Pick Up or Let machine answer....which one is it? - Posted by DN in SF

Posted by Paul_MA on December 12, 2001 at 24:16:32:

another post said to leave the cell phone number in the answering machine message for the ‘must talk now’ sellers.

Pick Up or Let machine answer…which one is it? - Posted by DN in SF

Posted by DN in SF on December 11, 2001 at 23:25:41:

So should I pick up the phone when sellers call or let my machine get it? Some say go with one way, some say go with the other…I mean, which one is it? New and improved, I mean is it new or is it improved. What’s with that?

DN Seinfeld

always answer it!!! - Posted by Brian M. Powers(MI)

Posted by Brian M. Powers(MI) on December 12, 2001 at 21:36:18:

That is my opinion. Early on, I didn’t feel comfortable enough with my phone screening abilities to pick it up. So I would let them leave a message, then call back on my terms so I could be in a more comfortbale position. But, i also realized that 1/2 the people who called didn’t leave a message. So now I try to always answer. Even if I am too busy, I pick it up. When they tell me they are calling because they see I buy houses, I politely tell them I am on the other line with a seller, or driving on the road, etc and I would like to call them back when I can give them my full attention. I then ask for the most convenient time to call, and call then.

It seems to be working pretty well.


The Triple Screen - Posted by J. Clifton

Posted by J. Clifton on December 12, 2001 at 18:35:33:

You should use the machine to complete the 3 or 4 level screen needed to pinpoint prospective motivated sellers. That screen consists of 1) The group you advertised to (the targeting of the group is the first screen). 2) Those who opt-in by leaving a message. 3) Those who confirm their motivation in a phone conversation.

This sequence basically threads a prospect through database marketing, advertising/direct mail marketing, then telemarketing, as an efficient means of concretely verifying their motivation BEFORE you get up and go to their house. It saves lots of time on the front end qualifying of the seller, so you can better concentrate on negotiating deals with sellers who have shown they are WORTH your time. Going to the seller’s place should be an event where a deal gets signed, not where the seller kicks your tire.

This is my own phone message, more or less:

Hi, my name is ( ). Thank you for responding. I buy houses in the metro area to fix up and lease out on a fast cash, rent-to-own, or take over payments basis. I am not a broker. If you’re in a special situation that has made a conventional sale difficult, maybe I can help solve your problem. Please indicate why you’re selling and the best time to reach you, see if your property qualifies for my program. But, if you absolutely must sell TODAY, if you need to start paperwork NOW, call me direct at ( ) xxx-xxxx.

Re: Pick Up or Let machine answer - Posted by Tim Jensen

Posted by Tim Jensen on December 12, 2001 at 17:52:55:


I think that it is best to try and answer all the calls if you can. When I am looking for information, I want a live person to answer the phone and will call until I get one.

What I do is use my cell phone as my business line. If I hear it ring, I pick it up. If I don’t it goes into voicemail.

Also, if you use an answering machine use the message that Glen (SoCal) suggested. I think it is pretty good.

Good Luck,
Tim Jensen

Re: Answering Machine, Answering Service, Web Site - Posted by HeidiW (San Diego)

Posted by HeidiW (San Diego) on December 12, 2001 at 11:30:20:

I’ve got two strategies that I’m currently considering. My business cards have a local number, which goes to my house, and is picked up by my answering machine during the day since I work. When I run ads, I’ll use a local 800# which I purchased - and I’m thinking about having those routed to an answering service. I’m still looking for the best price, but so far I’ve got one company that will ask a series of questions (i.e. pre-screen the callers) and they want $85/mo plus .85 cents per minute. I’m also setting up a web-site, for people to go to immediately (if they choose) and they will be able to submit their property information with the promise of a quick response, plus find out more about what ‘we’ can do to help them. All this happens while I focus on managing semiconductors (my current job)- then when I come home, I’ll stress about how to handle the leads.

I know the answering service expense is high, but I spend $140/mo on housecleaning (and she’s not that good) - plus Ron LeGrand says that people want to talk to a live body. They may still try other people in the paper, but if my answering service has captured their name and phone number - I’m in the game…right?

For those of us who are part-timers… - Posted by AdamFL

Posted by AdamFL on December 12, 2001 at 09:41:03:

…it is much more difficult to answer every call, especially if you have a 9-5 job. I USED TO (notice caps) have sellers call my cell phone and lug the thing to work – until it rang during several inopportune moments. “Sorry boss, that’s just a wrong number!!”

