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The key to getting more business is simple… Answer the phone!

Sounds crazy doesn’t it? But, how many of you don’t answer the phone when a potential client calls you? Think about it, do you really answer the phone when you aren’t busy? Well, I keep getting more and more clients because of agents who don’t answer the phone.

Agents need to answer their phones

I would love to be the first agent these people talk to, but even if I’m not first, second or third, as long as I’m the last agent they talk to that is fine by me. When a person calls me and sounding completely frustrated and says “Thank you, you are the first agent I’ve called that has actually answered their phone”

How would you feel if you call any company that you deal with and want to do business with and were required to leave a message and wait for them to return your phone call? You know the feeling I’m talking about. An hour after your call, you haven’t got a return call so you check your phone, then check your messages one more time, just to see if you missed it.

I know personally if I couldn’t get a hold of a live person that I would for sure think they didn’t care about my business enough to even call back within an hour. You are running a business, treat it like one and answer the dang phone!

I get 15-30 calls a day from my blog and craigslist and I can tell you that I couldn’t convert any of those people if I didn’t answer my phone. The people calling me clearly thought it was important enough to call, so why shouldn’t I feel that they are important enough to answer?

Now, I do understand as a husband and a parent that there are times that you can’t call back within an hour or can’t answer the phone. But, you still need to check your messages as the call could be very important. My solution to that is that when someone leaves me a message I have a service that transcribes my voice mail messages and sends them to me as a text message that I can read and decide if it is something that can wait as they were just leaving me a message with some information or if it is about a closing that is scheduled tomorrow and they need a piece of information right now. It is important to know even if you can’t answer at that exact moment. But, the key is either answer the phone or call back ASAP not 7 hours later.

If you are buyer or a seller and are looking for an agent that wants to take your phone call and not just tell you to either leave a message or call back between 5pm and 6pm then give me a call, I would love to help you in all your real estate needs.

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 93 commentsRespect Realty LLC • September 27 2011 02:33AM


Sometimes it is tough to answer. When someone calls, they want to talk then. Most will leave a first message, giving you the opportunity to show whether you do return messages quickly.

But what about the one who does not leave a message? The missed contact.

Nice post. Thanks.

Posted by Richard Byron Smith, NMLS #184479, Mortgage Loan Officer (Mortgage Loan Officer, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289) over 8 years ago

Nice post and I agree. I work referrals. If yu are interested let me know.

Posted by Ed Macias, Miami FL-REO Property Management Multifamily (Real Estate Teammates) over 8 years ago

How true this is except when you get telemarketers trying to sell you everything on your business lifeline...Leave a message!

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) over 8 years ago

The transcribing service is a good I don't imagine your wife would like you picking up the phone while on a date,  or while you're having dinner, tucking the kids in or having company.  I guess it is about priorities.  I'm not sure why the expectation is that as 'REaltors' is it is crucial that they speak to us 'live' instantly 18 hours a day.  But at any rate if you're benefiting from it I guess its good? :-)

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor over 8 years ago

Todd --- it blows me away that agents don't return phone calls -- I will never understand that.

                                                                                                                          The  <br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>AgentOwned<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>  Realty<br/>  <br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>Company<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>  - Mama <br/>Liz Signature<br/> with blue

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) over 8 years ago

Hi are right people make a call to talk to someone. People often say thanks for answering I was not expecting to talk to you, and thanks for replying to my email so promptly.

Be polite and talk to Consumers calling or emailing you by answering your phone or replying quickly to email inquiries.


Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Todd - Answering your phone is real estate 101 and for some reason so many agents let all their calls go to voicemail.  Many years ago I gained a great buyer because agents didn't pick up their phone.  My client was calling every sign in a neighborhood and nobody called her back, that night she found me on the web and called, I answered and after showing her two homes the next day I sold her a $500K home.

Posted by Michelle Gibson, REALTOR (Hansen Real Estate Group Inc. ) over 8 years ago

It will never cease to amaze me how any one paid on a commissioned basis doesn't answer their phone or return calls promptly. Oh, well, I'm happy to relieve those agents of the clients they won't be getting!

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) over 8 years ago

Todd, isn't it interesting that something as simple as answering a phone would actually get us business.  Good to remember.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

My desk phone transfers to my cell.  If I am not already with a client, or in the middle of a family thing, I answer the phone.  I always call back the same day.  I always answer my email.

