To Answer the Phone Or NOT to Answer the phone: That is the Question
This topic is an interesting one that reflects upon several viewpoints:
- The would-be buyer, driving around a neighborhood and seeing a FOR SALE sign
- The buyer-client, who found a home online/driving around and wants to alert their agent
- The seller, who may have questions or concerns for their agent to answer
As you may know, a major complaint against real estate agents is that they don't answer their phone. I have to admit, until recently I've held that if I'm with a client...that client should have 100% of my attention.
HOWEVER, I went to a class this fall, led by one of the very top, top agents at Long Realty...who said if it's humanly possible, he always answers his phone.
Paraphrased, here's what he tells his clients and prospects up front:
If I have your home listed, don't you want me to answer every call...in case it's a buyer or agent interested in your property? And likewise, if I am helping you to find a home for purchase, do you not want me available for your important calls? He goes on to explain that he may be taking a few phone calls during your time together, but this is the same service he promises to you as his client. He promises to answer his phone to his up-and-coming clients, just as he SHOWS by doing if his phone happens to ring during his appointment. He is available.
Here's what he does when his phone rings: He excuses himself, takes the call, and if it's something lengthy or that can be dealt with later, explains he's with a client and will call them right back after he's finished. If it's a question on a listing, or a buyer-related question he can answer quickly, he does so then and there.
Think of the time saved by not having to return phone calls. Think how the sellers' viewpoint changes when the phone rings...because they know he will answer their calls as well.
So now I've been seriously re-thinking my phone calls. Unless I'm in a class-for-credit, I'm checking the caller ID and probably picking up. I just explain beforehand to my clients...it's amazing how understanding they are as soon as it's pointed out that you'll be doing the same for then.
Do you answer your phone? Or, do you let it go to voice mail. I'd be interested in other perspectives.