Nobody answers their phone anymore… but worse than that is the trend of agents NOT returning phone calls from other agents.

It’s amazing to me how often I hear from my agents that the “agent on the OTHER side of the deal” does NOT call them back.  Usually this is when a buyer’s agent is either trying to secure a preview/showing appointment or has sent an offer over and they are trying to confirm receipt.Seriously, some of them don’t hear back for DAYS, if ever.  WHY is this becoming such a trend?  Has all the new, shiny technology led us away from actually picking up the phone during a transaction?  Are we all so jaded by the telemarketer calls that we just don’t pick up anymore? Or…. (fill in the blank) – what is it?

I decided to do a casual poll and ask agents WHY they believe agents are not answering the phone… or why they themselves were guilty of this “crime”. For obvious reasons, all names shall remain anonymous.

Here are the most popular thoughts/suggestions:

1.  UNBLOCK your number.  If your number appears as blocked or unknown, 90% of the agents said they WILL NOT ANSWER!

(TIP: Make sure to check with your company’s tech department to find out if your office number appears as either of the above… this happens a lot!

 2. I recognize your number, but YOU talk TOO MUCH. This was a common one… Agents just let it go to voicemail because they know it will take forever to get off the phone with the caller… and they don’t have the time to chit-chat.  Keep it short from the first conversation or voice message to avoid this one!

3.    Tell me WHAT you are calling about… I want details. Most of the listing agents said voice messages are often missing info, such as, which listing you are calling about, the best time to reach you… and there were even a few who said the caller did not leave a NAME!

4.    Call from the number you want to be called back on… please.  If you are calling from your office, but leave your mobile number as the call back number… that is a problem.  Most people use the “call back” option in their voicemail system.

5.    Let’s TEXT!  If the agent is able to quickly text you a response… please let them know that in the voicemail message. If an agent is out and about with clients… it may be much easier for them to reply via text than to try to catch you on the phone when they are done.

Obviously there were many other thoughts and ideas on WHY an agent doesn’t answer their phone like: they don’t know how to answer a call on their “smartphone”; they are working another job and don’t have time; they “don’t like to talk on the phone”, etc…  However – those “reasons” are an entirely different post – or two.  In the end it all comes down to this: MAKE IT EASY for the other agent to communicate in their language, tell them exactly what you need back from them and when… period.

As you can imagine… conversations on this topic never end without this question: “What should I do when the other agent will not call me back?”

I know that this is VERY frustrating, however… take a deep breath, walk into your managing broker’s office and ask THEM to call the agents managing broker.  That is their job.  Please do NOT call the other agents clients (**especially if you are a REALTOR®) and proceed to list all the transgressions of their agent.  This action will not bode well for you, or your clients, during the transaction negotiations… if/when you get to that point.

So, this is what I heard – what are YOUR thoughts?  Ready… Set… GO!


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