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) over 8 years ago

So very true. Get get deals all the time because I was the first guy to anser the phone. Why do agents spend so much time and money trying to find clients and then ignore the phone when they call? I don't get it.

Posted by Mark Hall, Homes for Sale Vancouver Washington (Elite Realty NW - Keller Williams, Vancouver Washington) over 8 years ago

It's very simple to answer the phone or return calls within a short period of time.  Transcribing services are also available in Canada.

Posted by FN LN over 8 years ago

Todd - This is so very basic, but I am amazed at how few agents I reach via cell phone on the first try. 

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 8 years ago

I answer that phone even when it hurts....but not when face to face with a client.

Posted by Jim Hale, Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website (ACTIONAGENTS.NET) over 8 years ago

Todd, it seems like such a simple thing to do.  Amazing how many people don't do it. 

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 8 years ago

Todd, it's such a simple basic thing, and yet I find that many people are surprised when I actually pick up - agents and prospective buyers and sellers.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Same thing in the mortgage biz.  Showing them you care enough to respond is key.  

That said if you are on the phone or in the middle of meeting another client, it's rude to interrupt that for a new call, but returning the call within an hour or two is reasonable.

Posted by Eric Newman, Loan Officer with 25yrs in Housing, NMLS-97776 (Directors Mortgage, NMLS-3240) over 8 years ago

Drives me insane when an agent I am trying to put a deal together with will not:

1. Answer the darned phone!

2. Check messages and call less than 12 hours!

Time is of the essence and many tend to forget that.  Great post, great reminder, thanks, Todd!

Posted by Carole L. MacCollum, Broker/Realtor 207-337-4792 (HOME AT LAST REAL ESTATE) over 8 years ago

Todd, this is great. I am glad to see that there are more people looking to provide customer service and be proactive. You would not believe how many times I call people in the industry and the voice mail say "if this message is after 5 pm don't expect a return call until the following day." When did the Real estate, Mortgage and Title industries become a 9 to 5?

Posted by Bill Haider over 8 years ago

Bill's comment (#20) reminded me of something - my favorite loan officer actually emailed me (phone call was not necessary) yesterday from a tent in the woods while on a family camping trip to answer a question I had.  Now THAT is some kind of service!


Posted by Carole L. MacCollum, Broker/Realtor 207-337-4792 (HOME AT LAST REAL ESTATE) over 8 years ago

Absolutely. The number of times I have made calls to fellow colleagues for a showing and many times never received a return call from the listing agent. I don't get it.

Posted by Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR, Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations (Realty ONE Group) over 8 years ago

It's not rocket science, but is amazing how some agents just don't get it. Pick up the phone!

Posted by Jennifer Kirby, The Luxury Agent (Kirby Fine Homes) over 8 years ago

Oh, your right but I don't agree.  I should answer the phone only I can't stand the nonsense calls in between all the real customers.

Google Voice transcribes right?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 8 years ago

Agreed! Now I have to go read your other posts to see if I can figure out why you get so many calls!

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 8 years ago

So true -I am constantly told by other agents to stop being married to my phone. But I can't tell you how much business I have received simply because I answer a phone call or email asap.

It works!

Posted by Laura Coffey, Keller Williams VIP Properties (Keller Williams VIP Properties) over 8 years ago

I Promise I will answer! Call Me...I need some client referrals! :) I think that it is the most important part of our business. I wish I had it ringing more often!

Posted by Laura McDaniel (Southwestern Style Real Estate) over 8 years ago

So true!  I've had the same experience, and it especially holds true in my area of the country where people still have a bit of an aversion to e-mail and text. 

Posted by Lisa Taylor (Maverick Realty) over 8 years ago

I also think that when someone gives you a referral, don't be too complaining about it and accept it graciously

(Just my opinion!)

