One of the more effective ways I have found to network is simply picking up the phone and calling people. Over the years I have built an extensive network with fellow Realtors around the country. But one thing always strikes me when I call. Every two or three phone calls an agent will answer the phone "hello" leaving the end user, me, to ask if I've reached the right person.
Now, we read all the time how first impressions make a huge difference. We dress to impress, we drive impressive cars to make a great first impression, and we spend thousands on marketing materials to do the same. Yet when it comes to the most fundamental tool at our disposal so many Realtors really drop the ball.
I'm sure we've all read about answering the phone with a smile and how that attitude projects through the phone line. And I very much believe in that. But please, when answering the phone, introduce yourself. You're a professional. It will go a long way to conveying that to potential clients.
The second leg to the phone discussion is answering the phone and returning calls. I find this offense to be most common amongst the R.E.O. agents. Sorry R.E.O. agents, prove me wrong. Getting them to respond to a phone call about an offer you sent over, or a lockbox code on a listing they have is like pulling teeth. Then having to explain that lack of professionalism to your clients is even more embarrassing.
Unfortunately our reputation as a Realtors is only slightly better than lawyers. A little common courtesy and professionalism on the phone can go a long way in shoring up our image out there. Come on folks, it's not that hard.
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