Texting: Just How Important Is It, Anyway?

Education & Training with AFH Seminars


I just saw some pretty dramatic (and frightening) statistics on the national news:


  • When you talk on a cell phone while driving, you are 4 times as likely to have an accident as when not talking on the cell phone....the same as if you were driving while legally drunk.

  • When you drive and text while driving, you are 23 times as likely to have an accident as when not texting.

Think about those statistics a moment....really think about them....and then think about how important that next call or text message you "need" to make or take really is.

  • Is it worth the financial consequences of having an accident?
  • Is it worth the consequences of injuring or killing someone in the other car or in your car in an accident?
  • Is it worth injuring yourself and spending time in the hospital or, even worse, being permanently disabled?
  • Is it worth more than not being around for your family or those who love you, not being around for what could have been "the rest of your life"?

I know....our business and "stuff" going on in our lives are important.  We need to "stay in touch," and "time is of the essence."

Really?  It won't wait until we get home or to the office or at least until we pull into a parking lot?  How important is it when compared to what is really important in our lives?

Just a thought....and I hope it occurs to you when you next think about talking on the cell phone or texting while driving.  How important is it, anyway?

It's a great day here on the Lake in Reston....hope it's a great day wherever you are, too!



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Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

WE must have been watching the same show.

That was a frightening story.

Jul 27, 2009 01:08 PM #1
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Really nice to see someone enlightened on this subject Allen. I am a huge fan of technology and love my Blackberry, but my use of it in the car is extremely limited...It's common sense really and about time that more people, (not just real estate agents), realized that! The statistics speak for themselves and we're over-estimating ourselves if we think we spend so much time in the car and are such experienced drivers we'll be fine - You can't anticipate what other drivers will do, so you can forget that excuse!!

Jul 27, 2009 01:16 PM #2
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Our son's girl friend was stopped waiting to turn on to her street and was rear ended by a gal going at a high rate of speed.  I have to think she was talking on the cell phone or texting.  It has been two weeks and she still doesn't have the accident report so we don't know for sure.  This I did not know; if you get hurt at the accident and are taken by ambulance then you lose your chance to get the accident report and you have to wait 2 weeks.

Jul 27, 2009 01:41 PM #3
Robert Schwabe
EXP Realty - Orange Park, FL
Orange Park Real Estate

Allen - That's scary. I guess I need to keep two hands on the wheel and wait until I can pull over to answer my cell phone.

Jul 27, 2009 03:09 PM #4
Allen F. Hainge
AFH Seminars - Reston, VA


Sorry to hear of your son's girlfriend's accident...hope she's ok!  Hope you and your family are doing well, and I'm still grateful for the ride to the airport!

BTW:  I'll be doing the CRS 206 in College Station in September....tell your friend!

Hope to see you again at some point, my friend!

Jul 27, 2009 07:04 PM #5
Alexander- Slocum
Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington - Vancouver, WA
Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate

Saw the same show, Allen.  My phone is prettly lame when it comes to sending text however, I can read the in-coming ok, and agree it can be a big distraction to driving!  John

Jul 29, 2009 02:52 PM #6
Ken Montville
RE/MAX United Real Estate - College Park, MD
The MD Suburbs of DC

I didn't see the show but I can believe the stats!

I see this as something more insidious, at least as it applies to the real estate profession.  With the onslaught on newer and more widely distributed technology the client base (our prospects, customers and clients) are expecting faster and faster response times.  You see it with the "text me" button on websites or the "click to talk" buttons on websites.  Videos add immediacy ("You Are There!"). Twitter.  Facebook.  The 20 something and 30 somethings grew up on the Internet and more and more of them grew up on Broadband, high speed Internet, texting and e-mail.

It's common knowledge that "if you don't respond within {insert # of minutes here} you will lose the prospect."

Having said all that, most of the texting, etc. is done by the average, non- real estate, "regular Joe" 20/30 something thatdoesn't know any better.

Jul 30, 2009 01:23 AM #7
Shoshana Shay
St. Pete Realty - Treasure Island, FL

I'm with Ken -- people who have your cell number expect if they text that you will drop everything and answer immediately. I have tried to do it at red lights, but if it's a long msg, that doesn't work. I'm going to put a template in my phone that says something like "On the road... I will get back to you when it is ssafe to do so." That could be sent in a flash (at a red light or drawbridge opening!), and I won't be in that dilemma of whether to pull over and get into a conversation when I was actually on my way to do something else.

Jul 30, 2009 03:02 PM #8
Allen F. Hainge
AFH Seminars - Reston, VA

Thanks for the comments, Ken and Shoshana.  One other strategy, one used by several agents I know, is to have a VA (Virtual Assistant) whose job it is to take calls on the business cell number.  He/she can forward the (few) calls that MUST be handled immediately.

I know that my VA, Heather Wilches-Brooks, does a great job of taking all my business line calls and emails, taking care of 95% of them and forwarding the essential ones to me.  A real time, therefore money, saver!

One last comment:

Successful agents seem to take charge of clients/prospects, setting the rules, setting parameters. They are, lovingly, in charge.  Unsuccessful agents seem to think that their job is to be at the client's/prospect's beck and call, 24/7.  If you set the expections, they will follow your lead.  After all, they are looking for you to lead them, aren't they?

It's a great day here on the lake in Reston..hope it's a great day wherever you are, too!

Jul 31, 2009 12:08 AM #9
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Those are pretty scary statistics, Allen. And even though we have laws prohibiting cell phone use (unless hands free) and texting/emailing here in California, you see it all the time.


Aug 14, 2009 03:53 AM #10
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