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Why Aren’t Agents Answering Their Phones?

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By Wendy Forsythe

I was scrolling through online listings recently when an exterior photo caught my eye. Upon clicking into the detailed property view and remarks to get a closer look, I was surprised to see that the first sentence read “No phone calls, please.” I had to reread this a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. And yet, according to some of our agents, it is becoming more and more common within the industry for agents to request “no phone calls in either the public listing remarks, the private remarks, or both.”

Why don’t we want to talk to potential clients anymore? Is it really an inconvenience to talk to potential clients, or our fellow colleagues, on the phone about one of our listings?

According to a recent study by the California Association of REALTORS®, only 9 percent of agents met or exceeded buyer response time expectations. An astounding 91 percent of agents only “kind of” met—or fell way below—meeting response time expectations.

Just to clarify: It seems that we want people to contact us about their real estate needs, but then we don’t respond to their inquiries. I decided to do my own little test and randomly called five agents, and I got five voicemails (surprise, surprise). I left a message saying I was interested in information on moving to their market, gave my first name and return phone number. I got one return phone call two days later.

Going back to the California Association of REALTORS®’ study, additional findings reported that the top three reasons buyers were unsatisfied with their agents were:

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