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Bluetooths, Butt Dials & Blockheads

Brian Copeland

Brian Copeland

By Brian Copeland

Two things are true of mobile phone headsets.  One, they conserve your phone’s battery life.  Two, you may look and sound like a Spencer Pratt when you use one incorrectly.  We have this one guy in my office, who I PRAY is reading this, who paces the office (especially near the front desk) talking extremely loudly around the receptionist.  Thank you, sir, for your inspiration for this blog.

Check your quality.
The old school, early generation Bluetooth headsets typically sound like you’re in a open wind tunnel in a convertible with a rock band in the background.  This can leave your caller in Hearing Issueville with a bad taste in their mouth.  bluetooths_copelandAdditionally, you never know when that person on the other side may have a hearing impairment.  The Jawbone is viewed by many as the cream of the crop, with its ability to translate the vibration of your jaw to enhance the words.  I personally love my Plantronics Voyager PRO with it’s mouth piece that gets as close as possible to my noise maker.

It is NOT an fashion accessory.
Nothing says toolbag than a business card-pushing, headset-wearing REALTOR.  The joy is they are built for comfort and light-weight feel.  The drawback is that you forget that it is in your ear.  The stigma with wearing these in public is that you’re a poser.  When you get to a public place, make a concentrated effort to take it out.  I always hook mine on my top button of my shirt or around my collar, which hides it well.

Be sensitive to others nearby.
If you have to be on the phone in a public, non-office setting, the polite thing to do is find a quiet corner away from everyone and speak on your actual mobile device.  Mobility is great, but don’t abuse it!  Walking around the grocery store yelling into the air at a seller, buyer or agent perpetuates bad REALTOR stereotypes.  Additionally, a headset often causes you to speak louder.  You never know who is listening.  You could create a MAJOR agency violation.  It’s simply not worth the risk and the bad PR it generates.

Beware of the auto-dial and auto-answer.
We’ve all butt dialed clients.  Heck, I got a referral after dialing a client I hadn’t spoken to in a few months.  That aside, those headsets dial easily.  The night YPN Rob and Stacey Moncrieff were in Nashville, we were in Tootsie’s Honky Tonk.  I bluebutted (a term for butt dialing via Bluetooth I just made up) four different clients, leaving them over 10 minute country music messages each.  Learn from my dorkiness.  If you put that thing in your pocket, turn it off!  That’s why I started keeping mine on my collar.

We can hear that thing!!!
Yes, you.  I’m talking to you.  The one who hides the headset in your hair during a CE course and checks your voicemail.  You think you’re being discreet, and we’re all none the wiser.  In fact, WE CAN indeed hear the message mumble.  The instructor can hear it, your neighbor can hear it and even the education director back in her office can hear it.  We have class breaks for a reason.  If the call is that important, you really need to get a grasp on your business before you start booking courses.

Hear me clearly.  There is nothing wrong with using a headset, just be a little more aware when you have this amazing piece of technology.

Brian Copeland is a REALTOR® in Nashville, Tenn. You can follow Brian on Twitter: @NashvilleBrian

Comments
  1. Ha ha! Great subject matter. I’ve heard realtors in RE offices, on their cell phones, negotiating at the top of their lungs from a cubicle, divulging all kinds of once-private information. No awareness of confidentiality or manners.

  2. Great (and timely) article! I’m a past offender of wearing my pink Bluetooth everywhere (it matched my Blackberry, don’t judge), which I thankfully grew out of after 6 months in the business. I was also told by several clients that I resembled the Borg from Star Trek. Now, the main use for my headset is when I’m in driving in DC, so I can stay compliant with cell phone laws.

    Now when I see agents who are still obsessed with their headsets I think they either seem (a) crazy, since they’re always talking to themselves or (b) violating their clients’ trust, with their constant disclosures of business deals. One of my favorite OverHeards in a Starbucks was an agent discussing a deal: “I shouldn’t be telling you this because noone else is supposed to know, and it’s not exactly above-board…” 15 others in the store overheard him.

  3. Nobu Hata

    Best. Post. Ever. My bluetooth earpiece lasted approximately 23 seconds before I realized I looked like a tool. It’s been living in my glove compartment ever since.

  4. Great points and oh, so true. I use a small ear piece and have to very carful how I speak into it as my voice travels without a mic. I have become more aware of how I look when speaking on it and speaking on it around others who are on the phone. Common courtesy states that you should go somewhere private to speak so has not to disturb others and to pay attention to those you are speaking with.

  5. Great post Brian! I get the convenience and I’m all for the safety aspect while driving, but I still think you look like a tool.

    Plus, I am constantly answering agents that are speaking to someone else in their earpiece. I guess that makes me the tool ;)

  6. Like it said on the cover of Wired Magazine with a picture of Brad Pitt wearing a headset…

    “Rule No. 52: Ditch the headset. He can barely pull it off — and you are not him”

  7. LOVE IT! I personally recommend the Motorola t505 for anyone who wishes they had bluetooth built into their car- it taps into a radio station and makes it just like your came from the factory with it… This way you’re never tempted to get out of the car wearing a headset. Only issue, is yes, anyone in your car can hear your conversation… so you have to just let your caller know- you’re on speaker and I have clients in the car! :)

  8. @john, you read too much. Wired magazine? I aspire to be as cool as you one day, Morley. @nobu Big compliment coming from you, pal. @shannon, does it have a disco option? @stefanie…you are so right…I left that part out! @tara…aha! point proven…thanks! @susie and @bobbi….I’m so glad you concur, also!

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