being sold to on the phone

Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t

damned if you do and damned if you don't

When a stranger calls for free advice, the common dilemma of damned if you do and damned if you don’t, makes it difficult not to hang up. Because hanging up is my solution for handling most irritants. Way back when I moved to Sacramento and was so excited just to get a phone call, I would even talk to telemarketers. I was polite and sweet and asked them to put me on the national do not call list. Today, not so sweet. Today I get so much crap, so much spam and solicitation calls, the best response I can muster is to hang up.

Why? Because if you mutter one word, #1) it’s a time waster, and #2) they will use it against you later and 3) nothing good can come from a conversation with another’s agent client in a foreign market. Further, if it is an unsolicited sales call, little is all that new or fabulous that you need to hear it described to you from a stranger you do not know and from a person whose sole purpose for continuing the conversation is to profit from YOU.

However, being in real estate, you’re pretty much damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Because if you don’t answer your phone, you could miss a call. Many potential clients will just call another agent if you send the call to voice mail. They have little patience, and they want an answer now. Hell, if I called some random agent who did not answer, I’d call somebody else, you can bet on it . . . and I know the value of good agents.

The problem comes into play when a caller asks if they can ask you a question. You think to yourself, sure, I have plenty of answers, perhaps one of them will fit this particular situation. And then the question has to do with an existing transaction. Sure, the caller may say it’s a hypothetical situation, but it is understood by both parties it is a real situation. Which means it is not a hypothetical situation.

If, as a Sacramento Realtor, you take time to explain the Realtor Code of Ethics and why we are prohibited from interfering in another’s transaction, you may come to realize the caller does not care about you nor your integrity. Nope, the caller wants an answer from you. No matter how it is phrased, you still take a chance they will run over to a profile somewhere and post a mean-spirited “review.”

There is no upside to it.

None. Whatsoever.

If you try to educate, the caller will argue. Then, they tend to get their knickers in a twist because you won’t cooperate with their demands. So, in these damned if you do and damned if you don’t situations, agents would be much better off just to hang up. Don’t offer anything. On the one hand, you don’t want to be accused of violating the Code of Ethics, on the other, there is no money in it for you. And a bad “review” is just waiting to happen.

People experience dropped calls all the time. THAT they can deal with. Explaining why you cannot help a stranger, big waste of time. Some of these people can make you regret that you even answered your phone. Remember, too, you are not a white knight.

So right in the middle of delivering a warm, lovely and inviting sentence, hit the red button. Then go to Recents and block.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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