NOW, I use a voice mail system through my computer (IVM) to pick up calls. If I receive a call while I am at work, I have programmed the software to forward a .wav file of the message to my office email. This way, I don’t have to call in for my messages PLUS I can deal with sellers when I want without an annoying cell phone ringing during meetings.

Mind you, since I’m a part-timer, I’m okay with missing some opportunities as I don’t rely on RE as my lone source of income. If I were full-time, I’d pick up the phone every time. Regardless, those who do call and leave messages tend to be somewhat motivated, although there is a great degree of variation.


I’ve had an answer machine for 25 years… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on December 12, 2001 at 08:32:26:

and I always answer when I’m here! There are many people who don’t leave messages that you possibly lose.

David Krulac

Re: Pick Up ? - Posted by Dee-Texas

Posted by Dee-Texas on December 12, 2001 at 07:50:36:

One of the first courses that I bought was Joe Kaisers…he states to let the machine get it and then leave a cell number.It works well for me since I have a full-time job. BUT in those three years I did miss two people that wanted to BUY and they bought that DAY with another because I didn’t talk to them.
I really don’t like wasting my time and there will be many that are just trying to find out what their house if worth or just shopping. I find that some people are usually trying to understand what I do or trying to find out if they have the money to work with me. Many of my tire kickers have returned to be a T/Ber for me…
I think that your level of experience dicates really how you want to proceed. The more phone calls you answer the better you get at the RE game. It’s called experience.
Best Luck in RE!

i just let my voice mail get it - Posted by Steve M

Posted by Steve M on December 12, 2001 at 03:52:17:

well, i guess im a bit different then everyone else.
i let my pager answer my calls and when someone leaves a message ill call them back. i let them know on my voice mail what my company does and that ill return their call within the hour. to me it works out pretty good.

Pick it up - Posted by Glen (SoCal)

Posted by Glen (SoCal) on December 12, 2001 at 03:44:00:

I did an investor phone survey the other day while I was in SF for the weekend for my girlfriend’s Christmas Party.

I called every investor add. It was a Friday though, so maybe some investors weren’t advertising until the weekend. But I doubt it.

Out of 6 calls, only one person answered, and that was a note buyer.

“I don’t get in to all that rehabbing, he said. I just buy notes.”

I got some strange answering messages. One guy just said, "This is, NAME, leave a message.

One was really spiritual. Something about Jet Realty, and “Just imagine yourself, yes you, your dreams answered, you buying a home…or selling one.”

The best was, “Hi, this is Jack and Jill, leave a message and we’ll get right back to you.”

I had hoped for something like: “You’ve reached, Quick Sale Investment Group. We offer as a service, all cash and a quick sale of your property. We have many other options to choose from also to fit your needs. We’re out of the office at the moment, but if you’ll leave a message, we’ll get right back to you. Your business is important to us, thanks for calling, and have a great day.”

Once I got one of those 24 hour messages that some people record explaining what foreclosure means and who the person sympathizes with the caller at these troubled times. I hung up, and the guy *69’d me!! It was a little creepy.



He said, “Who is this?”

I said, “Caller, I think you should be identifying yourself, you called me.”

He said, “Did you just call here?”

Me, “Where?”

He said, “Do you want sell your house?”

Me, “Who is this? How did you get my number?”

He said, “I Star 69’d you. You called here. Do you have house to sell?”


opportunity knocks once… - Posted by Brad(Wa)

Posted by Brad(Wa) on December 11, 2001 at 23:59:12:

…don’t miss it!! When I am going through the yellow pages getting quotes, info or whatever, I usually start at the top of my list and work my way down until I find what I like, then I act on it. If a seller is desperate to get out of his house, why let him pass you up for the next person on his list??? People like to talk to a real person(I know I do) that can help them now, not when their house is a few days from foreclosing. Why give your competition a chance?

I’ve heard you should let machine answer - Posted by Jim C

Posted by Jim C on December 11, 2001 at 23:41:13:

I hear you should let the machine get it, although by doing that, you run the risk of the seller not leaving a message (unless you specify on your machine that you are an investor and that they should leave a message and you will call back).

By letting them leave a message, you are able to call them back when YOU’RE ready. You have the advantage that way. And you may get a little information about their situation if they leave it on the machine.

I’ve definitely heard more of letting the machine get it, rather than answering it right away. Either way, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but I think that there is a slight advantage in calling them when YOU’RE ready.


Jim C