Posted by Chuck Ward Local Video Marketing, SMS Marketing, Google Plus Local Pages (Florida Mobile Fusion Mobile, Marketing, Local SEO) over 8 years ago

Russel Ray just had a super post about answering the phone and being available.  This must be a hot button right now!  Kathy

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) over 8 years ago

You are dead on!  I have picked up several clients just because I answered the phone.  In fact one client met me at an open house and then tested me by calling me 2 months later.  He didn't identify himself, but started asking questins.   Because I answered the phone and knew about each distinctly different area where he had condos to sell, I listed his 2 condos.  What a lesson!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 8 years ago

This is So Dead On. I can not tell you how many times I get business simply because I actually answer the phone. In today's market it never ceases to amaze me that agents just do not answer the phone. My wife and I recently finished a transaction where we never once spoke with the listing agent. Through the entire transaction the listing agent never once answered her phone or bothered to return any calls. She responded in email a few times, and of those few responses her messages had nothing to do with the questions that were actually being asked of her. I find not only annoying but very unprofesional to boot. Its amazing really. One message to anyone who thinks they can survive by not answering the phone. PICK UP YOUR DAMN PHONE!! If I could make it more graphic or I would but in the interest of remaining polite I will hold my tongue.

Posted by Steve Fingerman over 8 years ago

It is so VERY important to get and answer your phone calls personally that the ONLY number that is shown on my cards, my ads, the web, etc. is my direct phone number. The calls go directly to me.

Sometimes, more likely than not, you will be the first REALTOR the client finds and, viola, another potential lead.

Thanks for the helpful post.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE) over 8 years ago

I totally agree.  Last week I was running from one thing to another on one day and lost 2 jobs because I didn't check my email and return calls fast enough - even though I did it at the end of the day. 

Posted by Beth Lester, Home Staging & Interior Decorating (Beth Lester Designs) over 8 years ago

Todd - I'll have to agree with you about answering your phone. I received a call the other day and the customer was so happy that I answered. They said they called 5 other agents and I was the first one that answered and not let it just go to voicemail.

Posted by Robert Schwabe, Orange Park Real Estate (EXP Realty) over 8 years ago

A while ago I received a call on a property listed at nearly $500k.  When told the price the lady said she and her husband were looking for something under $200k.  Naturally, I told her I could help her find something in that price range and asked whether she was working with a Realtor.  She said she was a Realtor with an inactive license.

Then she said, "I've made 12 calls today on different houses and you are the first agent who answered the phone."  Am I a believer?  You bet.

Posted by Richard Riley over 8 years ago

Hi Todd,

Thanks for the reminder that we should never be "too busy" to take calls or return messages in a timely manner.  A while back, I was able to secure a listing for a condo because the client had called 3 OTHER offices on a Saturday morning "just to get some information" and no one would talk to her!

On the other hand, I left a message for a local embroidery service on Saturday about noon inquiring about their services. It is nearly 48 hours later and I still haven't received a call back...I don't think I'll be using these guys even when they do call.

Posted by John Alesi, (Orange County California Real Estate) (Century 21 Award) over 8 years ago

Todd - How can a store sell anything when it's closed? Go figure. I take as many calls as i can and return calls even when no message is left. This is what I was told to do long ago. I can tell anyone that verbal contact is key to anything sucessful.

Posted by Claude Cross, Charlotte NC Homes For Sale (Homes By Cross, Inc. ) over 8 years ago

Todd: Very well thought out and presented information.

Posted by Tom Waite, So Cal-Apartment Bldg Investments (Thomas Waite Real Estate Broker) over 8 years ago

Yes, I hear it all the time - wow, you answered your phone!!!  But, sometimes it is not possible, with a client, trying to get docs out, etc.  Still it is something I definitely try to do.  Also, I return voicemails promptly.  Sometimes, I call back and say, listen I can't talk right now, but I did get your message - when can I call you back?  People are always very accomodating. 

Posted by Cindy Abel, Broker/Owner - Las Vegas Homes and Real Estate (Southern Nevada Realty, LLC) over 8 years ago


This is key and I agree with you 100%.  My cell number is the only number I give out.  If I am traveling I leave a greeting telling people I am traveling, that I might be out of cell range and for how long.  I get back to people

Posted by Anonymous over 8 years ago


This is key and I agree with you 100%. My cell number is the only number I give out. If I am traveling I leave a greeting telling people I am traveling, that I might be out of cell range and for how long. I get back to people.

I thought I was logged in the first time I said this.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 8 years ago

When I wrote this I wrote it as a reminder to other agents and once again today proved it again. I had a person call me based on this article. They said the agent they were working with was that way and never answered the phone and wouldn't return calls for hours and sometimes even days. So, they thought they would try me and guess what I did? I answered the phone, they met with me and we signed a buyers agency agreement as they knew I was the agent for them.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Regardless of what I'm doing, or where I am, I always answer the phone. If I'm in a meeting, etc. I tell the caller I will call them back as soon as I am done and ask for the number. Often they call from work and the caller ID is for the main number.

