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I have been using "If I Could Start All Over Again" and have spoken with (so far) seven area top producers - wow!!! Everyone should do this! Daniel H. Peaslee, Century 21


Your Telephone Skills Stink! March 13th, 2017 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

Texts and emails are the norm so who uses phone calls anymore?  This might be the thought process when you tell a team member to “put on a smile” when they take incoming calls.

The telephone is not dead; though while calling some clients, it may well as be!  Sometimes, I can’t believe what I hear!  As I call my coaching clients, sometimes I am fed through the main receptionist, and, frankly, it may well as be.  I sometimes cannot believe what I hear!  When I hear something horrible, I immediately tell my coaching client what happened and it seems to get better next time, even though the receptionist makes sure to let me know that she/he knows I was the one that relayed my sour experience.

What is even worse is that sometimes I get the same treatment from a private assistant.  I have been responsible for training many assistants who just don’t realize how important a phone call can be.  Especially when their coach (me) has the agent doing much laser-beamed direct mail to potentially high profitable sellers with many promises of value.  All the incoming caller wants to do is find out about the offers.  If they cannot do this task, can you imagine the treatment some buyers may get?

Bad phone etiquette is an offense for which I have fired assistants, when it is repeated bad behavior after conversations addressing the need for correction.  If the receptionist/assistant is just an efficient curmudgeon, I have also directed them to work away from clients.

It is important for your receptionist/assistant know how to act and how to have the correct words on the phone.  This is Real Estate 101, but why are the results so bad?

Call your office and monitor the hold times, the attitude, the collection of information, and the pleasure/pain ratio.  If you find it lacking, make sure that the following checklist is the first page of the office operations manual.  Here it is:


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 __________ 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 another 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.

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



The checklist shared in this blog is taken from the book Time-Saving Checklists for Profitable Systems.

Check out the details here: 800.792.5837 and ask for the $50 blog special on this system!


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