Kevin Ward's YES Talk | Real Estate Coaching and Success Training for Agents
YESTalk-18 - When Should You Leave a VoiceMail in Prospecting for Listings

Many real estate agents who are prospecting by phone for listings ask me if they should leave a message or a voicemail when the seller does not answer.  The answer depends on specifically who you are calling and when you are calling them.  And of course, the goal is a live conversation with a prospect, not a "sly-dial" voice mail that let's you avoid the possibility of rejection.

Having said that, the answer depends, first, on who you are calling and, second, on which time you’ve called them.  The best process is different for different groups of prospects.

There are four basic groups of prospects agents typically call:

  1. Personal Circle. With people you know (past clients and sphere of influence) you typically always leave a voice mail the first time you call them.  Keep it short and sweet.
  1. Expired listings. New expired and cancelled listings are a high probability contact, so if they don’t answer the first time you call you always should live a short, simple message asking them to call you if they still want to sell. There is urgency here because of the possibility of other agents calling them.  Many people use there home phone answering machines to screen their calls.  That’s why you should leave a brief message.
  1. For Sale by Owners. FSBO’s have put their number out there. That means they want to be called, and they have most likely provided a good number where you can reach them live.  Because of that, do not leave a message the first two times you call.  It’s always better to speak to them live, so if they typically are answering their phone, I want my first contact with them to be live, not voicemail.  After 3 calls where they do not answer, leave a voicemail.
  1. Random Calling. When you are making what is typically referred to a “cold-calls” you never take the time to leave a voicemail. With calls like this the only real value of the call is to have a live conversation.  So more dials and more live conversations is the key.

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