Buyers, Why (Good) Agents Aren't Returning Your Calls

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 0225085927

A common complaint about real estate agents is we don't answer our phones.  

There is a lot of truth to that;  some reasons are justified and others, well, not so much.

Most good agents are, well, busy.  They're busy because they're good and they get a lot of their business by referral.

And busy agents are, well, busy doing all the things real estate agents do.

When we're not out showing property to buyers, we're:

  • Previewing property
  • Meeting with buyers
  • Meeting with sellers
  • Talking to builders
  • Meeting appraisers
  • Meeting home inspectors
  • Meeting pest control inspectors
  • Meeting contractors and handymen 
  • Checking on vacant properties
  • Meeting with home stagers
  • Meeting with photographers
  • Talking to other agents about listings, offers and feedback

And so on and so get the drift...

I used to worry about missing phone calls, but now not so much. You know why?  

Because motivated buyers who have gotten my phone number from a prior client or from my blog posts will leave a detailed message as to why they are calling - and they will wait for a return phone call because they are specifically calling me.  

They are not randomly calling agents until one happens to answer the phone.  

They are calling for me, specifically, because they have heard I'm a good agent and will do a good job for them. They are willing to wait until I have a chance to call them back;  they understand that good agents are also busy agents and they're worth the wait. 

So, if you are randomly calling and just want to get in touch with an agent, any agent, who is available at the last minute to run out and show you property, good luck to you.  It may work out just fine for both of you.  

If, however, you are calling in the hopes of finding a good agent, you're going to increase your odds by taking these simple steps:

  • Leave a detailed message, including name and phone number, as well as the purpose of your call;
  • Call more than a day or two before you want to see property;  we are really not sitting in the office waiting for the phone to ring;
  • Include the phrase "I have already spoken to a lender" and response time will be shorter;
  • Mention a friend or family member who referred you and you'll move to the top of the list;
  • If you stumbled upon my website or a blog post, mention it - we love hearing that stuff.

Re-Blogged 11 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bob "RealMan" Timm 07/07/2016 05:52 AM
  2. Brad Rachielles 07/07/2016 08:23 AM
  3. John Meussner 07/07/2016 08:24 AM
  4. Lynn B. Friedman 07/07/2016 06:00 PM
  5. Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D 07/07/2016 10:55 AM
  6. Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers 07/07/2016 10:26 PM
  7. Ron Barnes 07/07/2016 10:45 PM
  8. Sheldon Haywood 07/08/2016 05:34 AM
  9. Gabe Sanders 07/16/2016 04:03 PM
  10. Gloria Todor 07/18/2016 04:18 AM
  11. Winston Heverly 08/23/2016 01:07 PM
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Cathy Roesch 618-233-1000
Palatium Auctions Moving, Downsizing, Liquidation Auctions, Estate Sales. 314-690-1978 Certified Personal Property A... - Town and Country, MO
St Louis MO Auctioneer, Estate Appraiser & Auction

Thanks Susan for the post as it hits home. Most of my business comes from referrals too but often I receive calls without a detailed message or emails without any information. I'm not a mind reader or miracle worker.


Jul 09, 2016 11:35 PM #79
Aaron Robertson
Authority Property Management - Redding, CA
We Make Renting Simple.

We found a few of your points dead on. I own and operate a property management company and run into similar things with new clients and their beliefs. 

Jul 10, 2016 02:11 AM #80
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Susan --- setting the proper expectations is paramount -- 24/7 may be clever marketing to some but it's not realistic nor appropriate.   You raise some excellent points.

Jul 10, 2016 02:32 AM #81
Melissa Jackson
Riverside Homebuilders - Sales Consultant - Springtown, TX
Your New Home Sales Consultant in Parker County

You shared some great points.  I do send a text if I'm not able to talk.  Yes, leaving a message will get a returned call quicker.  I have found if I have a question for another agent I will text immediately after I call.  Usually get a text back quickly.

Jul 10, 2016 02:04 PM #82
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Oh so true, Susan.  And especially true for all those drive by requests where they don't even bother to fill out the form and leave the generic question.

