Real Estate

Six reasons why agents should stop answering their phones – Seriously!

We're expecting a few people to get mad at this one

I know what you’re thinking… agents already don’t answer their phones! Right, lenders? Those damn agents never answer their phones!

I know, I know. You’re not wrong. But that joke is too easy. There’s also the possibility that they just don’t want to be harassed by yet another lender asking them for clients and leads in return for some fancy co-branded flyers or lunch at Panera. But I digress.

Trigger warning!

Seriously, agents. Stop answering your phone! You absolutely should not be answering your phone whenever it rings. There’s no rule or law that says that when your phone rings, that you must answer it.

Dustin-Brohm
Dustin Brohm, Columnist

I actually recommend that any agent with an iPhone and iOS 13 or later should turn on the setting that sends calls from unknown numbers straight to voicemail. It never rings, and you just get a missed call notification. It’s beautiful!

If you’ve read this far, chances are that something about the headline triggered you, or at least it got your attention. Either you were curious to hear what this Dustin guy had to say, or even the mere thought of not answering your phone makes you start huffing into a brown paper bag. If it’s the latter, then you need to hear a different perspective.

Be honest with yourself

One question: Do you have a mindset of abundance? or scarcity? 

You’ll know what the honest answer is by the genuine reaction you had when you first saw the headline. Did it piss you off? Did it make you quake with fear of the thought that maybe a lead or a “come list me” prospect may be calling?

Hopefully, your blood pressure will decrease a smidge when I tell you that I’m really referring to calls from unknown numbers. 

If you reacted from a place of scarcity, it’s important to know that so you can keep that crap in check. This will require an open mind, however. That is, if you have any interest in being more focused, productive and, ultimately, more successful. 

Six points for you to consider

First, why are we still operating the way we did in 2001? Who even calls anymore? Most people text these days. It doesn’t even matter the age group anymore. Even people well into their 70s text first and call only if absolutely necessary. 

Let me just say this: I know there are valid reasons to call someone! I make phone calls too from time to time. Don’t @ me, I get it!

Second, let’s be honest, the overwhelming majority of calls you get from unknown numbers are total bullcrap. How many times are they even legit? It’s either the business funding center offering you $250,000 in funding, or it’s “Google” (it’s absolutely NOT Google) offering to put you on page one of the search results.

Or it’s some moron selling an ad slot on a golf scorecard at some obscure local golf course. But hey, they’re only looking for one agent! You better take it, or you’ll miss out on this complete waste of money. Trust me, I fell for it once. Strangely, no one ever actually sees one of these scorecards in circulation at the course they should be at. 

Third, where does it say that you absolutely must answer right this minute? There’s no law that says you must answer the call. What if you’re in the middle of something important…like running your business, being productive and getting stuff done?

Fourth, people have actually been known to leave a voicemail if the person they’re calling does not answer. Most will even just text you instead if you don’t answer. Especially if on your voicemail greeting, you tell them to text you. 

Fifth, telling them to text instead actually weeds out the scam calls. Then you never have to deal with them. If someone leaves a spammy voicemail, you can delete it, without them taking up your valuable time trying to overcome objections and run a script on you. 

Sixth and lastly, your time is incredibly valuable. Every time you get distracted from doing what you’re doing, you’re wasting your time and killing your productivity. It’s so frustrating to be in the middle of a great thought or brainstorming session, only to be interrupted by a sales call.


For those of you who say “But Dustin, what about those who will never call back? You just lost a client.” 

Oh, really? You can convert every conversation you have into a client who closes? Holy cow, that’s amazing. So what the hell are you worried about then, golden tongue? Just go talk to strangers at the grocery store and you’ll close them all!

I’m being sarcastic, of course, but you see my point. Not every conversation ends up being fruitful. Most don’t.

That’s how it works. Your worry about that missed call potentially being your next closing is likely fantasy. 

Here’s something else to think about: If the caller is that sensitive or that unmotivated to work with you, is that someone you’d really want to work with? That’s the type of person who would dump you six weeks later when they randomly walk into a model home or open house without you and decide to work with the listing agent so they could “get a better deal.” Not even worth worrying about.

I’ll say it again: Your time is extremely valuable. Being productive and focused with your time is priceless.

Take back control of your time. You get to say when you return emails, calls or texts. If you don’t make your time and productivity a top priority, I guarantee you, no one else will.

Connect with Dustin on Facebook

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