I called You With a Referral but You Never Called Me Back

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

I called You With a Referral but You Never Called Me Back


It happened again, much to my surprise, because it is not all that common in my experience.


Sometimes referrals work out and sometimes they don'tI called an agent I know in another state about a referral of a client of mine who is house hunting here and has been for some time, but who wants to sell a home sometime in the next 6 months.


I was, quite frankly, surprised, that after leaving a lengthy voice mail about the referral, and some of the details, that I never got a call back 24 hours later. I’ve waited long enough.



It occurred to me that:


  1. This person never got the message. But then they have other bigger issues with their voice mail system
  2. They have plenty of business right now and have no time or interest in taking on a referral. That’s cool but how about letting me know
  3. A bad habit has reared its ugly head and they simply are not consistent about returning calls that are business related. Nuff said on that topic
  4. They are on vacation with no coverage and no message they are not available or won’t be

I don’t take referrals lightly, and when I call someone I know about a buyer or seller referral it’s because I feel I know them well enough to trust that they will treat my referee well.


Even though I can get a little impatient, I don’t expect a call back instanter – life and business legitimately get in the way. But a day later doesn’t work for me, especially when I committed to my client that I knew someone I could call in the area that I felt would be a good fit for the relationship.


My first priority is to hook up my client with the assistance she needs, so off to another individual I know well.


If I call YOU to discuss a referral will YOU call me back, even if you are not able to take it on or prefer to not work referrals? Would you give me that courtesy? I hope so. Otherwise, you may be off the list.


So would you make a second call, or let it go?


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bob Miller 09/12/2012 09:20 AM
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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Jeff:  Mistakes, things, errors ... they happen.  But what does your gut tell you?  If you're going to feel uneasy in any way by NOT making that second call ... there's your answer.  If you're going to feel worse if you DO make it .. move on to another referral source.  YOUR referral ... YOUR decision.  But I think I agree with most here.  There would be few valid reasons as to why anyone would not take the time to at least call you back.  Even if they don't want the business, they can say thank you for thinking of them.  Let us know what you decide.  It will be interesting to see if I guess which action you take ...


Sep 13, 2012 11:46 AM #27
Paige Walker
Paige Walker - Pineville, LA
Real Estate Guru - Alexandria Pineville LA

Jeff - That's AmAzInG!! I received a referral just today and immediatley called the agent back and then hung up and gave the client a call as well, and when I had to leave a voice mail, I called them back a few hours later! As my husband always says, "Leaving a voice mail for a client just doesn't count."

Any time you want to refer someone to me, know that I will take care of your client! Thanks for sharing! - Paige

Sep 13, 2012 11:54 AM #28
Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Hey Jeff, if you call me I will call you back.  I love referrals.

Sep 13, 2012 12:10 PM #29
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

unless you call when it's after business hours here, I'll try to answer the phone. :)  But if you happen to get my voice mail I WILL call you back.

Sep 13, 2012 12:12 PM #30
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

If you called me, with or without a referral, I would pick up the phone! If you did not hear back from me, I did not get the message! Benefit of the doubt...another call would be OK. You will be able to tell right away whether you want to share your special clients.


Sep 13, 2012 12:22 PM #31
Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX

Jeff - it is sad that people in this industry does not communicate well or just flat out don't have the courtesy to acknowledge you. Hate it when that happens and have seen it happen before.

Sep 13, 2012 12:22 PM #32
Mike Warren
Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO

There's always 2 sides of the story but it is not right to not call you back. It is very disappointing. A 2 mins return call is not so hard to do.

Sep 13, 2012 12:37 PM #33
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Pretty sad! But Verizon does screw up in my area. There have been a number of times a voice mail or text has taken a day or even several days to come thru the system. First couple of times thought I was losing my mind (ok, that does happen). Talked to other people who also have the problem. I warn clients that if I don't get back to them in a few hours, to try again! You might email and call and see what happens. Then at least you can be pretty darn sure they got the message.

Sep 13, 2012 12:54 PM #34
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Personally I'd love it if an agent gave me a referral.  Referrals mean that someone else has faith in my ability to help THEIR client; faith that I can get the job  done; FAITH that I'll earn them a referral fee.  Referrals are not to be taken for granted!

Sep 13, 2012 02:15 PM #35
No Longer here
Real Estate 101 - Always return phone calls and emails as soon as possible. If this agent can't return a call basically handing them business, I would have a trust issue referring a client to them. Even giving them the benefit of the doubt (a tech prob or emergeny of some kind), a backup contact plan should always be in place. With technology making it nearly impossible to be out of reach these days, there are very few valid reasons to miss a call or email. Good luck ( and I hope the agent is OK). Aloha!
Sep 13, 2012 02:56 PM #36
Iris Stuart
none - Santa Rosa, CA

If another agent calls me, with a referral or not, I return the call every time.  It's just common courtesy to do so and it annoys me to no end when others fail to do this.

I had a similar experience several months ago.  I was helping my daughter to select an agent.  We had narrowed the list to three  possibles.  I sent each an email explaining the referral and asked them to respond asap.  Email was intentionally used as she wanted an agent who is technologically savvy.  Only one of the three responded and it turned out that she was the perfect agent for my daughter.  I never did hear from the other two.  Their loss because the other agent got a paycheck.

Sep 13, 2012 03:17 PM #37
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional
Hi Jeff, I share the same sentiment as Margaret. She is the consumate pro and I feel exactly the same way. I always always try to answer and never more than a few minutes even if I am with a client. I have an admin assistant that is terrific if I am totally indisposed. I love referrals. The last one from ActiveRain closed just a couple weeks ago.
Sep 13, 2012 03:33 PM #38
C. Lloyd McKenzie
Albuquerque, NM
Living Albuquerque

Hi Jeff,

Most realtors do not answer ther  phones. 

Sep 13, 2012 04:47 PM #39
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

It is a good idea to have another person lined up so that you can call the second person if the first person does not return your call.

Sep 13, 2012 08:44 PM #40
Ann Samuelson
Suntree Inc. - Astoria, OR
I believe you are as successful as the quality of relationships in your network, makes no sense that someone would be nonresponsive to a referral opportunity.
Sep 13, 2012 09:26 PM #41
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Jeff, you would think they would be grateful for the referral and return the call. Too bad - for them!

Sep 13, 2012 09:55 PM #42
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

  I have a couple other stories...gave a referral....stayed in touch with the sellers..agent never told me she took the listing and her broker had to be reminded a couple times that there was a referrral fee due...he said "she forgot"....oh not.

Sep 13, 2012 10:08 PM #43
Tyler Meyer
Shorewest Realtors, Inc. - Delavan, WI
24/7 accessability in my mind is key. If I'm gone or out of town, my assistant will cover my business the whole way. Even if I'm away on vacation, it's not that difficult to make it to internet access or use my iPhone for email communication at the very least. It amazes me at the amount of agents that just don't pick up their phone. I don't know how they truly survive.
Sep 13, 2012 10:28 PM #44
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Yikes.  Not returning a call is not a great thing.  Especially if it relates to business.  Good post.                                             

Sep 13, 2012 10:55 PM #45
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Jenny - I have had a similar experience, but it's been rare, especially with AR members.

BLiz - espeically when you need to help someone

Kathryn - ditto. It's happened several times - they say you are the only one who picked up the phone or who called back.


Sep 14, 2012 12:49 AM #46
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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