The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who owns nine real estate offices in Atlanta. We were talking about eliminating overhead, and he told me that he paid over $6,000 every month on phone bills! I told him that my brokerage paid zero! He was floored! Here’s how I do it.
What is one thing that every single agent has on them at all times? Their pocket real estate license.. right? Hardly! No, it’s the ever-present mobile phone. We are a culture obsessed with our phones. Half the TV commercials today are phone companies. The other half, it seems, are drug companies… I digress.
Yet today, brokerage after brokerage spends hundreds if not thousands of dollars in redundant telephone service. Your customer must first call the office phone, only to be transferred by the office staff (remember the receptionist I already told you to fire?) to an agent’s mobile phone. I saw that as a bad idea for several reasons.
First, it was the needless redundancy, costing lots of money. Second, there were more opportunities for balls to get dropped. You know what I’m talking about: the messages that were taken incorrectly or maybe never even delivered. Then of course there was the most important reason of all: the extra hassle to the client. I decided that we would boldly go where no man had ever dared to go before. We fired the phone company.
If you visit our office, you won’t find a single office phone on a desk. No cords everywhere. No continual maintenance calls to the local phone company. It’s actually wonderful. If you call our office from one of our advertisements (in other words, you’re a sales lead), then your call is directed to our call-capture hotline, patched through to the appropriate person’s mobile phone, and seamlessly inserted into our client management application.
If you call our main office line, you are actually calling our Google Voice line and that line will simultaneously ring the mobile phones of all the staff who handle those calls, until either one of them answers, or, if they are all busy, you are directed to our free Google Voice voice mail. The transcript of the message, as well as a recording, are then forwarded by email to the appropriate staff for followup. No payroll, and no phone company.
Anyone calling out, calls on their own phone, using Google Voice so as not to give away their actual phone number. Then when people call them back, they have the option of pre-screening the call, answering, or sending it on to voice mail. They also have the option of scheduling when they will be available to receive calls. It’s simple, it’s seamless, and it certainly doesn’t cost us $6,000 a month!
So, in this time of tightening our belts, if you are a broker , or even if you are an agent that spends too much on phone bills, think about firing the phone company. What could you do with that extra money? Hey, it’s nice outside today. I’d rather be piloting my boat along the Intracoastal Waterway. Hmmmm. Fresh tuna for lunch. That’s the ticket. That’s Max-Bang!
View all articles in this series:
- Max-Bang Series: Starting with Basics
- Max-Bang Series: Open House ’til it Sells!
- Max-Bang Series: Become a New Home Specialist
- Max-Bang Series: Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse!
- Max-Bang Series: Help a FSBO Go Hi-Tech!
- Max-Bang Series: Let a Lender Pay Your Ad Bill!
- Max-Bang Series: Build Your Seller a Website!
- Max-Bang Series: Fire Your Receptionist!
- Max-Bang Series: Incorporate Yourself!
- Max-Bang Series: Just Say NO to E&O!
- Max-Bang Series: Fire Your Phone Company!
- Max-Bang Series: Become the Resident Genius!
- Max-Bang Series: Start a Relocation Company!
- Max-Bang Series: Free Advertising!
- Max-Bang Series: Add Video for Free!
- Max-Bang Series: Hire Part-time Agents!
- Max-Bang Series: Add an Admin Fee!
- Max-Bang Series: Free Electronic Document Archival!
- Max-Bang Series: Making a Great Referral!
- Max-Bang Series: Lose the Overhead!
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Matt Jones is the founder and CEO of FavoriteAgent.com, nationally syndicated columnist, broker, and best selling author of LCM: The Secret to Success in the New Age of Real Estate, The Ultimate Listing Presentation, Traffic: How to Sell Fast and Net More, Becoming a Mega-Producer, The Science of Online Marketing, 10 Steps to Real Estate Success, 20 Questions: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Real Estate but Were Afraid to Ask, The Virtual Office Model, Max-Bang!, and The NEW Ultimate Listing Presentation. Jones' North Carolina-based company has been profiled by major media outlets as an innovator and a pioneer in the industry, and CNN's Pulse on America claimed FavoriteAgent.com is "changing the way real estate is being done in America." This article is syndicated in the following locations: iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, BlogMattBlog.com, RealBlogging.com, NewsGeni.us, TheCommissionCheck.com, RevampedAgent.com, and now Amazon Kindle.