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So here's the deal: through various means of circumstantial provision, it has been brought to my attention that there are still some of us real estate professionals out there who refuse to communicate via text message. This is unfortunate, as texting can be a pricelessly valuable tool in any industry, but especially in real estate! Now, I am plenty familiar with the typical anti-texting rationale... and, truth be told, I can't honestly say that I disagree with it. The following thoughts represent (in my opinion) the most logical arguments that I have heard against jumping on the text message band wagon:
1) It takes longer to type a text than it would otherwise take to call someone and verbalize the same message.
2) It's difficult to express your sentiments via text; in other words, a text has a higher probability of being misconstrued than its counterpart methods of communication, such as phone calls and emails.
3) And - arguably the most valid of the anti-text arguments - text messaging presents an additional monthly expenditure.
As I mentioned above, I cannot necessarily refute these processes of reasoning, but I can certainly share my opinion as to why they are not substantial enough to justify deterring one from utilizing text messaging, at the very least, as a business tool. Here are my thoughts:
1) It may take longer to send a message via text than it would to simply speak it, but what people fail to factor into the equation are all of the other facets of a phone call or conversation, such as:
a) introductions - "This is so-and-so and this is my reason for calling/conversing."
b) formalities - "How are you? How about those 49ers?!"
c) miscellaneous conversation - "I once knew someone who had the same such-and-such as you... We took the dogs to the groomer yesterday and now the kids are making a huge mud puddle in the yard..."
d) closing statements "It has been a pleasure speaking with you! Give the family my regards, please."
All of these variables add an indefinite amount of time-consumption to a verbal conversation. Yes, perhaps texting has the potential to be less personal due to its straight-to-the-point nature, but is certainly NOT more time-consuming.
2) I understand that the potential for information to be "lost in translation" is increased when one is dealing with non-verbal communication. however, this is the case with ALL non-verbal communication - not just texts! I have found that most people who refuse to give in to the text message movement have, in fact, succumbed to the email movement. (How could they not, right?) So, I maintain that if you can communicate via email, you can most definitely communicate via text. Additionally, since most of our communication is, factually, non-verbal anyway - i.e. body language - any form of communication that is not person-to-person (including phone calls) is going to suffer its deficiencies. Therefore, to be the most efficient business person you can be, you must be willing to communicate utilizing any and every method at your disposal.
3) Lastly, the money issue. Perhaps the ability to send texts symbolizes little more to you than an extra expense on your monthly phone bill; I would argue that text messaging can actually not only SAVE you money, but that it can even EARN you money as well. Texting saves time and, especially in this business, we all know that time is money! But utilizing texts can also earn you money - here's how: I have found that an increasingly large number of my clients will always exchange texts with me, even when I can't get them to pick up the phone, or when there is a lag in email turn-around time. By realizing this, and using it to my advantage, I have been able to maintain momentum in deals that could have otherwise become stagnant or unneccesarily protracted due to lack of information exchange. Furthermore, a text can provide a more comfortable (albeit less personal) way to approach an uncomfortable conversation. Dont' get me wrong - by no means am I advocating the use of a text to bear bad news to a client or anything of that nature; however, what I am saying is that I have noticed that some of my clients are more comfortable sending a text to convey information to me that might be embarrassing or uncomfortable. I have had clients send a text to let me know they are going to be late - which is valuable information for me, but nonetheless, information which they might feel less inclined to call and say on the phone versus sending a text. Other similar situations could be to let you know they want to withdraw a short sale offer that is taking too long and move forward with their home search, to inquire about the progress of a current offer without feeling like they are imposing with a phone call when you might be busy, to ask questions they may feel "dumb" for asking, or to get back in touch with you after a missed appointment or after a long time without communication...
The list goes on and on, and the point remains: providing your clients with yet another means of getting in touch with you not only keeps you on the forefront of technological advancement, but can also be a highly useful tool to lubricate the lines of communication and facilitate forward progress in your professional endeavors.
...And for those of you who are considering taking my advice and diving into the world of text messaging, here's a little something to get you started! ;)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.