What does your voice mail message say about your real estate business?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with KD Realty - 408.972.1822 CA BRE#01366594
http://actvra.in/Sqg

What does your voice mail message say about your real estate BUSINESS?

To this San Jose Real Estate Agent it says volumes.  For most businesses, the phone is the first point of contact. We only have one shot at making a first impression.  This applies to all businesses, including small businesses like independent real estate agents, independent brokerages, print shops, and more!

Woman working at a PC with a phone headset

Is your voice message greeting professional

1.  Does the message identify your name and/or the name of the business entity? 

2.  Is the message understandable in all aspects (tone, volume, background noise, etc.)?

3.  Is the message too long with a bunch of meaningless blah blah blah?

4.  Is the voice a warm and friendly voice or is it an automated robotic message indicating "no on is available to take your call" out of box kind of message?

5.  Is there no message at all - no greeting has been set up and one cannot leave a message?

6.  Will callers know they have the right number?

7.  Will callers question if they have the wrong number - hang up and call again?

8.  Is the voice mailbox full preventing callers from leaving a message?

 

How much business are you losing because your first impression lacks professionalism?

Frustrated woman looking at cell phoneThis San Jose Real Estate agent has high standards. I will not do business with anyone when my first point of contact, a phone call, with a business leaves me feeling the business lacks professionalism.  The person or business might be the best in the land at what they do but I will never experience that if the first point of contact, a phone call leaves me wondering:

1.  Who did I just call?

2.  I did not understand a word that person said.

3.  Gheez, alright, already ... blah blah blah ... seriously?

4.  Did I call a business or did I call someone's home?

5.  I wonder if I mis-dialed the number?

6.  Do I have the right phone number?

7.  I am so uncertain about the number I dialed I hang up and call again.

8.  If they are too busy to check and delete messages I don't think they are someone I want to do business with.

These standards apply to all businesses not just real estate. For me, it is about the experience. How do I feel when I make that first call?  Do I feel valued? It's about the quality of service which starts with the first impression ... when I make that first call. It will either win my business or lose my business.

Voice messages are just as important as how a call is answered. So many businesses have lost the opportunity to gain my business simply because they lack the professional standard I require.

What impressions are you leaving with your voice mail message and how your phone is answered?

What does your voice mail message say about your real estate business? - by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Real Estate Agent - San Jose Homes for Sale

 

 

 

 

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  1. Debbie Reynolds 03/20/2013 04:03 PM
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Rainmaker
596,556
Richard & Beth Witt
Broker/Owner RE/MAX Wittney Estates Long Island NY
RE/MAX Wittney Estates 516-795-6900 www.longislandrealestatesearch.com

I certainly do agree with this statement: Voice messages are just as important as how a call is answered.

Have a Happy Day...

March 17, 2013 04:45 AM
Rainer
171,283
Norman Padula
GRI, CDPE, PA~Presence,Persistence & Perseverance
Keller Williams Carmel Valley
I agree, and it is all a part of the basic Branding process essential for professionalism and success.
March 17, 2013 04:56 AM
Rainmaker
1,564,390
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT

Kathleen - You are so right.   We recently adapted ours to include an alt phone # to call and text if they are in our rush...our phones are ringing so much, that voicemail msg is becoming more and more important. And, this is a way to prevent our voicemail box from filling up and get customers to the person they need faster.

March 17, 2013 05:18 AM
Ambassador
683,273
Charita Cadenhead
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)
Keller Williams Realty
Totally agree Kathleen. I will call back a second time just to make sure that I did not misdial the first time. But after that I'm through.
March 17, 2013 05:46 AM
Rainmaker
173,321
Betsy Schuman Dodek
SearchPotomacHomes.com
Washington Fine Properties - Washington DC Area Real Estate

This is a great remonder and I am going to review my voicemails!!!

 

March 17, 2013 07:53 AM
Ambassador
1,234,083
Kathleen Daniels
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822

Debbie, Both my land-line (office phone) and cell phone are used for business. I don't have a "personal" phone line. So both have a professional business greeting.
Tom, I confess I have caught myself leaving a bunch of blah blah blah ... then I erase and re-record to leave a simple message ... call me.
Toni, That is my pet-peeve too.  I don't care that you are in a conference today or cat sitting for your favorite Uncle.  Just check your messages and return calls timely.
Joan, I have no doubt that your greeting is professional because you are a true professional.
Michael,  I need to check Pat's post ... thanks for the heads up.  I hear you ... it makes me want to bang my head on the wall when people do that. We don't care ... just answer your phone or get back to me in a timely manner.
Rob, There is a concept ... answer the phone.  But I would say if you are in the bathroom or even shopping its best to wait until one is in a quiet environment and can offer their undivided attention.

March 17, 2013 08:12 AM
Ambassador
1,234,083
Kathleen Daniels
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822

Laura, It never hurts to revisit our voice messages.  In fact, I relistened to mine after writing this post!
Richard & Beth,  For me, I want to be certain I have the right number when someone answers a business line. "Hello!" does not make that happen for me.
Norman, Well said ... it does brand us as professional when it is done well.  Thank you!
Debbie, And that is why you will continue to be successful and grow your business.  Your focus in on your customers and their experience. You do what needs to be done in orde to ensure customers have a good experience and KNOW they are dealing with a professional.
Charita, I just went through that with a physical therapy group my doctor referred me to.  The recorded message was that infamous male voice "no one is available at this time" created on a out of box home answering device.  Really?  No thanks. I pay the same price for a professional service that has a professional front office.
Betsy, I'm glad you found this to be a good reminder and will check to see if your message is professional.

