Why won’t Realtors return my phone call?

August 3, 2011

Realtors don't return phone callsOne of the hardest aspects of being an independent real estate salesperson is deciding how to spend my precious time each day. There are only so many hours in each work day and if I am marketing myself properly (and I am) my cell phone will be ringing from morning till night. On busy days I can take a few dozen incoming calls that can range from a few minutes long to over an hour in length.

On any given day my phone will ring when I am driving my car, eating dinner with my wife, changing my babies diaper, or taking a shower. My phone rings every single day of the year including, amazingly enough, most holidays. People call me at 7:30 in the morning, before I have even had my first cup of coffee, and at 10:00 at night, as if am supposed to get out of bed and go back into real estate mode.

I think most people reading this would be shocked to see my cell phone call record. Few months pass without me using more than 2,500 minutes of air time and all of my calls aren’t even on my cell phone. I use a land line much of the time.

The point is if I took every phone call I would have no life, no relationships, be a horrible husband and father, and generally be a miserable slave to my cell phone. So I’m left to make a judgment call every time my phone rings and every time a message is left. When will I pick up? When will I return a call? I definitely cannot and will not take every call or return every message. So I have to look at everything I know about the call and make a decision.

I almost always will not return calls where the person doesn’t state why they are calling. I’m probably not going to call a person back who leaves a message that says, “This is George Johnson and my number is 555-5555.” Why not? From years of experience this person probably didn’t tell me why they were calling because they know I won’t call them back if I knew why they were calling. So in an effort to save both of us some time I just don’t call back. This might sound like I’m walking away from potential business, and in some cases this is true, but my experience tells me that serious buyers and sellers leave serious messages. It would be fair to say that 90% of calls from people that don’t explain why they are calling are an utter waste of time.

So if you want a Realtor to return your call leave a message with some actual content. Nobody is trying to ignore you or your real estate needs, but as stated above we get more calls than we can handle each day. Make your call stand out. Make your call worth returning.


8 Responses to “Why won’t Realtors return my phone call?”

  1. Tim Lyons on August 3rd, 2011 12:07 pm

    That makes perfect sense. I’m in sales too and I can’t stand when people don’t leave detailed messages.

  2. Evelyn Beckton on August 5th, 2011 9:22 pm

    It is both polite and to the caller’s benefit to leave a detailed message outlining what they wish to speak about. That can give you a little time so you can call back with some researched options for them.

    Whether the person is interested in getting something notarized, touring a few beach condominiums, or is interested in buying a house in the Pinellas or Hillsborough County area, it would take less than a minute to say so.

    Where would you like to live? Clearwater, Largo, St. Petersburg, Dunedin, Pinellas Park, Countryside, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Tampa? What do you need a notary public to sign? Where and when would you like to meet? Thank you.

  3. Chris O'Connor on August 6th, 2011 2:37 pm

    I agree with both of you. Knowing why someone is calling will definitely increase the probability that the call will be returned.

  4. Art Hotes on August 12th, 2011 9:25 am

    Good post!… I can’t tell you how tired I am of all the “SEO” type companies calling me and hanging up all the time!

  5. Immigration Business Plans on August 15th, 2011 6:00 pm

    Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there that do not have any respect for your time, or the fact that you have a life. It sounds like you are answering a lot of calls and being accommodating to 95%+ of the people that contact you, so good for you! Maybe you should change your voice mail to tell people your hours of operation so if they call you at 8.00pm and your voice mail says that any calls received after 7.00pm time will be answered the next day, you are at least setting an expectation level, but can still make a judgment call if you do want to call them back that night. You may already do this, but I bring it up because a long time ago I had a Realtor who did exactly this, and I knew from that point forward that if I didn’t call her before 6.30pm, I wouldn’t hear back until the next day.

  6. brookline home sales on August 22nd, 2011 6:42 pm

    This is very interesting. I have noticed that most callers who are interested in doing business with me will leave a detailed message, but I never considered not calling them back. I have been lucky not to have too many people calling that aren’t potential clients.

  7. Deer Valley Real Estate on August 30th, 2011 4:33 am

    Wow awesome! “Make your call stand out. Make your call worth returning.” This line would really work to every Realtor. Your advice is helpful and can really help realtors manage their time with their family and work.

  8. Certified Welding on October 3rd, 2011 7:34 am

    We return all calls. Some of the most profitable calls we get are sparse with details. Now I dont use my cell as my primary business line, but one of my salesmen does, but with a twist. He uses a Google number for business that redirects to his cell. This way when he is off the clock he can let those calls go to voice mail and return them later.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.