Friday, June 3, 2011

*Ring Ring* "Hello?"

We live in a world now where people want instant answers. With all the advances made in technology people have gotten used to get answers right away.  If you want to know "why
a hamburger is call a 'ham'burger" you just have to get out your smart phone, open up your google search app and look it up.  So who in the world would want to leave a voicemail?

Check This out
A study conducted by Sprint found that
91 percent of people under the age of 30 respond to text messages within an hour and are four times more likely to respond to texts than to voice messages within minutes. Adults 30 and older are twice as likely to respond within minutes to a text message than to a voice message.

Now as realtors we are constantly checking our voicemails, but think about it: If that many people don't even check their voicemail's why would they in turn leave them.  And how many times have you had a missed call on your phone, and no voicemail.    Everything happens fast in today's society a
nd consumers have developed a sense of entitlement to instant answers. So even if they didnt leave a voicemail and you give that unknown number (potential client) a follow up call, who's to say they havn't already called another agent?  In short, a missed call = a missed opportunity.

Personal Experience
I, like the rest of society, need to know things now.  A few weeks ago I rescued, well found, this little dog.  She was filthy and I wanted to get her groomed. Granted it was like 5:30 at this time, I'd just gotten out of work but I was certain there a groomer that was still open.  After all, I just wanted to get some price quotes.  So I jumped onto google and googled dog groomers in Beverly Hills, looked through the local business results to find nearest one and started calling numbers.  I called the first one, that claimed to be a "24 hour service" (too good to be true) and I got their voicemail.  It said to leave a message and my call would be returned between "X and X" hours.  Not good enough.  So I called the next groomer, so on and so on.  Until I finally got one on the line and got the information I needed.  Turn's out I needed a shot record and she recommended me to a vet their company worked with.  The previous three or four other companies lost my business. Granted, their answering services assured me that they would return my call promptly if I left a message, a couple of them were still open and just "away from the phone" but I wanted to speak with someone.

Here's the bottom line: If you're putting your phone number on there I assume you want me to call it.  And if im going to call it, I assume you're going to pick up and give me the answers I want.  If you don't, I will just keep calling other people until someone picks up and tells me what I need to hear. 

Voicemails are kind of old school.  And the tradition of leaving your name and number after the tone is becoming obsolete.  In this business, we have a lot of competition out there, and we spend all kinds of money getting our name and contact information out there in front of people.  But let's not forget the people we're marketing to. In this ever changing market, it's hard to find loyal buyers.  Everything is almost too readily avaiable to the general public.  Consumer's are getting spoiled and with sites like, zillow and trulia they feel they don't really need us to help them find a home anymore.  So why edge yourself out of the running even more by not answering your phone. If a client came onto trulia looking for an agent to call in Los Angeles alone they have
4,413 agents to choose from.  Let's say someone picked up their phone to call you at let's say noon, and they got a voicemail saying that "messages would be returned between 10 and 11 o'clock and again between 4 and 5 o'clock".  Maybe they will leave you a message, but what's to stop that person from calling one of the other 4,412 agents until they find one that can help them in their "time of need"?

SO ANSWER YOUR PHONE! (whenever possible.)  Also, if you work a second a job maybe consider getting a service that will translate your voicemails into texts or emails.  Because a lot of the time it's easier to send someone a quick text back or just check your email and take a "bathroom" break to return the call.  I know I don't like the idea of waiting around.  Do you?

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