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Minimum Telephone Policy April 4th, 2012 | Posted in Other Interests

I’m mystified at brokers, owners, and managers who spend time instructing their agents on activities that aren’t pro-active. Social media won’t pay the bills, but properly handling an incoming phone call will lead to better things.

Included below is the minimum telephone policy checklist for a non-agent who answers the phones at the office. Obviously, if he or she is an agent, he or she would go further using our buyer and seller checklists. For non-agents, this checklist should create more converted leads. Remember, it’s not about the amount of leads you produce but how many you can convert to a client.

Telephone Policy Checklist

Please initial.

____________ 1. When the phone rings, always put a smile on your face! People know by the tone of your voice whether you are enjoying what you are doing or not. We want to keep the idea that this (like Disneyland!) is a happy place to work.

____________ 2. Always answer enthusiastically, “It is a great day at Sanford Systems. How may I help you?”

____________ 3. When answering phone calls, always ask the caller, “Would it be helpful if (agent’s name) knew what this call was regarding?”

____________ 4. When making phone calls for Walter, you say, “Good (morning, afternoon, evening), Mr./Mrs. ____________. Walter asked met to get you on the line to discuss (property address) or ___________ look at lead classification. (example: FSBO, expired, past expired) Would you hold for one moment while I get Walter on the line?”

____________ 5. Give the call to the party for whom the caller is asking. Always ask for permission to put the caller on hold, and wait for an answer.

____________ 6. If that party is not in or is on anther line, ask if someone else can help. For example, “Walter is on another line. May I help you at this time?”

____________ 7. If no one is available and you have to take a message, take the following required information from the caller:

Name: ask the caller politely how to spell his or her name

Phone number: ask for the number where the caller can be reached; be sure to get both a work and home or cell phone number; repeat each number

Message: please find out why they are calling, and be specific! You can say something like, “Walter usually calls in for his messages, and he may be able to answer your question and have me call you back sooner.”

Time: find the best time for a return call and the best number for that time

Note: do not push callers too hard, but try to get the most information out of them.

____________ 8. Always be polite by adding “thank you” and “please.” Never be demanding or rude.

____________ 9. No matter how badly you are treated by someone on the phone, they are always potential clients and are always right. Walter will handle the bad guys – not you!

_____________________________________ _______________
Telephone Operator/Team Member Date

This checklist was included as part of the new employee paperwork that we would acquire. He or she needs to be aware of job responsibilities and expectations. This policy/checklist helps in setting the tone for phone calls. Good luck in your training and in converting those calls to leads!

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email, or chat with us online at

2 Responses to “Minimum Telephone Policy”

  1. Karen says:

    Basics!!!! Do them faithfully daily. Agents are probably just annoying others with their “social media” updates overkill. This is a people business. Thanks Walter.

  2. Ray Upright says:

    I’m thankful that not all agents use this type, of any type, of checklist when answering the telephone. This makes it much easier to really “dazzle” a prospective client when I get a chance to talk with them. I’m even more thankful that other firms in our market are less professional…

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