Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


I Love The House! Why Won't The REALTOR Return My Call?

Mike in Tucson, AZ mortgage lender

The REALTOR won't return my call!

It's one of the strangest phenomona in the universe. At a time when qualified buyers are in great demand, real estate agents aren't returning calls.

I'm not talking about you.  It's those other agents out there, especially listing agents for short sales.

I'm seeing a shift in the business, and it has nothing to do with Gary Keller's book by that title. 

Listing Agents seem to be hiding from the real world of communication and interaction, confident that if only they get enough listings and set up the right systems on the internet, they can avoid wasting time answering the phone.

The Value of Relationships

Relationships have both emotional and monetary value. When I get voicemail, and no return call, it chips away at the emotional value of the relationship to me.  While you might be focused on the monetary value to you, that's not my focus.  If I'm a buyer or borrower, it's not about you.  It's about who can help ME.

Here's an illustration from my world.  I'm a mortgage lender.  Left to myself, I'd love to avoid all the time on the phone with people who ultimately cannot qualify for a loan, so I can understand an agent wanting to sift out looky-loos by screening all their calls. 

As a lender, though, my pipeline will atrophy if I don't take those calls, listen to the problems, and offer assistance without expectation of an immediate monetary payoff. 

The immediate payoff comes in the form of Emotional Value, and although you can't put a dollar value on it, emotional value is something you can take to the bank.  People appreciate it when someone picks up the phone and says "Hi. How may I help you?"


I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Arizona Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE LLC ~ Correspondent Mortgage Bank
Offices in Mesa, Tucson, Sierra Vista & Nogales


Comment balloon 50 commentsMike Jones • June 28 2011 09:41AM


No kidding, how bizarre is this recent trend?  I especially love the listing agents for bank owned properties who work three or four counties away!  Very timely post.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) over 9 years ago

Amen Mike!


I've been calling one listing agent for three months now with no response. The good news is there's been no activity on the house so I'll deal with the next listing agent.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 9 years ago

Realtors could increase their business by just picking up their phone and returning calls.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia III, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (RentVest) over 9 years ago


I believe you.


That's funny!  (...but not for you.)


Thanks for being the first to comment!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Sometimes texting will get an immediate response, like 'yes' or 'no.'  :)


Posted by Sarah, John Rummage, Love Being Realtors® in the Nashville TN Area! (Benchmark Realty LLC, Nashville TN 615.516.5233) over 9 years ago

Not getting a return call is what drives me the craziest, unfortanately here in NH there are a couple of fnma and freddie mac brokers that seem just too busy to return my calls and fortanately i have spoen with soem many other agents that are in the same boat becuase i thought it was just me... There is nothing like submitting an offer and never hearing back...

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago


It a real problem and it makes very one look bad.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 9 years ago

ooopsie!  I owe you a returned phone call...  I think you have already gotten the answer, though...

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) over 9 years ago


Old people like me have short memories, so it doesn't matter.  LOL


That it does!


That's a new one!


...but not always!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

Ya know Mike, I always wondered about this. Why be in sales if I don't want to make money. Anyway, as you say... not us. The other guys. :)

Posted by Kate Kate over 9 years ago

I'm trying my best to get an appointment to show a luxury home.  I've been waiting for 6 days now.  My buyer is on call waiting for me to alert them when they can tour the property.  The listing agent isn't communicating.  She's the broker. 

Nothing I can do.  Sure hopes another good property comes on the market soon.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I think if an agent is that busy he should have an asssistant or post something on MLS stating he has recd 4 offers or status. Otherwise, I wiill just call broker and find out what is going on with that listing. Communication is the best policy but sometimes that doesnt happen.

Posted by Michelle McCarthy, Experienced Realtor Call 415-279-5329 (Berkshire Hathaway) over 9 years ago

Great topic Mike. 

Of course a return call would be best...but any form of acknowledgement ( i.e. text, email, smoke signal, telegram) will do so that at a bare minimum, we know that they have received our message.

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) over 9 years ago

If you don't answer your phone, email or text you can't conduct business. You need to stop being whatever you are being and get a fulltime job at Walmart. I began seeing this trend of no returning calls, I finally got feed up with them and called their broker. I got immediate response after that.

People - return your calls!!!  In addition to your phone... answer your requests for feedback when another agent wants feedback. It is just ridiculous how inconsiderate people can be.

Posted by Suzanne Gantner, GRI, E-Pro, SRES, SRS, ABR (Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate ) over 9 years ago

Mike: I absolutely agree with you. While I can more than understand not being to answer a call, not calling back at the first possible opportunity is inexcusable.

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) over 9 years ago

Very true, no return calls, not answering emails etc  I can not believe these type of agents are still in the business and continue to list more homes.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) over 9 years ago

This is one of my pet peeves.

