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.

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About the author

Seth Williams is a land investor with hundreds of closed transactions and nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate banking industry. He is also the Founder of REtipster.com - a real estate investing blog that offers real-world guidance for part-time real estate investors.

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  1. Lou says:

    This audio script was great. It has given me a few ideas on what I need to do in order not to waste to much time on the phone.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Lou! I’m glad the audio clip could be of help to you!

  2. Jay says:

    As always, great blog post. I really like all of the information you include in the message. Do you ever think that the message is too long to where some decent prospects may not listen to the whole thing? Or because of the value proposition, it tends to work just fine…

    Always appreciate the input and the great info!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Jay – good question. Yes, it’s certainly possible that some people will hang up before leaving a message (as with any voicemail system, that the caller has to “care” enough to deliver their message). At the same time, when somebody can’t wait an extra 30 seconds to ask me to call them back, it generally tells me they aren’t motivated enough to sell their property at 20% of market value (in which case, they would probably be wasting my time anyway).

  3. Ellis S. says:

    Seth, your perspective is dead on. I had a debate with another investor about this. He said that when your phone rings, it is lost money if I don’t personally answer it. My view is that I want to be in control of who I speak to & when I speak to them, if at all. I cited Stephen Covey “urgent but not important”. My family life is too important to be interrupted by a tire kicker. Also, the distraction created when I am doing other important tasks means the quality of my work & productivity decline. Thanks for such an insightful article.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Ellis! I know there are definitely other perspectives on this, but I’m with you – we all have to make priorities and I try not to give up too much of my time until someone really shows me that they’re serious about doing business. Thanks for your comment buddy!

  4. Rhonda says:

    Hi Seth, great post! Although I updated my voicemail to a similar message as yours I still go back and forth as to whether I should hire a VA to answer the phone.

    My concern with not answering the phone is that I may not be able to get in touch with the caller and we can end up playing phone tag. Have you had this issue?

    Also, my number is on my website. I just would not want the seller to call another investor, because I am not available. Thoughts?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Rhonda – certainly. Phone tag can be one of the down sides of this approach – but in the end, it’s just a matter of both parties leaving one or two extra voicemails before connecting (not a huge deal in my book). If a seller is really motivated, they’ll keep calling…

      In most cases, I’m the only investor who is actively communicating with the seller (because the property isn’t even listed – so nobody else even knows it’s on the market) – so I really don’t worry about them calling anybody else. I suppose it’s possible, but I’ve found it’s pretty rare that this issue comes up with the sellers I talk to.

  5. Erik says:

    So what happens if you check out their property and it is a clear pass? Do you spend time calling back?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      It’s really up to you Erik. When I’m busy, I have no qualms about not calling back (it’s not a bad idea to mention in your message, “If your property meets our investing criteria, we will call you back.” IF)

  6. Hayya says:

    Great message, thanks Seth! I can see how this is a valuable tool to have.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Sweet! Glad you found it helpful!

  7. Patrick says:

    Love all the info on the blog. This is a great post. I really hate answering the phone at random times so to be able to screen out like this is a great idea.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Awesome! Thanks for the comment Patrick, I’m glad you got something out of this. 🙂

  8. Gene Weber says:

    Hi Seth Love your post.
    Is there a printable message for your voice mail somewhere on your blogs?

    Thanks -Gene-

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Gene, I don’t have it in writing at the moment. Hopefully you can work with the audio file for now. Sorry about that!

  9. michael anderson says:

    Great recorded message I got something similar and its a real time saver! Keep these ninja tips coming, thanks!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s awesome Michael! This kind of automation really does go a long way in the end. I’ve probably saved myself thousands of hours over the years with this one little message.

  10. Lisa says:

    Very good information. I love it. Will I get the voicemail script with my subscription?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Lisa, yes – when you sign up, you’ll get access to the “REtipster Toolbox” and on that page, you’ll be able to download my voicemail script.

      Thanks for your interest!

