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6 Tips for Delighting Your Callers

Services for Real Estate Pros with Ruby Receptionists

What is your caller journey like? When you’re working to attract new buyers and sellers, impressions matter, and the first seconds really count: research shows people judge someone’s trustworthiness within the first 500 milliseconds of hearing their voice.

So, what impression do you make when a potential client calls you for the first time—or even before? Here are six important telephone touchpoints to consider:

  1. Telephone number - Is it easy to find? Clickable? Include your number on every page of your website, and aim to make it clickable so mobile users can reach you with a quick tap.

  2. Before the answer - Answering within the first few rings is ideal. If calls ring too long, potential clients might hang up.

  3. The answer - Do your callers reach an impersonal voicemail box, a confusing automated system, or a live voice? A cheerful, live person ready to help will make a fantastic impression.

  4. Greeting - These are the first words many your potential clients will hear from you. Make them count! Adding these three elements will make your greeting stand out.

  5. Your voice: tone, pace, and enunciation - You're great at WOWing buyers and sellers in person, but over the phone, voice is all you've got. To ensure a friendly, upbeat tone, try putting on a smile before you answer. Callers can hear the difference! Make note of your caller's pace and respond accordingly. Fast talkers may be in need of speedy help, and slower talkers will appreciate a laid-back pace. And no matter how rushed you may be, take care not to mumble. Aim to replace mushed words with their fully-pronounced alternatives. 

              Skip gonna, kinda, coulda, shoulda, wanna
              Stick with going to, kind of, could have, should have, want to, etc.

  6. Your “yes” -  When you have the opportunity to tell callers what they want to hear, show your enthusiasm! Instead of “yeah” or “okay,” try these on for size:

              I’ll be happy to!
              My pleasure!

Need a hand creating a great experience for your callers? The customer experience experts at Ruby® Receptionists can help you get there—for a fraction of the cost of an on-site hire. Plus, ActiveRain members receive a lifetime 5% discount on Ruby’s monthly plans! Learn more at www.callruby.com/activerain

Jim Smith
The Property Management Company - Round Rock, TX

We have utilized a virtual receptionist for years, and have found the professionalism has been outstanding!  All calls are live-answered, personalized, and directed to the appropriate party within seconds.  We also do not have to deal with in-house drama of personal relationships gone bad, sickness, too-much-last-night, and other issues that often plague the business owner by having an in-house person.  Most of our clients have no idea that it is 18 miles, not a six inch wall that separates us from our receptionist!

Apr 14, 2017 05:29 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Ashley Fisher ,

Love your colorful photo and well written post! Glad to see it featured..great tips!

Apr 20, 2017 04:18 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Ashley Fisher wonderful idea here for the busy agent

Apr 20, 2017 05:37 AM
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Phone Etiquette 101.  I used to have a business book from years ago about this very thing.  Thanks for the reminders.

Apr 20, 2017 05:41 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

A pet peeve of mine (that others will mention here too) is when I am calling another agent and they answer "Hello."  I have to ask them, "Is this so-and-so?" If one is in business, at least answer the phone with your name!

Apr 20, 2017 06:30 AM
Marte Cliff

Margaret Goss I always say "this is Marte" after Good morning or good afternoon. And still... people will ask if Marte is here.

Apr 21, 2017 10:56 AM
Tricia La Motte, CRS
661-212-2896 - Santa Clarita, CA
Santa Clarita Real Estate - Guiding the Way Home!

Great article, Ashley Fisher . I always love hearing "my pleasure!".  With regards to making your phone number easily found, one of my pert peeves is the lack of contact information in an email! 

Apr 20, 2017 09:03 AM
Michelle Edwards
Realty One Group Trilogy - San Bernardino, CA
Licensed Realtor® in California and Nevada

Great tips, especially the elements of a greeting. Thanks for the quick lesson!

Apr 20, 2017 09:31 AM
David A. Weaver
None - Buckeye, AZ

Thanks for a great post, working in a mortgage call center for years, I found myself getting a little stale and in a rut.  Thanks for some fresh ideas.

Apr 20, 2017 10:00 AM
Kevin Green
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Wallingford, CT
Residential & Equine Properties

Great post and so very true on the points!

Apr 20, 2017 05:58 PM
Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Excellent post thanks for your time

Apr 20, 2017 06:00 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Also, have a pleasant, enthusiatic voice mail so that if the called gets the recorded message--it sounds inviting to the caller!

Apr 20, 2017 06:09 PM
Robin Wells
WellSwept Chimneys - Victoria Harbour, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Great tips and reminders.  Thank you, as it is easy to fall into an area where one is less than ideal in their professionalism on the answering of the telephone which can reflect poorly on us from a first impression perspective.

Apr 20, 2017 06:33 PM
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

It's amazing how many people don't answer with their name. I ALWAYS do, even though I am BREEZY and answer with my first name. Something like "Hella speaking". What I don't like is when that person's first words are, "how are you today". We all know that they don't give a darn. So rather than answering, I say "who is this?" - which I should not have to ask. What I am saying here is that a big percentage of my calls are the unwanted kind, and I treat them differently, like, I hang up and block their call. If it truly is someone who is calling me to provide them real estate services, yes, I am VERY forthcoming.

Apr 20, 2017 06:38 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I try to have a happy thought before I speak to someone and then myself in a better mood than I was previously

Apr 20, 2017 11:52 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Great post. Putting your contact information, phone, text, and email on every page of communication and marketing are so essential IMO, yet, I'm surprised that most businesses don't do that, don't you? Three things I've found in speaking on the phone. being friendly, being a  good listener and qualifying the call as an opportunity or not. 

Apr 21, 2017 02:03 AM
Marte Cliff

Kimo Jarrett I believe anyone with a local business should also include their city and state in every piece of marketing.

Apr 21, 2017 10:58 AM
Donna & Larry Johnson
Keller Williams Real Estate - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County

Great tips! Always take a deep breath before you answer the phone and be very professional.

Apr 21, 2017 06:27 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I had no idea you could make a phone number clickable - will have to do some research on that.

Apr 21, 2017 10:58 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Thanks for the great tips and an important reminder about how to best impress callers, when talking with them or in a voice mail. It's pretty surprising at the messages you sometimes hear that are a real turnoff, or the manner in which some answer their phones.


Apr 22, 2017 10:22 AM
Robert Hicks
United Country River City Realty - Savannah, TN

Very good tips here. Thank you so much for sharing. Will be discussing this at an office meeting soon..

Apr 22, 2017 06:21 PM
Mike Kelly,CRS,CIPS
The MJKelly Team - Santa Rosa, CA
"One of Sonoma County's Natural Resources"

Realtor friend said the single biggest thing he did to rocket his business into unknown hieghts was to ANSWER the phone! They had been letting calls go to Voice Mail thinking they'd have their name, number and would call back at their liesure. Then they realized how much business was being snatched away from them by those agents who ANSWERED the phone and got there first. All we can hope to do is get a buyer/seller to raise his/her hand. The phone call is a crucial part of closing. Emails suck--one way, Internet inquiries same thing. BUT a phone call is a rare gem and should be treated as such. His GSI for that year balooned from $750,000 to $1.5.

Apr 23, 2017 06:47 PM