The [cell/smart] phone… The #1 business tool; in which you can’t survive without. Real Estate certainly is an “on-the-go” career and your smart-phone is your contact database, your map/GPS, your internet connection – and most importantly, your connection to your clients.
How you conduct yourself on the phone has a large influence on your professional image. Agents who have good phone etiquette differentiate themselves from agents who make a bad impression, inadvertently or not. You might be already doing a great job, but everything can be made a bit better with some extra attention, clean-up, and polish.
Here’s are some of the most effective telephone tips to practice, and keep in mind, for Real Estate agents:
Do whatever you can to keep your phone number maximally visible, as possible, to your prospects & clients.
It is impossible to create a 2-way relationship with people who don’t know how to, or find it difficult, to reach you. First, make absolutely sure that your phone # is on every single page of your website, especially in large print on your site’s main page. Just in case you haven’t set it up yet, include it in your email signature. It should be upfront and easy to find on all of your offline marketing materials: on pens, brochures, and postcards.
If your phone starts ringing off the hook, it would be best to have a secretary or virtual secretary ready to handle any call overflow. Another option would be to have two phones, with two contact phone numbers. We have all misplaced or broken our phones at one point or another, and that means lost business during the replacement period.
Whenever possible, answer your phone, especially early morning calls.
Customer/agent relationships can disintegrate if they feel their agent doesn’t answer. Now, we’re pretty sure a few bad apples spoil the whole basket but please, but if you can answer your phone, do it!
No Weird Ringtones
If your client doesn’t like your ring-tone, they will think of it every time they call you. Best to select a classic ringtone, or just an old-fashioned bell, and stick with it.
Put your phone on vibrate mode when in person with a client
Also be careful to not let your phone negatively affect your real life interactions. If you are meeting with a seller client in their home, or performing a home showing with a buyer, it a good practice to be maximally courteous to those around you by putting your phone on vibrate mode; and only checking the message during a break in your conversation with customers, when in person with them.
Re-record any inappropriate outgoing voicemail message or unpleasant hold music
Make sure you have a professional sounding outgoing voice-mail message; not only on your office line but similarly on your cell phone too.
Something as simple as, “Hello, you have reached (your name) with XYZ Brokerage. Please do leave me a message. I will certainly quickly get back to you! ” is a huge improvement over an automated or impersonal – or too personal – message. And if you use hold music, be careful with your selections. Classical or simply instrumental music is a safe bet.
Return calls as soon as you can catch your breath again
Find a quiet spot in a house or outside or in your car and promptly let your caller know that you value your relationship with them. Homebuyers may very well be choosing their agent based on how quickly their calls are answered or messages responded to. Surely, there will always be that one pesky client who shamelessly calls you much more than others, and at any hour too. It is helpful to set accommodating communication expectations, during your first conservation or meeting, should help resolve those types of issues.
Always take an extra breath and never talk over a call
Haste makes waste, even when speaking on a telephone, in fact, especially. For the homeowner, it is the biggest financial decision of their lives. A Real Estate agent’s life is also busy and often stressful. So, although it may be tempting to cut a worrisome or anxious client’s concerns short – it is much better to allow your clients to express themselves fully. Phone calls don’t allow for eye contact, so let them know you have fully listened to them by repeating key points back to them before you answer. By being calm, showing that you understood what they have told you, by repeating summary of their concerns back to them before you address them – will make your client fall in love with you, it will also increase your referral rate!
Ok, if you counted them, there are only 7 listed above. Can you think of 3 more? If so, we’d love to hear from you.