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By Craig Proctor

RISMEDIA, May 7, 2008-While providing excellent service is important to any successful business, if the business relies entirely on an individual, ongoing success will eventually be handicapped. There are only so many hours in a day. How many hardworking agents out there are sacrificing dinners with family, kids’ recitals, and any real personal “down” time to answer any and every prospect call?

There is a better way, and the good news is that the solution is better for both you AND your customers.

proctor_craig.jpgProspects are hungry for good information, but are very leery of the selling process. When you place a house ad and ask prospects to call you directly, you are really handicapping yourself. Prospects will go to great lengths to avoid a sales pitch from a salesperson.

Whether you’re marketing a property or a special report or a hotlist, you must make it easy, convenient, and most of all, non-threatening for them to get the information they seek.

Your Prospect Calls Will Triple When You Move to a “Talking Ad” Format

The term “talking ad” refers to an ad that directs prospects to an automated hotline that will not only answer, but also sift and sort your callers for you vs. having these prospects call you directly to get the information they’re after. Three times as many prospects will call in on your listings when they are offered the opportunity to call in for information any time they want, without ever having to talk with an agent (unless of course they want to – you should give them the opportunity to be connected with your office directly by pressing “0” at any time during the message.)

There are a few important features your hotline system should have in order for it to work optimally for you. For example, your system should have branching capabilities, the ability to capture telephone numbers (even if the caller fails to leave a message), etc.

The benefits of using a Recorded Hotline are numerous. If you set it up correctly, 10-15% of prospects that call will leave messages for you on your hotline. With a proper script, your hotline will then automatically sort your prospects, revealing which ones are the most qualified, allowing you to follow up only with your best opportunities.

10 Ways a Talking Ad Format Will Benefit Your Business

Benefits to Sellers

1. Detailed information about sellers’ homes is available to interested buyers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

2. The system generates 3 times as many calls for information on sellers’ homes when buyers don’t have to speak directly with an agent

3. The system automatically pre-qualifies buyers

Benefits to Buyers

1. Buyers have immediate 24 hour phone access to information on properties that interest them

2. The system is non-threatening as buyers never have to speak directly with an agent (unless of course they want to)

3. Buyers will save time by ruling out homes they are not interested in

4. Buyers can receive a free info package on any property you have listed for sale

Benefits to Agents

1. The hotline answers all prospect inquiries 24/7 and automatically sifts out the most qualified and motivated prospects (they will be compelled to leave a message)

2. You are positioned as “information provider,” offering an objective, easy, non-threatening place to get information

3. This is a great listing tool as you are able to demonstrate to sellers how your system draws more calls (you can show them the cal report printout)

rick-brash-photo.jpg“I use a Hotline in all of my print ads to help incubate the prospects. Prospects see my ad, they call for more information, they listen to our pre-recorded message, are enticed to get more, and then ask for it. It’s so simple it’s unbelievable. It’s perfect presentation every time — the hotline simply replicates, in an automated way, exactly what I would say if I took the call personally. It replaces 4 or 5 people in the office and it frees up your time as well. All of us that use the system to its fullest extent refuse to take calls, letting the hotline replicate our presentation over and over again, making the perfect, well articulated offer to every caller. Callers ask for something, prioritize themselves for us, and allow for an efficient and easy follow-up.” – Rick Brash, Calgary, Alberta

In an age where buyers and sellers are more skeptical than ever, and people run from a sales pitch, it’s important to find innovative ways to get prospects to contact you. To find out more about the hotline systems I’ve described, you can visit where you can learn about my 3-day SuperConference where I train agents on effective lead generation and associated technology.

Billion Dollar AgentTM Craig Proctor has been in the top 10 for RE/MAX Worldwide for 15 years and is the only real estate trainer who actually does what he teaches. Craig consistently sells over 500 homes per year to earn almost $4 million in commission. Over 25,000 agents nationwide use Craig’s system to make more money in less time. To receive free training from Craig with no obligation, visit: This Free Training includes free weekly teleconference training calls with Craig and some of his most successful agents where they discuss the cutting edge strategies they’re using right now, in this market, and explain how they work. You’ll also receive a free weekly email newsletter that reveals the tested and proven marketing strategies that continue to make Craig one of North America’s top agents. By taking advantage of this free training, you’ll also get advanced notice of Craig’s free half day seminars that will provide you with the tools you’ll need to start implementing these ideas immediately. These seminars are held year round in cities across the country. To receive free training from Craig with no obligation, visit: