The Early Bird Gets the Worm- or Sometimes it's the One WHO GETS THERE FIRST!

Home Stager with Joy Home Design-Residential Interior Design & Home Staging

I have enjoyed reading all your comments on my last post which has prompted this follow-up.  I was invited to speak at a realtor's office yesterday by a realtor that I had done a few staging jobs for and had a lot of success with.  This is really the only way I do presentations these days as most of you have concurred.

Well, the realtor introduced me to the other agents at the weekly meeting (about 25) and said that one of the things he appreciated the most about me was my prompt reply to his initial enquiry via phone. In fact, he had thrown out a few calls to other stagers and because I was the first one to reply he went with me.

SO, in my brief talk yesterday, I mentioned that I pride myself on being available at all times because I carry my blackberry with me and I know that realtors work all the time. I said that calls rarely go to voice mail and that my priority is customer service.  Then one realtor piped, up " oh, yeah... we'll see about that!" I said, go ahead and test me sometime. I will answer the phone.

Well, wouldn't you know it, later that night about 8:45pm I'm relaxing on the couch trying to watch the Presidential Debates and my phone rings. It's a number I don't recognize so I answer, Joy Home Design, this is Joy. 

The first words I hear are "WOW, you really do answer the phone!"  I laughed and said , "yep, were you at the meeting today? " She said " yes, I was sitting behind you "(not the one that had spoken up and said she was going to test me)" and do I have a job for you."

Well, long story short, I booked a job that night in a few minutes BECAUSE I ANSWERED THE PHONE! 

When this is your full-time job and your career, you can get points with realtors who work at all hours by simply being there first and being there when they need you. 

I'd love to hear other comments of your experiences about how you got the job because you answered the phone!

Thanks and Happy Staging!


Comments (7)

Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Joy, I try to answer my phone as well. If I can't get it right then I will return the call ASAP.  I've noticed that I don't get to many calls before 10:00 in the morning. So I try to use that time for office, errors or planning. I'm a early bird so I can get a lot done in that time.

Oct 17, 2008 10:39 AM
Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Joy ~ Here's a post I did on returning phone calls.  There have been times I've answered my phone, "Hi, this is Kathy" and people hesitate and then say, "Oh, I thought I would get voicemail.", and I say, "No, it's me!"  The only calls I don't pick up are out of state calls, because when I do pick them up it is usually someone trying to sell me advertising or something.  Congrats on getting the job!

Oct 17, 2008 11:23 AM
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging


I agree, answering the phone is key!  If you are in a meeting or seminar...understandable.  However, there is nothing more frustrating than getting that voice-mail! ;)

Oct 17, 2008 12:30 PM
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Yes being responsive is key.  However, if you aren't any good as a stager they don't invite you to the office to meet their peers.  Good job, girl. 

Oct 17, 2008 03:49 PM
Kimberley Hawley
Hawley Interiors & Staging - Caledon, ON
Hawley Interiors & Staging

Hi Joy, Good for you. I guess you could paint a big L on my forehead. I never take my phone into a house where I'm staging or doing a consult. I always figured that if I'm being paid I should be giving that client 100% of my attention. I have noticed missed calls on my phone and no messages so I think you might be on to something here. But, how do you handle phone calls when you're with a client?

Oct 19, 2008 12:50 AM


Don't be so hard on yourself. I think you are right in not answering the phone during an appointment with someone else. However, as soon as you leave if you notice missed calls and have a phone number, I call them back even if they did not leave a message and just say, I noticed a call came in from this number but I was with another client. How can I help you?   Or if you are in a group setting in a conference you can always text back and let them know you will get back to them in xx minutes.

What I mainly am talking about is having your phone around at unconventional business hours like after 5pm and weekends because realtors work all sorts of hours depending on the seller's schedules. 

If you are not face to face with someone but busy , I usually answer the phone, hear who it is and ask them if it is okay to call them back in xx minutes.   For example if you are on the other line. 

Coming from the corporate business world, people are very impressed with prompt communications.  Most people are use to others not being there or leaving a message which sometimes is unavoidable but if you call them back ASAP they really take notice of that and it does make you stand out.  OF course you have to follow-up with good service.

Thanks for the feedback. I am trying to make staging in my local region a professional field and not something that a bunch of women are doing for fun part -time. This is my career. I have to make a living doing this and I take it seriously..hence I make communications with potential clients a priority granted not at the detriment of my existing clients.   I'm sure you all feel the same.

I'm off to the appointment I got because I answered the phone at 8:30pm on a weekday evening!



Oct 20, 2008 02:06 AM
Tanya Venable
Orlando, FL
SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant

Joy, great post! You definitely have to answer the phone because alot of realtors won't leave a msg. They'll call someone else.  You have to keep in mind that we are business owners and we have competition. One reason that Wal-mart got to the top is because they were open 24/7 when no one else was.

I was on a job for a consult. Apparently the client had called myself and another stager. I answered the phone and got the job. I was with the client in the middle of the consult and the other stager was just returning the clients phone call. It definitely pays to be first!


Oct 26, 2008 05:45 AM