How Much and How Are You Communicating with Clients During Your Transaction?
I have often wondered how much communication goes on in different transactions…between agents, with lenders, and with our clients.
Not just face to face communication, which these days seems to be far more infrequent especially with some clients and vendors, but via email, phone calls and text messaging. I suspect it varies quite a bit in terms of volume, the nature of the transaction, and the people involved.
I just finished another transaction, and as I always do was saving all the emails in a pdf for storage on a CD and my external hard-drive, along with all the documents that were shared and signed. Pretty amazing how much information is part of the typical real estate deal!
In this case, there were 631 emails (and this was a fairly straight-forward, non-problematic deal with out of area buyers), not including over 200 text messages with the 2 buyers alone. And this doesn’t count multiple phone calls to the lender, the other agent, the office manager, the escrow officer, and both buyers jointly and independently.
On the one hand that may seem like a lot of back and forth emailing, calling and text messaging. But some emails, of course, are due to “reply all” responses and being cc’d.
Education, requests for information, verifying, asking questions, keeping others informed, and sharing required documents are just some of the necessary components of back and forth communication during a transaction. So it’s reasonable to expect a fair volume of communicating.
On the other hand, if we are not communicating regularly, and often, with clients, and documenting conversations and issues, we will likely have problems – the relationship suffers, dates are missed, problems do not get addressed, questions do not get answers, and important information is not shared in a timely manner, which can derail the transaction pretty easily.
Having a written record of communication is useful for a number of reasons, the least of which is knowing what was said to whom, when, and about what. No one can possibly keep track of all the information-sharing and questions in a transaction without something in writing. A paper-trail IS essential to verify what was done, when and by whom.
And heaven forbid you should get into some sort of litigation or complaint and need a copy of the records to document what transpired. And don’t have them. There is something very powerful about the written record in a we said/they said situation.
So how are you communicating these days and what works best?
Have you found the volume, given the market, has shifted?
Is there MORE communication now because of email?
And do you find it more challenging to work with those who do not use email AT ALL (I have had 2 in recent months).