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  Home > Discussions > How Do I Get Brokers To Return My Phone Calls?

Blog Post How Do I Get Brokers To Return My Phone Calls?

Initiated By: Peter Siegel, BBN Facilitator at 925-785-3118, 925-785-3118 (Cell) - Log In To Message/Email This Contributor

Comments & Replies: 11   Topics: business brokers, buying a business, pocket listings

Discussion Description: I am often asked these questions by business buyers: “It seems as though brokers/agents have a tough time returning phone calls. Why do they make it so difficult to get information & return a call? What should I be doing so that they return my calls and emails?” BBN Members discuss this hot topic.




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Comments & Replies

Thank you for the question. I hear it often and it is frustrating.

First, get your message across quickly.

I am ___, I am a qualified buyer for the ______ business you have listed. Please return my call at your earliest convenience. I will email additional information about what I am looking for. My phone number is __________.

Speaking for myself, I do try to return every call from new callers within 72 hours, or sooner. That may seem like a long time but I have priorities that start with problems on active projects, active clients currently looking at projects and then new callers. However, if I am available when a call comes in I will answer it.

My clients know that they should follow this guideline, First, Text me for most urgent response. If it is an important issue, contains sensitive information or has attachments send send it to my email. If it is urgent, text me to let me know it is there so I will get to it quickly. If you call and I do not answer, your voice mail may not be heard for up to 2 days. E mail is checked hourly. If you leave a detailed voice mail I recommend you also text or email me to let me know. With the advances of the day the phone is used less proportionately for voice messaging than for other written forms. It is just more productive.


Successful real estate agents all have assistance to help them take phone calls and show property to buyers. Business brokers as a group work alone, without an assistant. Beside myself there is one broker in Northern California who has divided up the work with assistants. If a business broker has more than ten listings he can't possibly handle the traffic by himself, and that is the primary reason that buyers do not get returned phone calls. Also, if a broker is in the middle of hot negotiations on one deal and signing up a new listing, at the same time, he may have no time to also return phone calls.

This is one of the reasons that many brokers want offers before they spend the time to provide financial information. It is a poor approach in my opinion. If they collected all the financial information needed up front when the listing was signed, they would be able to rapidly give buyers all the information to make an informed decision without going back and forth with buyers and sellers regarding information needed.

There is an old saying, "There is never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it over." I was a broker for 21 years and I learned how to handle 50 prospective buyers for one great listing. It required being able to receive an NDA and then quickly send out information. Then the broker should follow through with one e-mail to all the prospects.

Now that we understand the problems a broker is having, lets talk about solutions for the buyer prospect.

1. Send in an NDA, located on the businesses for sale website. This saves the listing broker the first step. Ask for three years, plus the current years P&L statements upfront to save everyone's time. If you do get it, walk away.

2. Send an e-mail instead of a phone call. I usually get responses to e-mails because they can return 10 e-mails in the time it takes to make one phone call. Tell them in the e-mail exactly what you are looking for and how much cash you have for a down payment. That saves them another step.

3. If you really are interested in a business and the broker will still not respond, call the receptionist and ask for another agent in the same office. If the deal happens there will be two agents instead of one. You will then have two people who do not call you back. (Joke). In truth this will get the communication you desire happening.


A good question and a few simple suggestions. - So often we receive phone messages that we just can't understand.

When leaving a message you should:

1. Speak slowly and distinctly. When giving a name or number, write it as you speak it. Your listener can't write it down if you are speaking faster than you can write it.

2. Describe the listing you are calling about both the listing number and the title.Repeat it.

3. State your name, then spell it. Slowly and distinctly.

4. Give your area code and phone number. Slowly and distinctly. Repeat it.

5. State the best time(s) to reach you.

6. Provide your email address. - Again, say it slowly and distinctly. Repeat it.

7. Share something about yourself to show your seriousness, such as past experience, funds available, level of interest, or time frame.

8. Please, don't demand information that is only going to be disclosed after a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is signed. Such a demand sets the wrong atmosphere, and the broker cannot violate his fiduciary obligation to the seller.

9. And, if you don't hear back within 48 hours at the most, call again and again. Even in the best offices, a call can go astray. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

In my firm, we try to return every call within hours, no more than one business day at the longest. But, there are so many messages that we just can't return because they are so unclear.


This Discussion's Contributors

Contact: Tim Cunha at 650-600-3751, 650-204-1802 (Cell)   Log In To Message/Email This Contributor
Profile: I am an experienced entrepreneur, attorney, & business professor. I & my EvergreenGold® team offer business owners sound advice & expertise to build business value & achieve profitable sales. Call me today for a FREE business evaluation & SWOT analysis for your business anywhere in the USA.
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Contact: Chuck Post at 619-227-5711, 619-227-5711 (Cell)   Log In To Message/Email This Contributor
Profile: Laundry consulting, due diligence, buyer representation: We preview laundries for you and evaluate them. 28 years laundry industry experience: buying, selling, valuing, retooling, analyzing, consulting services for laundry buyers and entrepreneurs. Contact us today about our services.
Key Words: chuck post, laundry, coin laundry, coinlaundry, laundromat, laundries, card laundry, laundrys, coin laundry, coin operated, laundramat, laundry mat, laundrys, coin laundries, laundry, laundries, coin laundry, chris mason, laundromat, laundromats, laundrys, laundry, laundries, laundrys
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Contact: Willard Michlin at 805-428-2063   Log In To Message/Email This Contributor
Profile: Willard Michlin is a business broker for 23 years. As a CPA & Certified Fraud Examiner, he works with buyers to get a FREE market valuation as well as full industry & financial due diligence on businesses they are interested in buying. He also offers FREE do-it-yourself due diligence training.
Key Words: willard michlin, due-diligence, due diligence, michlin, kismet
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Tim Cunha JD, Business Broker, SF Bay Area 0719
Chuck Post Laundry Consulting USA 0719
Helen Yoo Escrow Los Angeles - 0219

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