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1. Slow response time (51 percent)
2. Ineffective/Inefficient communication (23 percent)
3. Undesirable communication methods (15 percent)

In a business that is built on relationships and personal interaction, these statistics are certainly disappointing. But on the bright side, what a huge opportunity this is! If you want to improve your business, start answering your phone. It seems like your competitors aren’t even doing that. From a buyer’s perspective, 17 percent are likely to start working with the first agent that responds. Those are pretty good odds if you’re the one answering their phone calls and inquiries.

In fact, I’d build my brand around being accessible. I’d advertise it on my online profiles, websites, listing remarks, business cards and anywhere else I could. I’d make this a part of who I was—“The agent who answers their phone.” You could be known for worse things in this business!

I’m constantly reminded that we tend to make business and life more difficult than it needs to be. We spend hours glued to computer screens, building presentations and marketing materials, and then we forget something really basic like talking to people who pick up the phone and call us.

Wendy Forsythe is Executive Vice President/Head of Global Operations at Carrington Real Estate Services.

For more information, visit www.carringtonrealestate.com/join.

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