by Lauren Agajanian
Some days don’t you wish all of your calls were sent to voicemail? After all, you didn’t record your greeting fourteen times so no one would hear it. Every interaction you have in real estate makes an impression and particularly if it’s their first of you. Robert Lee Holtz, a science writer for The Wall Street Journal, wrote an article that is a must-read if you aspire to be an industry leader. In How to Train Your Voice to be More Charismatic, Holtz describes the power of the voice as “an instrument of rare persuasive power, tuned by evolution and culture to communicate far more than words alone convey.” Phone etiquette and your voice can make a powerful statement about your personal brand as well. These etiquette essentials make sure the image you radiate through the cell phone waves is a good one:
- Identify Yourself Using Both a First and Last Name. Using both names when you introduce yourself to someone new, “shows that you take yourself seriously as an adult and expect the same treatment from others,” says Etiquette International. That doesn’t mean you’re demanding to be treated as superior, it means you take the needs of your client as seriously as you do your own career. This also saves your caller from the uncomfortable exchange of having to ask if you are, in fact, the owner of the direct number stamped on every “Just Listed” postcard you left on their doorstep this year.
- Smile and Sit/Stand Up Straight. Project, with your happiest of phone voices, that you are full of energy, love what you do for a living, and are nothing short of ecstatic to show your caller another perfect home…for the 17th time this week. Stand or sit up straight, “but not too straight” offers Peter Smith, author of Essential Radio Skills: How to Present a Radio Show. “You can afford to relax a little,” he adds, to avoid sounding nervous or stiff. “ This will reduce tension, keep you alert, and increase the resonance in your voice,” says Smith
- Speak Clearly and Avoid High Acoustic-Risk Locales. Clarity has everything to do with conveying your message. If you are speaking too fast, chewing gum or a dog is barking at the gardener’s leaf blower outside your window, your caller is thinking more about how to politely end the call, than anything they think they might have heard you say.
- Keep a Bottle of Water Within Reach. “Your vocal cords vibrate very fast, and having a proper water balance helps keep them lubricated,” an article 10 Tips to a Healthy Voice from Live Science tells us. And it can also stop an unexpected cackle from flying out of your mouth on a broom of embarrassment during your next presentation. You aren’t likely to face judgement day over a couple of ahem’s, but why fight it? Water is always a win-win.
- Don’t Curse or Use Slang. Even if your logo has navy blue and white stripes with a gold anchor, there won’t be smooth sailing in your conversation if you swear like the one navigating the vessel. Using terms found only in an Urban Dictionary or shortening words that weren’t difficult to say in the first place are major phone etiquette follies. The eloquent words of wisdom spoken by Anthony Burgess (Author of A Clockwork Orange, 1962), “The downtrodden are the great creators of slang.” You, on the other hand, are on the up and up.
- Don’t Smoke. Ever. Remember the witches cackle and the broom? Not even appropriate for Halloween.