In 2002, July was designated as National Cell Phone Courtesy Month in an effort to make cell phone users more respectful while using their phones. Because cell phones have made us accustomed to being conveniently and constantly available, they have made their way into virtually every aspect of our lives. However, this doesn’t mean that just because we are available wherever and whenever, that we should be.
The Health Benefits of Powering Off
In fact, people who don’t make themselves unavailable at times and who never “power down” are literally, figuratively and constantly draining their batteries.
Cell Phone Etiquette
Equally as important as disconnecting from your cell phone is knowing when, where and how to use your phone courteously. To make sure you aren’t, “that person” being rude in public with your phone, follow these golden rules:
1. Announce your name when answering a call.
2. Many real estate agents have a voice mail message that lets the callers know an approximate return call time. If you can adhere to it, it’s an immediate clue to your high level of customer service.
3. Don’t take a call if you are with a client.
4. Don’t put your phone on the table while in a meeting.
5. Don’t interrupt a face-to-face conversation by picking up your phone.
6. Know your speaking volume, and take a 10-foot space from others while talking.
7. Don’t talk on speakerphone in public.
8. Let your caller know if they are on speaker phone.
9. Refrain from sending group texts unless the included parties are expecting it.
10. Mute or turn your phone off when it’s not in use.
11. Use a professional ringtone when with clients.
12. Leave brief, informational voice mails.
Inevitably there will be times where you are waiting on an important call and need to step away to take it. If you can anticipate this, let your clients know ahead of time so they are not taken aback. Acknowledge the distraction and make the call as brief as possible and return to business.
Where to Avoid Using Your Cell Phone
Some places are more obvious, but did you know that in many public places it is considered inappropriate to use your cell phone? When in any of the following places, turn your phone to silent mode or off completely:
Public transportation: taxis / buses / trains
Places of worship
Real estate agents rank highest among the careers where being accessible and communicative is an integral part of the job. Be mindful, polite and take control of your phone usage, so it doesn’t take control of you.