Jul 10, 2016 09:23 PM #83
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

So does that mean if your busy making money that you have a team that will improve your customer satisfaction rate? Not!

Jul 10, 2016 11:52 PM #84
Carolyn Shipp
Source 1 Real Estate - Mineral Wells, TX
Mineral Wells Texas Real Estate

You just never know about people.  I had a lady call me because her daughter and I had spoken a couple of days before.  She left a message telling me that I had to call her back immediately because they had to look at a couple of properties and were on their way to our town.  Unfortunately, where I was, I did not have cell service for 30 minutes.  By the time I got back into service and received the message, she had moved on.  I did return the call as soon as I received the message, but she told me I did not call her fast enough and she had to call someone else.  I wished her well and have moved on.  The other agent she called is in our office and is a new agent.  I spoke with the agent to give her details on my conversation with the daughter and the new agent is being run into the ground by these people that couldn't wait for me to return their phone call.  Hopefully all will work out for those involved.

Jul 11, 2016 04:57 AM #85
Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert
Sitterle Homes - Richmond, TX
Sitterle Homes


 Absolutely a wonderful post and oh so true! Congratulations on the feature right on point as well. I always wonder about people that have to see something now talking to many good agents those rarely work out!

Jul 11, 2016 08:19 AM #86
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Well written, well deserved Feature!  Great information for anyone looking for an agent!

Jul 11, 2016 11:21 PM #87
Jeff Stevens
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties - Las Cruces, NM
Jeff Stevens REALTOR®/Associate Broker

Susan, this is right on the money! Now, if everyone who is thinking about buying or selling real estate and have never done so before would read this...we'd all be better off! "They are not randomly calling agents until one happens to answer the phone."

Jul 12, 2016 12:00 AM #88
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Congratulations on your feature recognition. This is good reading for home sellers and home buyers.

Having someone to answer the phones when you are out is a good way to more effectively respond.

Jul 12, 2016 12:12 AM #89
Will Allen
Concept 360 Property Management - Long Beach, CA
Property Management... taking care of your assets

Nice post!!!  I love your attitude and your style!  

Jul 12, 2016 04:07 AM #90
Nancy Robinson Ranked #6 in MI
Century 21 Town and Country - Royal Oak, MI
#10 Century21 Realtor in the US, #16 in the World

You just wrote One of the Best blogs I have EVER read! 

Jul 12, 2016 01:21 PM #91
Faye Y. Taylor
StepStone Realty, LLC - Floresville, TX
Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni

Excellent point.  Plus they may have called at 9 PM on a Saturday night.   As a rookie, that 9 PM Saturday call became a good client but I answered because I was a newbie and hungry.   I really don't like to return phone calls if they haven't left a message because as an agent we get SO MANY telemarketing phone calls.  And I don't care if it is a VM or a text, either works.

Jul 14, 2016 04:11 PM #92
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

I  see no justification of not returning the phone call, text or email. We are not able to answer all calls immediately, but ignoring them is not a solution. I return all my business calls. 

Jul 16, 2016 04:35 PM #93
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

We already know you are a great agent Susan, because when you moved out of state your past clients still won't work with any one else.  Guess who they call? YOU! Great post! I came over from Gabe Sanders reblog.

Jul 17, 2016 04:17 AM #94
Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Yes, it's amazing the long list of tasks we do-besides answer phones.

Aug 23, 2016 03:27 PM #95
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Excellent post, Susan!  Those people who just call from a list (probably an online search) until they reach someone, have no idea what they're getting themselves into either!  Like you, the referrals respectfully wait for me to return their calls - they don't go on to the next one!

Sep 05, 2016 01:15 AM #96
Suzie DeYoung
Fridrich & Clark Realty, LLC - Brentwood, TN

Great post, Susan!  There are so many facets to our job that keep us busy, if we are attending to our clients properly.

Dec 29, 2016 04:22 PM #97
Daniel Dominguez
Realty Connect USA - Hauppauge, NY
I'm an RE agent serving Nassau & Suffolk County

Great post Susan, its exactly how I work

Apr 27, 2018 07:07 AM #98
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Susan Haughton

Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.
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