call screening

If you’re like most investors, the phone is a pretty big part of your life. This is one of the primary communication tools that you will be using on a daily basis to follow-up with leads, close deals, and make money. If you’re going to be effective in your business, you really need to know how to manage your phone time – there’s just no way around it.

In my business, I get a lot of phone calls from both motivated and unmotivated sellers. I also get a lot of calls from people trying to sell properties that I don’t want. I used to spend hours and hours talking to these kinds of prospects every day. Essentially, my conversations with these people would turn out to be a complete waste of time…  but how else was I supposed to know who I was dealing with if I didn’t talk with them on the phone?

Let’s be honest, we’re not going to end up doing business with EVERY single person who calls us – in fact it’s usually quite the opposite. You usually have to search high and low to find that one person who actually needs what you’re trying to help them with. So how do you eliminate the 90% of callers who are just kicking tires and aren’t actually serious about closing a deal with you?

When I was getting into my groove as a real estate investor, I decided to create a voicemail message to help me deal with this issue. Over time, it turned out to be incredibly effective. It was a message that anticipated people’s needs, answered questions, kept people on the line, and most importantly made them give me some answers before I invested any more of my time on the phone with them.

The idea behind this whole thing was to elicit some information that was actually helpful before I wasted another 10 – 15 minutes calling them back. This one message has literally saved me hundreds of hours of my time (and that’s a conservative estimate).

You can listen to the first three-quarters of the message right here…

After a year or so of using this message to screen my calls, I started to realize that even though it was very helpful in acting as a 24/7 “phone gate-keeper”, I still had to spend a lot of time calling these people back… so while the severity of the issue was lessened, the problem wasn’t necessarily solved.

My solution to this problem was to build a buying website. Once this site was online, instead of asking people to call me, I revised my direct mail message and my voicemail script so that it simply instructed people to visit my website and submit their information to me online – and once they did, I could send them an offer in 30 seconds – rather than spending 30+ minutes on a conversation that went nowhere.

I still allowed my prospects to call me (because let’s face it, a lot of people still want to talk with someone on the phone), but if they chose that medium – my message explained in a very compelling way that I was glad they called me, but it would definitely be in their best interests to visit my website and submit their information THAT way.

Here’s a clip from the first half of the message, just so you can get an idea for what I say…

Note: In this example, I actually state my website URL (which is edited out in the clip above). This isn’t completely necessary if you’re already listing the website URL on your mail piece. I just took this extra step in my message to make my instructions abundantly clear.

This new setup was a MASSIVE step forward in helping me eliminate wasted time and I still rely on it pretty heavily to this day. As a result, plenty of people still call me… but when they do, most of them don’t bother to leave a message, because they know there’s a better way.

The Benefits of Automation

These days, I don’t even pick up the phone when a prospect calls me. My phone system is programmed to route callers straight-to-voicemail and this message (above) is what they hear.

RELATED: Are You Using The Right Phone System For Your Real Estate Business?

Now, I know what you’re thinking…  with this kind of voicemail system, is it possible I’m missing out on a few opportunities along the way? Probably. 

But what do I get in return for this tradeoff? I get freedom. My business doesn’t control me, I control it.

I know there are plenty of other philosophies out there about how to handle phone calls – but this is what I’ve done and frankly, it has worked very well for me. When people do leave me messages, they’re usually pretty short and sound something like this:

“Hey man, I just submitted my information on your website. Let me know what you think.” 

Of course, you will inevitably miss some opportunities when you don’t take these calls directly – but just for a second…   let’s think about the type of person who wouldn’t bother to leave a voicemail after hearing this message.

If somebody can’t take 30 seconds to ask you for an offer or visit your website and submit their information, does that sounds like a motivated seller to you? If someone would rather hang up than hear you out, that’s their prerogative – and it also means you probably shouldn’t be wasting you time with them anyway. When a prospective seller doesn’t even care enough to leave a simple message, what are the chances they’ll be responsive to your communication and willing to go through the motions later on down the road?

In a world with an endless barrage of phone calls coming at you from all sorts of people, it is imperative to separate the wheat from the chaff and find out who is really serious about doing business. By creating a voicemail message that is helpful, straightforward, gives just enough information, asks politely for quick action and determines if they care enough to follow through on their end – you could find yourself saving A LOT of time and being much more effective with your time.

With this system in place, I don’t have to pay out the nose and outsource this work to an answering service. With simple automation tools like this, I get to run my business instead of my business running me, and I don’t break the bank in the process.

Want My Voicemail Script?

When I created my first automated voicemail message, it took me a TON of time to figure out what to say, how to say it, and how to communicate the right tone in a way that would keep people on the line long enough to take action.

It ended up working quite well, but even so – I’ve revisited this message several times over the years and continually tweaked and improved different aspects of what it says.

You can do the same thing. If you want to come up with your own message and convey these points in a way that will resonate with your target audience – I have no doubt that you can do it.

That being said, I also know how time-consuming it can be to create this kind of communication that comes across the right way and compels people to act.

If you want to get this job done quickly and get your voicemail message up and running TODAY, you’re more than welcome to download all of my scripts, along with some professionally recorded renditions of each message (I’ve included them in a male and a female voice – so you’ll have some options to choose from).

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Voicemail Script #1 (Call Back)
  • Voicemail Script #2 (Website Push)
  • Voicemail Script #3 (Blind Offers)
  • Professional Voice-Over Audio File of Script #1 in a Male Voice (sample)
  • Professional Voice-Over Audio File of Script #1 in a Female Voice (sample)
  • Professional Voice-Over Audio File of Script #2 in a Male Voice (sample)
  • Professional Voice-Over Audio File of Script #2 in a Female Voice (sample)
  • Professional Voice-Over Audio File of Script #3 in a Male Voice
  • Professional Voice-Over Audio File of Script #3 in Female Voice
  • Video Tutorial on How to Upload Files to FreedomVoice (FREE – see below)

With this information, you’ll have a few different ways of delivering the same proven messages. If you’d rather record the message yourself or hire someone from Fiverr as I did (i.e. – if you want to change-up the message or insert any specifics like your name or website URL), you can do it by working directly with my scripts.

And lastly, I’ve also included a short tutorial video showing how to take these audio files (or the one you create yourself) and upload them to a service like FreedomVoice.

Here’s a quick overview of how it works…

Click Here to Check Out FreedomVoice

By following these steps, you won’t even have to pick up the phone. With a few clicks, you can have a world-class voicemail recording up and fielding your calls in a matter of seconds.

Can you succeed without this? Of course, you can… there’s nothing wrong with writing, recording and perfecting your own message (just like I did) – but if you’re looking for a faster solution and you’d rather implement the work I’ve already done, feel free to check it out!

Note: When you sign up as a REtipster Email Subscriber, I’ll send you an instant $20 off “Discount Code” for this item, and if you enroll in the Land Investing Masterclass, you’ll get access to this item for FREE. There’s no pressure of course – just want to make sure you’re aware.

About the author

Seth Williams is the Founder of REtipster.com - an online community that offers real-world guidance for real estate investors.

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