You may (or may not) have read here before that real estate agents who don’t answer their phones are a pet peeve of mine. I just don’t understand it. If you don’t want to answer a phone, you probably shouldn’t try to make a living selling real estate. The phone rings. A lot. It needs to be answered.
There are countless examples out there of agents not answering the phone. It’s a fact that agents (and their clients) have lost out on a sale due to a phone not being answered.
But what’s transpired here over the last couple of days set a new standard. I find it…. well, unbelievable, stupendous, incomprehensible. I’m not sure there is a word in the lexicon that truly fits…
I’m not making this up folks. I couldn’t invent this.
My lovely bride has a buyer. They are very interested in a nice east side condo. (The last one they made an offer on fell out when the inspector discovered extensive past fire damage in the attic. The poor owner had no clue as he waived his inspection — a really bad idea. But that’s another blog post.)
We have some questions for the listing agent. Just typical standard stuff. Plus we like to “feel out” the listing agent — glean a little info from them that will better position our buyers.
So Francy places the first call on Tuesday.
No answer, leave message. No return call. Repeat five times.
I don’t get it. If an agent leaves a message on my phone along the lines of, “We have a buyer interested in your listing. Please call so we can clarify a couple of things. It will take three minutes of your time”, I call them back. Swiftly. Don’t I owe that to my clients? But I digress…
Two days later, it’s quite apparent that the agent is never going to return our calls. So Francy calls the listing agent’s office. The person answering the phone, another agent, is of no help. So Francy asks to speak to the Broker.
He seems to be a nice guy. Francy reiterates that we have a very interested buyer, but we really need to speak to the agent and she’s not returning calls. Now for those not in the business the Broker is, in effect, the agent’s boss. Normally a call like this to the Broker results in the agent calling us within 5 minutes. (Typically with some excuse as to why they haven’t been able to place a three minute return call sometime over the last 72 hours.)
And here’s where this story takes the remarkable turn….
The Broker’s response?
“Oh, that agent doesn’t answer the phone. You need to email her your questions.”
WTF? Francy, who is usually never short of words, is speechless. About all she can muster is a polite, “Excuse me?”
“Yeah, she never answers the phone. Just email her. If you don’t hear back in a day or so, just let me know.”
What the double F? A “day or so”?!?
I wonder — does this agent tell her clients, “Don’t call me, I never answer the phone. Just email me and I’ll get back to you within a day or so”. Maybe she needs to take her number out of the MLS and just put a comment in the agent remarks section along those same lines. I wonder — does this Broker make a habit of employing agents that don’t answer the phone? Maybe that’s how he markets his brokerage — “COME WORK FOR US, NEVER ANSWER A PHONE AGAIN!”
Its insanity. Pure unadulterated madness!
Tip for those looking for a real estate agent: Call your prospective agent. See if they answer the phone. Sure, you can’t always answer it. I tend not to when I’m with a client. But if your prospective Realtor doesn’t answer or rapidly return the call, continue your search. If they won’t return your call, it’s safe to assume they won’t return calls inquiring about YOUR home for sale.
[tags]bad real estate agents[/tags]