I had one caller call me at 1:15am (worked graveyard shift) and fortunately I happened to be awake at home working on the computer. When I answered the phone, he was amazed and said he just wanted to leave a message. I ended up selling him a 4-plex.


Posted by Peter Rozsa (Cupertino, CA) over 8 years ago


There's business at the other end of that ring ring. If there isn't then it's probably me calling for no other reason than to check to make sure you're answering your phone :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 8 years ago

I try to get the phone as much as possible.... as long as I'm not in a position where I wouldn't be able to speak freely.  I believe that many times, if the person on the other end doesn't get an answer, they're just dialing up another Realtor(R)

Posted by Susan Zanzonico, Sellers/Buyers Agent, Morristown NJ Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services) over 8 years ago

Back to the basics.  This seems to be step one.

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) over 8 years ago

As an investor, I run into this all the time. It's very aggrivating that after I've done all the legwork, sometimes a weeks worth of internet research, county files, treasury dept, comps, builders dept files, surveyors, utility company records, etc. and get down to the LAST part - checking the inside, and I can't get the agent who's phone number is on the sign in front. I've called 12 times a day for a week, then had to start all over again, having to research what I had on my list as 2nd best investment (and sometimes THAT one has already been sold). ARG! Where WERE you?

Posted by Miriam Gaddis (Gaddis Properties) over 8 years ago

Todd:  Love the post!  I once had a lender tell me I was "the only realtor who ever answers her phone".  Crazy!  Carrie

Posted by Carrie Sampron, ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R (Home Smart Realty Group) over 8 years ago

Great post! I coach my clients at our first meeting, if I don't answer my phone, it means I am with a client, leave a message, I'll call you back. If it is an emergency, send me a text or email, it goes to my phone. Even if I can't talk, I can acknowlege their contact.

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) over 8 years ago

Howdy and morning Todd

Todd, it sure is not at all a good feeling when you call a company, which you help to support and have to leave a message, which you never get a return call to. But what really makes even really bad, is when the person you call picks up the phone, you hear them talking and they hang up the phone with out ever saying a word to you. Then you call right back, and have to leave a message, and your call is not return. On top of that, to have it actually be the CEO of the company that did it to you. That actually happen to me two weeks ago, by the CEO of AR.

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

Posted by Dale Baker, New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information (Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections) over 7 years ago

Todd - great post, I was just a seminar, and the speaker stated: you have 15 seconds to respond in order to convert that lead.....

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) over 7 years ago

Great job Todd! I could not agree more. I am also amazed that you have this many comments in 5 hours since posting it.


Posted by Cal Yoder, Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744 (Keller Williams Elite) over 7 years ago


This is the simplest fix that most real estate agents can do.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I'd like to comment on this revived post, but my phone is ringing, go to go!

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 7 years ago

Wow, you have a lot of comments here!  I hear the same thing about agents not answering the phone, not calling back...

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 7 years ago

A great reminder for us all. At the beginning of the year I made a resolution to pick up as often as possible. I fell short a few times but overall am pretty pleased with myself, but there's always room for improvement. I still have 4th quarter for that improvement:)

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 7 years ago

Not only do they need to learn to answer for their clients, but the brokers who want to help them sell or rent the same property they have listed.

Do not make others look bad due to your own bad practices.

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA (Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY) over 7 years ago

I always ask prospects if they're working with any other agents, and it's amazing how many times I hear "I called a couple of agents but you're the only one who called me back"! Good one, Todd!

Posted by Debbie Sagorin, Marketing Irvine to the Highest Level (Coldwell Banker Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Communication is certainly the key. Why offer your phone number if you are not going to take the call?

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 7 years ago

That's true of any business. My husband after retirement started a handyman business, and wasn't sure he'd be able to build a clientele. Just answer your phone, and show up when you say you will I told him.  He's got all the business he can handle.

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I have written a similar post as well. One of the most common compliments I get from my clients is that I answer my phone!! Sounds so easy but as you say, so many agents don't. If I can't get to my phone, they know I will be returning their call very shortly. Customer service is KEY in this business! Clients need to know they are important.

Posted by Shelly Sierra (RE/MAX Masters) over 7 years ago

Less than 10 years ago most people did not expect every human being to answer their cell phone 24 hours a day/7 days a week.  Apparently that has changed though. 