      1. Pat Krol says:

        Hi Seth,
        I’m just getting acquainted with the mountain of resources you provide and I love it! I subscribed and got the toolbox link, but cannot find the phone script there anywhere. Please help, I would love to try it out.

        1. Seth Williams says:

          Hey Pat! Glad you’re liking the site!

          I recently changed up this voicemail package (instead of just giving away my original script, I’ve not included a couple variations of it along with the audio files – in case you want to use them for your system). It’s turned into more of a product than a giveaway… because it took a lot of time and resources to put it together.

          That said – there’s a discount code for this item… did you happen to see that?

  11. Telma says:

    Hi Seth thank so much for so many amazing good information. I am excited to starting call those owners and help them with they problem and do business with them. Could you please send me the coupon discount so I can buy your blog? I just subscribed my email. One more time thank you so much to share you experience with all of us.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Telma – no problem, thanks for checking out the blog! I just sent you an email with the info you’re asking for.

      Thanks again!

  12. chris says:

    What voice talent did you use on you voicemail message.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Chris – the voice you hear is mine! That being said, I have used voice talent from snaprecordings.com in the past and they were pretty good. You can also find some good voiceover artists on Fiverr, if that’s something you’re looking for.

      Good luck!

  13. Christian Marin says:

    I love the script but don’t you find that it’s a bit long and a lot of sellers hang up?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Yes, and that’s part of the idea behind it. If someone isn’t motivated, they aren’t likely to listen until the end and leave a voicemail. This saves me a TON of time in that I can avoid sending offers to people who have already decided they don’t want to work with me.

  14. Steve says:

    Great Idea on the voicemail script. Going to implement that today!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Awesome! Good luck Steve!

  15. Joseph Michael Dollison says:

    With my carpet cleaning business I like to say, “Shoot me a text because I may be working with a customer right now,” on my voice mail. This has turned out to be very effective in not wasting time because a lot of time people just want a quick answer any way.

    The people that don’t leave a VM or text are prob advertisers any way.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      That’s awesome! It works on so many levels. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Richard says:

    Great article Seth!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks Richard! I’m glad you liked it!

  17. Joe says:

    Hi Seth,

    Super helpful post! I implemented a shortened version of this message and I am still receiving tons of voicemails rather than diverting people to my site. I’m thinking about leaving the phone number out of my next mailing. Do you still leave it as an option for callers to submit their property info over the phone when you call them back?

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Hi Joe – that’s awesome! Thanks for letting me know it’s working for you!

      I usually leave the phone number in, but my message does strongly encourage them to use my website rather than leave me a voicemail (because some people prefer the phone over a website, regardless of what I want them to do). It’s hard to get 100% of what you want… but you can at least steer people in the right direction. 🙂

  18. Patty says:

    I definitely agree that creating a straightforward voicemail message save you time and helps to be more effective with it.
    Thanks for the hard work!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for the comment Patty! I’m glad you agree. 🙂

  19. cristina ortega says:

    Wow! This article holds a gold mine of information! Cold calling is my main form of prospecting for new business and all of these tips are spot on! There really is an art form to it and I truly believe that getting better at how we conduct business on the phone is the main thing that will determine the level of success that we are able to reach in our business. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Thanks for reading Cristina!

      1. Ty says:


        Great stuff!

        You still maintain a conversion rate of 5% (or more) from your direct mail campaigns using this voicemail?

        1. Seth Williams says:

          Hi Ty! Yep, I’d say 5% is still a pretty safe response rate to expect (sometimes even higher if I’m lucky)… but I wouldn’t say it’s because of the voicemail per se, it’s because I’m getting the right list, sorting it right and sending out the right kind of mailers. That’s what is causing 5% or more of the recipients to respond – not the voicemail message itself.

          Does that make sense?

  20. Tyler says:

    Have you thought of creating a “zap” using zapier.com that automatically sends the seller a text with your website info right after the call is ended? Then they can just click on the website link right when the phone hangs up.

    1. Seth Williams says:

      Okay – WOW, that is a brilliant idea! I never thought of that! I am totally adding this to my automation list. Thanks so much for sharing!

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