Is Real Estate Your Hobby?

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bad_voice_mailYou may be unwittingly giving your customers this impression. I often call agents to discuss real estate business and get voice mail messages that tell me they aren’t interested in doing business. And if I think you aren’t interesting in doing business, then you know that potential clients are probably feeling the same.

Here are a few examples of voice mails that turn customers OFF: 

  1. “Hi, I (no name) am not available right now, please leave a message and I will get back to you.”  The customer has no idea who they are leaving a message for. It couldn’t possibly be a real estate professional because a professional would not do that.
  2. “You have reached 770-555-5555. Please leave a message after the beep.” Really? No one has any idea who they are calling. Does this real estate agent not know how to operate their phone?
  3. “This is Susie Agent, I’m not available right now. If you’re calling after 5:00 PM I will return your call after 9:00 AM the following morning.” As a real estate professional, you should be available to receive calls during some of the evening hours as many of our customers can’t call you until they have left work.
  4. “You have reached Joe Realtor, my hours are 9 to 5 Monday thru Friday. Please leave a detailed message and I will get back to you at my earliest convenience.”  What?? I have had customers call me and asked “Do you have agents that work on weekends?”  Well, of course we have agents that work on weekends. Most agents understand that buyers and sellers are especially in need of help on weekends. Also, here is a tip. Don’t say “at my earliest convenience”, that implies that you’re more important than the customer trying to reach you. Try something like “I will return your call as soon as possible”.
  5. There is music first sometimes religious or loud rock and then a message from the agent. While that may be the way you like to express yourself, sometimes your customers may be offended by it or think it’s not professional. Just be mindful that you’re a service representative and you get calls from all kinds of people.

Most great agents have a recording like:

“Hi, you’ve reached Dana Eskridge with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers.  I’m sorry I missed your call. Please leave me your name and number so that I can call you back as soon as possible.”

If you answer your cell phone, be sure you answer in a way that lets the person know who you are. Say your full name. When I was a child, my father always answered our home phone using his full name as some of the time he worked out of the house. Every time he said “Jay Pickett”; the caller knew immediately if they had the right person. Of course, he often scared off mine or my sister’s boyfriends!

Every time you’re exposed to the public – including email and social media – you have to remember what business you are in and consider if you’re coming across in a manner you feel will reflect well on your real estate business too.

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6 Responses to “Is Real Estate Your Hobby?”

  1. Kristy Serkedakis Says:

    So true. We all have what I like to call “moments of truth” throughout the day. Voicemail messages and how we answer our phones are great examples. Each time, someone is making a decision about us….good, bad or indifferent. Make sure that your voicemail message is professional and that you always answer your phone professionally!

  2. Skip Pitner Says:

    GREAT JOB DANA !! Thank you for speaking out, what needs to be said to so many agents. Not the Metro Brokers Agents, we are the professionals. My phone is on 24/7 and I try hard not to miss any calls.

  3. Laura Brown Says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this! When I call agents and there is no name in their out going message, I hesitate to even leave a message as I have no idea whether or not the number is actually associated with who I think it is. I think a potential buyer or seller would feel the same.

  4. Kim D. Lee Says:

    Excellent reminder!! When I was looking for a home prior to becoming an agent, agents were impossible to get in contact with after 5 pm. I tell all of my clients my phone is ALWAYS on and to feel free to reach out to me at any time. They love it!

    • Dana Eskridge Says:

      That’s fantastic Kim. You are a professional!

      DANA ESKRIDGE

      Vice President Relocation & Corporate Services Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers 5775-D Glenridge Drive, Second Floor, Atlanta, GA 30328 404.843.2500 Office 404-236-7090 Direct Line 404-847-2519 Fax

      ________________________________________

  5. Andre Jerry Says:

    Thank you, I appreciate this article!

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