To Cell or Not to Cell
Written by Jeffrey R. Armstrong – President/Owner of Armstrong Capital
Your favorite Master Note Buyer – Straightforward, Honest, Fair…
I was having a very nice conversation with a note holder the other day. She was telling me all about her note as I was filling out a worksheet. She had sold a Single Family Home in Tampa, FL for $148,000. She continued to tell me that “…I received an $18,000 down payment and had a note for $130,000. I am carrying it for 20 years at __% interest with a ___ balloon…..and I ….” I responded “…HELLO!?!…Are you still there?” The call was dropped. She had called me from her cell phone and luckily I got her phone number before we started talking about her note so I could call her back and get the rest of the information I needed to give her some options on her note.
Have you experienced this? It happens to me several times a week and it is very frustrating. When it’s a note holder that is on a cell phone I am a bit more patient and will attempt to contact them back and just laugh about “those darn cell phones”. But when it is a broker calling me from a cell phone and I’m trying to get a transaction closed it becomes annoying.
So I guess the question is should we use our cell phones for work? To cell or not to cell, that is the question! Obviously we can’t control if people call us from a cell phone. But we can control where we answer the call from. There are two sides of the fence on this issue.
The argument for using a cell phone for the note business could be that you want people to be able to reach you at any time. It gives you the freedom to not sit by a phone all day waiting for calls. If you use your cell phone for the note business people can reach you in the evenings, on weekends and on holidays. So when does work stop and your personal life begin?
The argument against using a cell phone for the note business could be that it is unprofessional because of the sometimes unclear reception and dropped calls. You may give the note holder the impression that you are too busy to deal with them. And that it might be rude and disrespectful to people around you that you ignore when you take a call on your cell phone. Also, many of us do not want to be available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. There is a time for work and a time for your personal life.
I don’t worry too much about missing a phone call. It is my feeling that if a note holder calls me and they have a real need or want, they will leave me a message. If they do not have a need or want and are just curious to find out what their note might be worth they may not leave me a message and I didn’t miss out on anything.
If I am out of the office on vacation or speaking somewhere I will follow up with note holders using my cell phone but it is not my first choice. I will even use a calling card on the hotel phone before I use my cell phone. With a land line I know that I will sound clear and professional with no dropped calls or poor reception.
The point is to be aware of how you present yourself to note holders and funding sources and the impression you make on people when they first contact you. Everyone has their own preferences as to how they want to operate their own business. Some strictly use a cell phone and others never use a cell phone for business. Which side of the fence are you on? TWITA! (Thats What I’m Talkin’ About!)