Personally, I don't advertise my cell phone # anywhere except on my business card.  Everything else lists my office # which has a live person answering it during business hours most of the time.  But on the same note, my voice mail says if you need to talk to me right away to send me a text message or email otherwise I will call back soon.  It is important to respond to calls quickly though.  It is amazing how many agents and homeowners don't even return calls for days if at all.

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) over 7 years ago

I know you can not always answer the phone when it rings but a timely call back is a must ( it's just polite).  We are in the business of customer service and not returning a call gives us all a bad name.

Posted by Linda Gurtel, CRS (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

If an agent can't return a call within two hours, especially listing agents, I move on, next!

A solution for listing agents is to secure a cell phone that's used only for incoming sales calls for their listings. If you can't pick up, you certainly know and can return the call in a timely manner.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 7 years ago

I don't get the number of calls that you do. In fact, most of my clients contact me first by email. But when I pick up the phone or call back within a short time, they always sound surprised. By the same token, I'm always surprised when I make a call and actually get the person on the first try.

We have all these communication devices, and yet it's harder than ever to get a live person to speak with.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 7 years ago
We have a problem in my area with spotty cell coverage, which is really frustrating, but we do call back asap. The worst is listing agents who dont call back when we want to show their listings. I mean, really.
Posted by Joy Tiz, SFR (Desert Homes & Land Inc, Palm Desert, CA) over 7 years ago

I've always found it rude when someone answers a call while I'm talking face to face with them about something important. I won't do that to my clients either. I'll answer the phone if I can and check VM /Emails regularly. But always answering the phone is not an option if you are a polite person. Or a safe driver.

Posted by The Derrick Team - Indy Metro Realtors, Your Pet Friendly Realtors (Carpenter Realtors) over 7 years ago

Agreed. I will always send a call to voicemail when I have a client in front of me or if I'm on another call. It's absolutely ridiculous to think that an agent can field every single call in the exact moment that it comes in...ask yourself: can I call my Doctor, Lawyer or Accountant and get them to answer the phone every single time I call? (No, you can not, and neither should you expect your professional REALTOR(R) to be able to). I'm sorry if this offends, but it is the Gospel Truth.

Posted by Jason Rankin, 865.475.3236 (Rankin Real Estate Services) over 7 years ago

I have never understood how agents that don't answer the phone or return phone calls even stay in business.  I make every effort to answer my phone and I always return phone calls unless it is a telemarketer trying to sell me something.

Posted by Terry McCarley, REALTOR, SRES, CDPE - Cape Coral, FL (REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL) over 7 years ago

The sound of a phone ringing sounds like money to me! Newport Oregon

Posted by Barbara Le Pine, Your agent for the Central Oregon Coast! (Advantage Real Estate, serving Lincoln County) over 7 years ago

We are in business afterall! I've gotten a lot of clients because I answer my call and am always surprised when they say they've tried other agents and weren't able to reach anyone or get a call back. We need to behave like the professionals we are.

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) over 7 years ago

Oh so true!  And when the call is out of state, we often think it's someone trying to sell something.  Answering the phone is key to staying in business!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 7 years ago

The quicker you respond to messages, the more business you will do!

Posted by Steven Pahl, Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423 (Keller Williams Tampa Properties) over 7 years ago

Great point, Todd. I used to have 4 or 5 numbers for clients to reach me at. I had some of them say "I didn't know which one to call." So now I give out only one number, and that rings where I am at - regardless of where I'm at. Oh, and I probably answer 95% or more of my calls personally as they come in. Return calls to clients are usually in less than 30 minutes.

Posted by Jeff Hollister, Real Estate Broker, Serving Orange County, CA (Native Californian with 20 years serving OC Buyers & Sellers) over 7 years ago

Sometimes I know when I'm letting an opportunity pass by but sometimes it just has to be that way.  It's all about balance!

Posted by Beverly Femia, Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 7 years ago

Todd: I get many jobs from clients who say the other stager hadn't returned their call or didn't call back for several days. I try to return every call in 4 hours or less, usually more quickly. I hear other home stagers complain about not having more business, but it may just be a matter of returning calls more quickly.

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 7 years ago

I agree that it is very important to answer you phone as much as possible.  However, there are times when it would just not be appropriate such as when you are in a training class or other situation where you would disturb others.