March 17, 2013 08:20 AM
Ambassador
2,366,451
Patricia Kennedy
For Your Home in the Capital
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc.

Hey, Kathleen! I included this post in Last Week’s Favorites.  Please drop by and check it out, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

March 17, 2013 09:30 AM
Rainmaker
139,243
Kim Gaston
Colorado Springs Realtor, (719)661-6987
Colorado Home Sales LLC

Hi Kathleen, coming over from Patricia's blog - excellent post and well deserved feature. Your voicemail can potentially be your only chance at a first impression. Thanks for the reminder!

March 17, 2013 09:49 AM
Ambassador
1,806,999
Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
Integrity Real Estate Group

Voicemail is an art and I would add the way call another agent is critical as well.  I have a problem with someone who calls and doesn't identify who they are but just start asking about a listing so I don't know if they are an agent or a consumer.

March 17, 2013 12:00 PM
Rainmaker
1,368,872
Donna Harris
Realtor, CDPE & ASP - Hill Country Lakeway Austin
Regent Property Group

I hate messages that go on and on about their appts that day and returning calls during X time. They should call me back as soon as they can, not just during a scheduled time.

March 17, 2013 04:28 PM
Ambassador
1,234,083
Kathleen Daniels
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822

Patricia, Thank you so much.  I read your comment that you changed your voice message.  Thanks so much for including this in your Last Week's Favorites! 

Kim, Thanks for stopping by. That's how I feel. Our voice message sets the stage for a potential business relationship.

Cindy, I completely agree.  I see red flags all over the place when someone jumps right in and does not identify who they are.  I often ask, are you an agent?  It also sets the stage for how it would be to do business with them.

Donna, I know many agents who state in their voice message ... I return calls between 10-11, 2-3, and 5-6.  I agree. Does not matter to me ... I don't need to know their schedule or how busy they are ... just return my call. 

March 17, 2013 07:31 PM
Rainmaker
25,249
Katrina Rockel
"Moving You Forward"
The Rockel Group @ Keller Williams Realty

Kathleen, I came over after seeing Patricia put this on her Last Week's Favorites. You made a great point and I need to listen to mine and make sure it's not a turn off. Thanks for the tips.

March 17, 2013 07:52 PM
Ambassador
1,234,083
Kathleen Daniels
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822

Katrina,  Thank you for stopping by. 

March 18, 2013 09:18 AM
Ambassador
2,342,450
Lenn Harley
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate

There is a serious problem with messages from folks on cheap cell phones.  I use a land line and can tell the quality of the cell phone used to call me. 

One of my referral agents has a voice message so long I have been known to just hang up  Sometimes. . . . . . .

March 20, 2013 04:10 PM
Rainmaker
204,179
Peggy Wester
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County Real
Think Young Team--Realty Executives Integrity

Hi, Kathy

Came here from Debbie Reynolds re-blog. Nice post and so true. There's an agent in our area who changes his outgoing message every day, telling the call what he is doing -- every. hour. of. the. day. Enough already. People don't care. Keep it simple. One of the nicest compliments, I think, is when a caller tells you that you sound happy on your voicemail. That first impression is so, so important.

March 20, 2013 04:11 PM
Rainmaker
76,334
Shawna Green
The key to your real estate needs!
Towering Pines Realty

Great points!  Just like curb appeal, most times you only get one chance to make a first impression!

March 20, 2013 04:18 PM
Ambassador
1,234,083
Kathleen Daniels
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822

Lenn,  I use a land line 90% or better of the time.  I will only return calls on my cell if absolutely necessary.  I understand why people just hang up ... it's frustrating.

Peggy,  I recall a few agents who recorded a new message everyday with minute by minute details of their day.  Seriously, why do we care?  We don't!  I stopped doing business with a lender who did the same thing.  I've been told my voice greeting is professional and pleasant.  It's nice to get that feedback too!

Shawna,  I like your analogy to curb appeal.  It really is the same thing ... what is the caller left feeling with a voice message and how does a buyer feel when they drive up to a home for sale. 

 

March 20, 2013 04:31 PM
Rainer
263,980
Nina Rogoff
Your Hometown Realtor in Sharon MA
RE/MAX Executive Realty -

Hi, Kathleen...I saw Debbie Reynold's re-blog of this post! Love what you've said!! I especially cannot stand it when I call an agent's number and the machine says, "you've reached 617-222-1111 please leave a message." Have I reached the right person? Why doesn't the agent want to say his name, his company, something? It seems unprofessional and almost evasive.

March 20, 2013 06:24 PM
Rainer
72,287
John J. Woods
Aardvark Appraisals

 

   Great 'laundry list' of answering machine/service pet peeves.

 

April 08, 2013 12:40 PM
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Kathleen Daniels

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