“Call Me” is Not Feedback

J Philip Faranda September 20, 2011

A brief rant on agent Feedback, which, as I have said before, is often an excercise in futility. If an agent is kind enough to email back feedback on on of my listings, “call me” is not an option. Our Feedback system is online and my clients get cc’d on all submissions. I don’t need my client getting jacked up thinking an offer is imminent when the agent only wanted to tell me that they couldn’t get the AC to turn on or the top bolt lock to click. 

We’ve recently had a number of agents leave the feedback such as “Please call me- I need to speak with you.” My sellers, quite understandably, break their necks to reach me and make sure I get the “important” message. I did, of course. When I do speak with the agent, the important issue is often simply a benign question or observation. Nothing to get excited about. Offers? Look, if an agent is about to make a sale they aren’t subtle about it, they’ll move mountains to get it in front of me-nobody is coy about making a sale. 

Check this one out:

Feedback- are they kidding?

I called the person. Nothing urgent, just a simple question they could have emailed instead of a cryptic message. Thanks, that really helps…NOT. I have no written feedback to convey to my client, and my time was just wasted. Worse, my client suffered angst over a meaningless conversation. If it were an isolated case that would be one thing. But it isn’t.  

Back in the 1970’s there were some books published by Robert Ringer and Michael Korda entitled Winning Through Intimidation and Power, respectively. They were typical Me Decade-era self help jobs which centered on putting yourself first, posturing, and office/boardroom manipulation to get ahead. One of Korda’s principles was that he who has to make the call loses- in other words, it is the subordinate who has to dial. The superior sends a memo or a message “call me.” It is like a message to go to the principal’s office or call your boss. 

I don’t think this is what is going on, but it is still silly. Why add the extra step? I certainly have no objection to dialing a colleague, but the use of feedback, which is by nature a non-urgent medium, to convey a message when a simple call would do, is misguided. You can call me, text me or email me. There is no need to use feedback to request a call.  It’s like sending me a letter when you are already standing next to me. And it isn’t feedback! 

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