 AM #34
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

This is one of the most irritating sicknesses that plagues our industry.  It is like such a privilege for these non-responsive agents to pick up the phone and speak to you or even their clients!  Makes me sick.

Nov 02, 2011 05:49 AM #35
Craig Cooper
Chase International Real Estate - Tahoe City, CA
Creating-Preserving-Growing Wealth in Real Estate

My cell phone ear bud is in place so much I forget to take it off when I'm speaking in person, but I rarely miss a phone call because I don't have my phone near by. I can't afford to miss a call.

Nov 02, 2011 06:10 AM #36
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Yes, I would have definitely passed the test. I answer my phone 99% of the time. Especially, if it's a number I don't recognize on my caller ID. You never know when an interested buyer or seller is calling you.

Nov 02, 2011 08:17 AM #37
Susan Jackson
America's Network Realty Group, Inc - Sandy Springs, GA

Great job Mark for making twenty five calls.  Hopefully you will get a 90 percent return on your work.  What a great idea!!

Nov 02, 2011 10:18 AM #38
Mark Hall
Elite Realty NW - Keller Williams, Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington

OK everyone I have to confess, these weren't "cold" calls. These calls were to agents in Portland who I have met at least once over the years. I have sent referrals to many of them. I make friendly prospecting calls like this every few months or so. I never talk to the same agent more than twice a year.

Also, the only reason I ended up dialing 25 agents is because nobody answered! Usually I am only able to talk to 10 agents in a day.

As of right now, I have heard from 8 other agents.

Leanne - I don't leave the "Call me. It's important" message with these types of contacts. I don't feel it is a good way to build referral relationships with agents. We have all been victims of this trick. I leave a message that goes something like, "Hey John, it's Mark and I am just checking in to see how your business is going and to talk to you about referrals. Give me a call when you have a minute."

Nov 02, 2011 10:34 AM #39
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

HI MARK!  Must be a day of agents not answering their phones!  I pass, but it's not a perfect pass!  However, on returning phone calls - high pass rate!

Nov 02, 2011 10:45 AM #40
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Calls to me outside of my area code are usually people wanting to sell me something, so I screen those. I would have called you back if I had someone to refer.

Nov 02, 2011 12:50 PM #41
Lori Cain
eXp Realty - Tulsa, OK
Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer

I miss a lot of calls usually because I'm ON the phone. I would have returned your call within the day depending on the message you left. I'm getting pretty sick of the telemarketers wanting me to pay for referrals or guarantee me placement on the first page of Google.

Nov 02, 2011 02:39 PM #42
Mark Hall
Elite Realty NW - Keller Williams, Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington

Lori - Me too. I usually ask the guys trying to sell Google placement how they found me. Their answer? "I Googled you." Duh! Then why do I need you?

Nov 02, 2011 03:17 PM #43
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