Posted by Catherine Sinocruz, Broker-Salesperson, ABR, GRI, CRS (Coldwell Banker Select Real Estate ) over 9 years ago

I don't think it's a matter of agents trying to "avoid wasting time answering the phone." In most cases, it's simply a matter of them not having the right systems and personnel in place.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 9 years ago


I know agents who will not pick up the phone for an incoming call.


Mine, too!


It can work in this environment, but when the REO business ends its cycle, agents who use this business model will find themselves having to start from scratch to build a pipeline of relationships.




Thanks for stopping by to comment; you may be venting to the choir, tho.  :)

Howard & Susan,

Like the smoke signal.  Too close for comfort in Arizona right now, though...  LOL


What if it's the broker who won't answer the phone, as in Lenn Harley's case in comment #11?


That's just amazing!


...and that's the truth!

Mike in Tucson


Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

I'm ONcall this weekend to show rental homes.  The calls have started EARLY with people intown wanting to see homes....I'll answer and show when I am NOT watching NASCAR from Daytona

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 9 years ago


It truly is amazing that some agents don't return phone calls! I don't know if they are serious Introverts or maybe just want everything in the world to happen out of circumstance. It is critical, in my opinion, that all calls be returned or at the very least get an email from them. Having to call them over and over again gets old FAST! I make every effort to return calls as quickly as possible, in some cases it may take a couple of hours, but never any longer than that.

Posted by Jon Eliason (EXIT Realty Advantage Pagosa, Pagosa Springs, Colorado) over 9 years ago


It does get old fast!  No question.


What driver are you rooting for?

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago
I have even more trouble getting ahold of REO agents! They are the WORST!
Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) over 9 years ago

Dear Mike -

In any sales career - one expects to receive/return calls.  However, I am in agreement with John Novak (#18). Of course, there are folks who are unprofessional and rude - but more often people have no business plan and as John says:  "In most cases, it's simply a matter of them not having the right systems and personnel in place."

Everyone wants success but not everyone knows how to get to success.

Have a happy day -

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) over 9 years ago

I hear you its absolutely shocking .  And the fact that we cannot get ahold of other agents either !   We are in the customer service profession.   Much of my business on those dropped balls and doesnt make our profession look to great when the public is questioning ....


Let's all endeavour to demonstrate we are the professionals we say we are

Posted by Michele over 9 years ago


Thank you very much for the post, you literally made me laugh out loud.

I recently tried to connect a prequalified buyer to a Las Vegas real estate agent. The buyer is relocating to Vegas for work, has already sold their home in their city, has plenty of assets and reserves, has family and friends in the area that they can stay with and prequalified to 399K.

The buyer had called about a dozen agents in the area on houses they liked, but had not received any calls back, so they enlisted me. I thought the process would be simple by reaching out via email along with a quick call to remind the agent to check their email, BUT I WAS HEAVILY MISTAKEN!

Over 25 emails with calls later in one day, and still no answer. To add insult to injury, no return phone calls for almost 24 hrs.

I did receive about 6 responses to my email from agents who only worked with cash buyers. (The first time I received the message, I spit my coffee out...)

Whatever happened to the rule of thumb about simply returning a phone call within a specific period of time?

I thought my client's and my situation was unique, but apparently it is not.

Again, thank you for the post.







Posted by Glenn North Sr over 9 years ago

This same thing happens often when I call to schedule a showing at another agent's property... they won't call back to get me in.  It's mind blowing.  Sure, I understand we are all busy... but how are you going to sell the house if you don't get agents and buyers in the door?

Posted by Roger Roberge, MA/CT Broker, e-Pro (RR and Company Realty, LLC / www.rrandcompany.com) over 9 years ago

Wow great post! I just received a call from my buyer client this morning in which we've submitted an offer on a short sale. I've left a couple voicemails- the kicker? In my voicemail I left, I specifically said he could either call back OR EMAIL! (we live in a world where everyone seems to like email, so thought I'd make it easy). Lo and behold...NOTHING!

Thanks for voicing many a frustration...

Joe S. (San Diego)

Posted by Joseph Lerner over 9 years ago

Mike, to me it's a no brainer. Someone calls you. You call them back. Period. No discussion. Call me, you'll see. :)

Posted by Connie Harvey, Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate (Pilkerton Realtors) over 9 years ago

Thank you Mike for voice one of my all time pet peeves!  And I also agree that bank owned properties can be the absolute worst for getting in touch with the agent.  What happened to the basic courtesy of returning phone calls?

Posted by Sherri Berry, Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate (Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro) over 9 years ago

I have found in my business if I don't get right back to a customer they will call someone else.

