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Agent Advice: Know When to Pick Up The Phone

Posted by Jessica Schweppe

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Aug 18, 2015 8:00:00 AM

In today's Agent Insights post, Melissa Zavala - a Real Estate Broker / Owner in Escondido, California - offers agent advice about specific scenarios where real estate professionals should speak on the phone rather than communicate via text message or email.

Here's Melissa:

MelissaI love technology. I really do. I love the way I can get things done much more efficiently in 2015 than I could in 1990. But, as we adopt more and more technology into our daily lives, we seem to trend away from face-to-face communication. Voice communication… the stuff that sales and relationships are made of.

As an example, off the top of my head, I can name a number of transactions where agents in my office texted all the way to the showing—never having spoken to or met the prospective buyer prior to the showing appointment. And, as further proof, I offer my own family’s cell phone bill, where my elder son (a millennial) logs 2500+ text messages and less than thirty minutes of telephone time per month. 

But, when it comes to real estate, I’ve seen agents who rely too heavily on email actually and kill their transactions as a result. Here’s a handy list of 4 opportune times for agents to pick up the telephone as opposed to sending an email or text.

When to Pick Up the Telephone 

  1. Showing Appointments:

    You tell me… how much fun is it to go out, show a property, write a contract and send the contract… only to learn that there are already multiple offers higher than your client’s offer? Prior to showing is a great time to touch base with the listing agent to assure that the property is still available and also to learn of any subtle nuances or intricacies in the transaction.

    As an example, if the seller needs to sell at a certain amount in order to pay off his mortgage and your client wants to make a very low offer, that bit of information about the seller’s situation would have been helpful to know prior to showing.

    Read: pick up the phone.

  2. Making an Offer:

    In most parts of the United States, offers are sent to the listing agent via email. However, as you probably already know, many emails end up in spam boxes. And, emails with large attachments often spend an eternity in cyberspace.

    If you want to confirm that your buyer’s offer gets where it needs to go (and maybe if you want to do a little selling of your client to the listing side), then call to confirm that your offer was received.

    Read: pick up the phone.

  3. Negotiating Terms:

    Instead of going back and forth in email, try negotiating terms over the phone. Then, when you write up a counteroffer or a request for repairs, you already have a pretty good idea about the direction of the negotiations.

    I recently saw a deal about to go south because of a problem with the appraisal. When one of the agents finally decided to call the other, the two were able to solve the problem and the result was a successful closing.

    Read: pick up the phone.

  4. Solving Problems.

    Email is forever, so cool your jets. Never, ever type something that you will regret down the road. Don’t swear or tell people where they can go and how they can get there. Instead, pick up the phone. I’ve seen countless agents act like email bullies (my term). Meaning, they say all sorts of stuff and act all tough in email.

    But, when you pick up the phone, they are smooth as silk. It’s almost as if writing the words and not being face-to-face gives them the courage to say more than they should.

    Read: pick up the phone.

I get so much done via email and using my computer - but when it comes to delivering bad news, solving problems, or obtaining quick and easy information, you can accomplish a lot more in one phone call than you can in 10 emails.

Learn more about Melissa on her website: www.melissazavala.com


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