Here is how a phone call goes that we get multiple times a week:
Caller: Yeah, I need some information on your listing at 123 Main Street.
Me: We don’t have a listing at 123 Main Street.
Caller: Sure you do, I’m looking at a print out from your web site.
Me: Our site shows ALL the homes listed for sale in the Phoenix area, not just our listings.
Caller: Really? Uhm, well, can you tell me the lockbox code for 123 Main Street?
[OK, home buyers and sellers don’t call asking for lockbox codes. I know the answer to this next question”¦]
Me: Are you working with an agent?
Caller: I am an agent. I’m with a client and he gave me this printout from your web site. And it doesn’t have the lockbox code.
Me: You’re an agent? Lockbox codes aren’t shown on public listings, for obvious reasons. Did you look up the listing in the MLS?
Caller: Uhm no, I just have the printout from my client. We’re in front of the property trying to get in.
[About this time I’m thinking, “Wow, you are an idiot”. But wait”¦.]
Me: Well, is there a for sale sign at the property?
Caller: Yeah, it says it’s listed by John Doe at (insert brokerage name here).
Me: Well, I’m not John Doe, and I’m not with (insert brokerage name here).
Caller: Oh. Well why is this listing on your web site?
Me: We have an IDX on our web site. It has all the listings on it. See at the bottom of the printout where it says, “Listing provided courtesy of (insert brokerage name here)?
Caller: An ID what? I really just need the lockbox code.
Me: You’ll need to call the listing agent, or look it up in the MLS.
Caller: Can you give me the listing agents number?
Me: It’s on the for sale sign.
Caller: Oh. Yeah. OK, I’ll call him.
Nine times out of ten, the phone will ring about 30 seconds later. That call typically follows this pattern.
Caller: Hey, I just called you. And uhm, the guy on the sign didn’t answer the phone. So I was wondering if you could look up the lockbox code for me?
[About this time I’m thinking, “Why do you expect me to do your job for you?” and more importantly, “I wonder what your client sitting in the front seat of your car is thinking right about now?”]
Me: I really don’t have time to look up a listing for you in the MLS. You should have done that before you went out showing homes.
Caller: Well, I had this printout, so I thought we were good.
Me: But the printout is from my site, not the MLS. It doesn’t have showing instructions, or the listing agents phone number, or whether the home is occupied, or if you need an appointment to show, or if there is an activated alarm, or maybe pet instructions. You know, that sort of thing.
Caller: Oh. Uhm, I really just need the lockbox code.
Me: You’ll have to call the listing agent, or look it up in the MLS.
Caller: But I’m in front of the house, and the listing agent isn’t calling me back.
Me: Well, I suggest you move on to the next home.
Caller: But all I’ve got on that is a printout from your site”¦
Seriously folks, I’m not making this up. We get calls like this all the time. It’s mind-boggling. It ranks right up there with the people that come to our site to search for homes and in the box that says, “How you found us:” they put “my agent sent me here”.
I don’t get it.