Posted by Mike Frazier, Northwest Tennessee Realtor (Carousel Realty of Dyer County) over 9 years ago


I don't understand not returning a call in a timely manner.  No matter how busy you are you can call and say I need more time to answer your question.  Our new city manager told me that he will return a call by the next day.  He is a very busy person, but feels that call must be returned, if he can do it why can't others?

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 9 years ago

Great post...I hope the agents your writing about that don't pick up the phone are the same agents blaming the market for their lack of success...

Posted by Cory Barbee, Broker (760) 563-4022 over 9 years ago

Wow! I can't imagine that. No calling back? Despite how technical our world has become that personal touch cannot be neglected. I have to think that karma will kick in and those agents who aren't returning calls are going to begin seeing the negative effect of that.


Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hey Mike, this is so true! congrats on your feature that is excellent and well deserved! :)  Even tho we have the Internet helping with achieving much of our work....you still need to fall back on the simple talk over the phone.  That is key.  I remember my mother teaching me, be sure to answer that phone because most clients when it comes to Feng Shui will go with the consultant who answers the phone and if they have a connection.  It is rare that they call back right away and set up an appointment if you miss them...or they will call back months later haha.

As you mention, it's important to have that emotional connection..that is key!

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 9 years ago

Mike I completely agree with your statement

"As a lender, though, my pipeline will atrophy if I don't take those calls, listen to the problems, and offer assistance without expectation of an immediate monetary payoff."

I have built my business on doing that.  It might not have a monetary payoff today, but it will most of the time have one in the future. 

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 9 years ago


It has been a problem for a while and it seems to be getting worse. I've taken to calling AND emailing so there is a record in case I need to take it to the next step. Is this any way to run a business? Guess it works OK for some becuz they keep doing it.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Got a call just today from someone hoping to see one of my listings. That listing is currently under contract but I suggested that there was another home in that development if he'd like to see it. He said he already tried calling that agent but he didn't answer his phone and hasn't returned the phone call. I said no problem, I can show you that home. We have an appointment for tomorrow.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Mike, that's why I think some of the short sale and foreclosure agents will be one shot wonders when the market settles back down to more seller-owned sales again. They will either adapt their 'bedside manner' or be out of business.


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) over 9 years ago


Whoa!  This really got away from me this afternoon.  Thanks for your comments, and I'll see you on your blogs.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 9 years ago

GOOD MORNING MIKE!I hope your afternoon got away because you were answering your phone!  I've sometimes not returned phone calls because I didn't get the call - but, if you do get the call - return it.  I get calls all the time from people who are not qualified to rent homes I have listed - but I still return the calls and talk with them about the home.  It's just the nice thing to do!

Posted by Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind, Broker/Owner (KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate) over 9 years ago

For me it goes to the core of their courtesies that should have been taught to them at a very early age:

  • Respect others
  • Speak when spoke to
  • Remember to say please and thank you

I have a 2 year old grandson that is learning this right now. At no time in our adult life should we forget common courtesy. It's hard to stay in this business without it

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 9 years ago

Mike - NOTHING more irritating than this! I had it happen again yesterday!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 9 years ago

That is the reason, no doubt.

When I don't get a call back, I know it has offers, so I move on.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

I recently dealt with a loan officer (buyer chose her, not me) who would NOT return a phone call.  The only way to get an answer from her was to text.  Two days before the scheduled closing she informed us that the buyer needed a new social security card. (Buyer had just gotten her citizenship and had changed her name).  The lenderr then proceeded to draw the papers with the WRONG name and then promptly leave on vacation.  It took us a week to sort everything out while she was gone.  A little communication could have saved a ton of trouble.

Posted by Jeanne Gregory, RE/MAX Southwest Sugar Land, TX over 9 years ago

The systems in place work just fine...But when people start playing with them, they go another way. Phones originally were meant to be answered if you go back a few decades. It was to reach someone first, and then to make a call second...When did it turn into something else? Just by being available over the years, I have been very successful because the other guy wasn't......thank you

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 9 years ago

They are working their other job!  That's been my experience anyway.

Posted by Ilona Matteson, Ilona Matteson (Beach Realty & Construction on the Outer Banks of NC) over 9 years ago

Mike - I have developed carpal tunnel writing on this very same subject!!!!  Our business is all about COMMUNICATION!!!!!  Love it!!!!

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 9 years ago

On the subject of phone etiquette, I hate when I call a listing agent and they make you feel stupid for calling because they "already have 4 or 5 offers" and yet the listing says ACTIVE and how would a buyer even know...

Posted by Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY (Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ) over 9 years ago

The no call back means they have an abundance of offers. And they may be waiting for a bank to respond as to which offer will be accepted.

Posted by Terri Poehler, Coral Springs Real Estate Agent (Realtor) over 9 years ago

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