The topic of this post sounds like it's directed at the real estate Buyer or Seller. And it is.
But agents, you might want to take note.
So, Does Your Agent Answer Their Phone?
When I meet with my clients, be they a Buyer or a Seller, we talk about the communication process of buying and selling a home. That communication can be anything from email, to contracts and amendments, text messages, and yes...phone calls. I ask how they best like to be reached first.
Many will say, "Text me first, in case I'm in a meeting, and I can let you know when I can call you back." If it's something I need to sign, text me a message so I go check my email and sign it and get it back to you. You can see the "text me" trend here for sure. But there comes a time, when a phone conversation is a must between us. You can always get it out in a text message, or even an email. The good old spoken voice is what matters.
Now, let's put the shoe on the other foot. Buyer first. You've just found a new listing on-line and it looks like "it's THE ONE" and you want to see it ASAP before someone else gets it! How quickly Does Your Agent Answer Their Phone? Now, I'm upfront with all my Buyer clients that if I am with another client, I won't answer my phone. They expect and deserve my full attention, just like I will give to you when I am with you. Of course, there are exceptions to this....if the clients are out walking the yard, or wandering the home and I've left them to discuss it, I may take a quick call. See, you will already be programmed into my phone, so I know it's you calling, not just some random number. And my voice mail also clearly states that I will return calls just as soon as I'm back in the car or out of my meeting. Fair enough.
Now, let's put the shoe on the Seller's foot.
So, Does Your Agent Answer Their Phone? And I don't mean when YOU call....they sure as darn tootin' better! But what happens when another AGENT calls them? In today's modern age, we have tools like ShowingTime to schedule showings, but there can be a need to call the agent direclty with a question that we can't seem to find the answer on the MLS information. So, do you know how quickly your agent responds to these calls?
Case in point....I have a Buyer I'm working with. To keep the process simple, I wanted to ask the listing agent about a potential offer before we took the time to submit it. You know, that kind of "feel them out" question.
How about the fact it took the Listing Agent TWO DAYS TO CALL ME BACK!!! TWO DAYS! When homes go Under Contract in hours in some cases, this seemed like years to both myself and my Buyer. The agent acknowledged we had called two days ago, and they were just getting back to us now.
So as a Seller, is this how you want your home marketing handled? Would you accept a 2-day response time if YOU called your Listing Agent to ask them a question? I think not. So, do you think other agents should be subject to this?
I'm thinking, you better add a question to the list of questions you ask an agent when you are interviewing them to sell your home. "How do you handle inquiries on our listing from Buyers or Buyer's Agents? What is your response time? Do you limit your return calls to certain times of the day?
Each agent operates differently. And I totally understand personal time, down time, family time, whatever time you want to call it. But, here's how I handle it.
There is 2 hours a day I normally don't take incoming calls...and that is my prospecting time. For me, it's all about getting my OUTBOUND calls made to my leads, or to past clients, whomever I may be focusing on that day. Now, if you are one of those calls, I leave a message, and you call me right back, I'm taking that call. Otherwise, simply put...I answer my phone.
If you call me at 7am, I WILL answer my phone. (If you call me between 5:30-6:30am I'm hopefully at the gym and it's hard to talk on a LifeCycle!) If you call me at 9pm, I WILL answer my phone. See, I work with numerous people relocating from the West Coast to Atlanta for the film industry. So they may not get off set until 9pm in LA. That's midnight in Atlanta. If we have established a relationship, and that is the time you need/can talk to me about the listings I emailed you earlier in the day, call me. I WILL answer my phone. One night, it was 10pm. I was watching TV. Cell phone rang. It was a $600,000 buyer who said, "Wow, you answered your phone? I was expecting a voice mail, and I really wanted to talk to someone about this house!" What can I say?
Now, this may stir comments from other agents, and again, we are free to run our business how ever we like. But the consumer does judge us by how we conduct our business.
Does Your Agent Answer Their Phone? This one does.