Like most of you, I talk to other real estate agents on the phone pretty regularly. Some in the course of my real estate business, some in the course of my writing, training & speaking career.
And I tell ya - there are a lot of unfriendly voices out there.
Within an hour the other day I spoke with two different agents, about two totally different topics. The first was calling me to ask about some Open House signs I had listed on Craigslist. He was distant and dismissive and didn't seem much interested in having a conversation with me. The second was calling for information on a listing and she was delightful. The kind of voice you'd like to ask to meet you for Happy Hour, and be pretty sure you'd have a wonderful time.
Last week, I participated in a couple of Real Estate Week online seminars in which all participants had the opportunity to chat one-on-one with other participants on the call. The difference among the various voices I was matched up with was striking. Some of the voices were hesitant and unsure; some were bold and somewhat abrasive and a few were warm and inviting. I naturally have fond memories of the warm & inviting voices; not so fond memories of the others.
Hey, I'm the last one to tell someone to change who they are, but it's a fact that many of your clients and prospects are going to judge you by your phone voice. Of all the real estate agents I've spoken with on the phone this week, only two or three of them would have inspired me to pursue a professional relationship with the person, had I been in the market for a real estate agent.
If you can stand it, record some of your phone conversations. Then listen... and see how you feel about both the warmth and confidence of this person (that would be you!). Try to be objective - I know it's hard - on one hand you hate the sound of your voice, but on the other, it's tough to admit that perhaps you sound a bit unsure or conversely, brash.
You might also pay closer attention to the people you speak with on the phone, whether they're in the biz or not. What is your impression of this person? That they're confident? Competent? Caring? Knowledgeable? Or bored, scared or clueless?
It sounds trite, but if you stand up (or sit up) straight when you talk on the phone, put your shoulders back and smile, your phone voice will improve exponentially.
By the way, I met the afore-mentioned "distant and dismissive" agent in person later in the day, and he was quite pleasant in person. But that phone voice... ugh!
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