Posted by Rocky Dole (Revelation Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Good post!  Here's a clue... you can't talk to anyone on your phone unless you answer it!  A great idea for realtors.

Posted by Juan Bassett, GRI (Long & Foster) over 7 years ago

I try to answer all calls but if I can't take a call I always return calls promptly.  I am always calling other agents and get very frustrated whenh they choose not to answer calls.  I don't want my customers experiencing that frustration when they try to call me.

Posted by Lucien Vaillancourt, Jacksonville Florida Real Estate (Native Sun Realty, Inc.) over 7 years ago

I always return calls as soon as possible, however, if I am with a buyer or seller, they have my full attention so any caller at that point will have to leave a message.  I'm sure anyone working will appreciate the fact that I'm not constantly cutting in to their time to answer my phone.

Posted by Caryn Baker (Realty Pros & Assoc.) over 7 years ago

Todd: I once had a lender tell me I was the only agent he did business with who always answered their phone when he called. Unless I'm with a client you'll be able to reach me seven days a week from 8 am - 10 pm. Carrie

Posted by Carrie Sampron, ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R (Home Smart Realty Group) over 7 years ago

I love to answer my phone, call me, call me, unless I am in the bathroom, I will answer the phone 98% of the time, try me.

Posted by Deborah Grimaldi, (401) 837-9633 (Albert Realtors) over 7 years ago

Do you have a separate phone line for buyers to call on? I have been thinking of getting a 2nd know, one to advertise on signs and ads, and then my private line for agent calls.

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) over 7 years ago

So true, so true...the only way to get the business is to answer the call.

Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) over 7 years ago

Answering my phone has always paid off well for me. I had a call once on New Years day and showed property. Last November I got a call around noon on a Sunday from a man asking if I could possibly show him some of my land listings. He apologized for calling with so little notice but found he had the time after his plans changed. I told him that I could and met an hour and a half later. I wrote a offer on one of my land listings that day and another about 10 days later. I learned afterwords that he called another agent first and didn't reach her. He told me that she called him back a week later and he told her that he was in the process of buying two parcels of land. She was probably sick about it but it does prove that it pays to answer your phone. Two of my sellers were glad I answered my phone.

Jacqueline Drake CRS

Cochise County AZ

Posted by Jacqueline Drake CRS, Southeast Arizona land, farms & horse properties (Jacqueline Drake Realty) over 7 years ago

Todd - I was reading this and thinking, "Hmm... This sounds familiar."  And of course I had read it before.  Good advice back then & still applicable.

Posted by Margaret Mitchell, Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty) over 7 years ago

Great Post! I am a new agent with only 2 years under my belt. I see this EVERY DAY, even in our own brokerage.

A lot of this happens with agents who have been in the business for YEARS. Now I am not downing all experienced agents, but many I know seem to think business will come their way from referrals and repeats. Their sales skills have hit rock bottom, and many answer simple questions of these callers and never dive deaper into molding the lead. Many of these cold calls that come in have turned into solid leads for me with sales (dollars in my pocket) at the end of the day!

I fully agree that answering the phone, understanding (listening to) the situation, molding the lead.....ultimately leads them right into your contact list. This is VERY important to me as most of my business has been from cold calls off of floor time and marketing actions. I want to fully support that caller so in the end they too become my repeat and referral business!

Posted by Justin Peck (Miller Real Estate) over 7 years ago

That is so obvious, but there are people who do not do it.  It is amazing.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 7 years ago

It can be difficult to always answer but as you said, returning calls promptly is very important.  Agents get bombarded with telemarketing calls and that may play a role as well.

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE) over 7 years ago

Wow, 15-30 calls from your blog and craigslist.  That's awesome! -Kasey

Posted by Kasey & John Boles, Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties (Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - over 7 years ago

So true. This is basic, basic, basic. (why do we say everything 3x in real estate?)

The bar is set so low in our industry you can barely trip over it. ANSWER YOUR DA%N PHONE!

My phone is set to a ring-tone of "Cha-Ching" everytime the phone rings, that is potential money calling.



Posted by Jayson Holland, Jay Holland ( over 7 years ago

Yes it sure is important to answer your phone in this business.  When I call some companies out there and a live person answers, my voice is so happy and I always say something like -Wow! you actually answer the phone at your company.  Just think how clients feel when you answer the phone.  :)

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 7 years ago

Hi Todd, excellent point.  Same with answering web inquiries or emails!

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) over 7 years ago

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