Want to Save Those Text Messages? Here's How with SMS Backup and Restore

Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977

I love learning new ways to be efficient - goodness knows I can certainly use the help - and not being efficient drives me nuts!

I do a lot of texting these days, far more than I was doing even a year ago. While some is with with family members the majority is with buyer and seller clients, and those dialogs are something I want to preserve, as I do all transaction emails, just in case.

No doubt YOU are also doing a lot of communicating with your clients during a transaction.

Not being efficient drives me crazyI attended the GOOGLE UNIVERSE BOOTCAMP last Friday in Santa Barbara - more on some of my learnings in a later post - and learned a great way to back-up all my text messages on my Droid to my gmail account, which allows me to print them, if needed, share them, and or course archive them along with other transaction documents.

The app for the Droid is call SMS BACKUP AND RESTORE. I downloaded while in the class, and backed-up the 1800+ text messages to my gmail account. SMS Backup saves the messages in a folder called - guess what? - SMS.

Be aware it takes some time to back-up the first time if you have alot of text messages, but you can set the app to back-up text messages automatically going forward pretty much whenever you want

Obviously you want to save the entire thread of your text message dialog (I had several that were more than 200 text messages) and Gmail will save each complete thread separately.

I like to save my documents and emails on a CD as well as an external hard drive. I  know you can create a pdf from email in gmail but I find it easier to use Outllook. Thoughts?

I simply forward the email that contains the complete thread for a transaction to Outlook and create a pdf of that email and add it to the pdf file containing all the emails from the transaction.

There's a similar app for the Blackberry and iPhone (and there may be others - do a Google search).


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mike Yeo 08/21/2012 01:05 PM
  2. Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900! 08/23/2012 01:30 PM
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I am also a prefer outlook kind of girl myself.  Had no idea about the droid app.  Headed to download that app right now.  Thanks for passing along what you learned. 

Aug 20, 2012 01:58 AM #36
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

Jeff that is great information. If a seller approves a listing price reduction in a text, for example, that is considered binding, but is a lot easier to prove if you can print it out! 

Aug 20, 2012 02:04 AM #37
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

That's great because I am forever following up with email trying to nail down what was in the text messages. 

Aug 20, 2012 02:59 AM #38
Bernadette A. James
Serving Sugar Land, Missouri City, Richmond and Pearland - Sugar Land, TX
Broker-Associate, Keller Williams Realty SW

This is on my "to do" list that I have been putting off for some time because I have so many texts. Thanks for the info.

Aug 20, 2012 03:54 AM #39
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Who is that man above the Orange Ambassador banner???  I hardly recognized you ... cool photo :)

Thanks for the information about backing up text messages ... I will check into it!

Aug 20, 2012 06:43 AM #40
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Thanks for the info.  I found what I was looking for in the comments section, which was backing up an iPhone.  Gosh, I do like ActiveRain!

Aug 20, 2012 07:11 AM #41
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

This is the best tip for the Droid I've seen in a long time.  My phone has been slowing down a bit lately because I have hundreds of text messages that need to be backed up.  This will be awesome!

Aug 20, 2012 08:58 AM #42
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff, this is great for people that do a lot of texting, but that is not me.  My figures are to chubby for those little keys :)

Aug 20, 2012 09:27 AM #43
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Can't wait to try this - you are right. . . texts are so often used and that would be great to be able to save them.

THANK YOU!  Definitely bookmarked!!

Aug 20, 2012 10:34 AM #44
Marie Story
Coldwell Banker - Pinecrest (Miami) - Pinecrest, FL
Broker Associate, Pinecrest (Miami) Specialist

Thanks for sharing; getting on it right now!

Aug 20, 2012 11:10 AM #45
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Jeff, thank you so much! I have some people who communicate via text exclusively! Now I can actually keep a record of those communications. I guess there is an app for that after all!
Aug 20, 2012 11:40 AM #46
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Good deal Jeff.... Thanks! 

Aug 20, 2012 12:12 PM #47
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Gita - hope it helps

Bernadine - don't you hate that?

Ginny - I cannot really say much about the app(s) for the iPhone. TOuchcopy may NOT be the best one, and I llike free, which the app I talk about is.

Dick and Dixie - works like a charm. I hated the thought of losing over 1800 TMs!

Mark - no doubt there are several apps for the iphone

Nick - thanks for sharing. No doubt the Mac users here will appreciate this!

Michael -there is one out there

Fernando - isn't that a great way to start the day?

Frank - I think there are ways to just email yourself text messages but it may depend on the phone. This app was so much easier. And once in email form it can be shared or archived.

Susan - hope you like it

Gail - do it! What a lifesaver, IMO

Rosemary - I can't imagine there is something out there that is free or much less costly. I did not look into that since the app for the Droid was free

Brenda - you do the same. Hope you find it helpful.

BLiz - you are lucky in some ways to NOT be doing a lot of TM. I have several clients where I am over 200 TMs with them and we are not done the transaction, and that does not include emails.

Mike - and now your wife has an answer!


Aug 20, 2012 02:31 PM #48
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Jeff - I tried to do a backup before I had to do a factory reset.  It didn't work.  I lost 6000+ messages. Is there a way to turn emails to pdf?  I'd love to do that.

Aug 20, 2012 04:28 PM #49
Arynne Crane

22096 text messages backed-up!  Awesome!  Thanks so much!

Aug 20, 2012 04:53 PM #50
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Samantha - glad it was helpful. I love learning stuff like this from others here so it is certainly something I want to do in return. Too good a tip to not pass along.

George - same here. It's critical to have these paper trails just in case.

Bruce - hope it works for you.

Joni - yep, and I would think that you would be taking a ton of photos for a busy texter.

Peggy - well I didn't several years ago but it is rapidly changing. I do a ton of texting with some of them.


Aug 21, 2012 12:10 AM #51
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Jeff, thanks for this little tip...I'm actually a bit surprised how much more texting I'm having to do these days...this just makes sense.

Aug 21, 2012 09:19 AM #52
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Jeff -- Thank you for this!  I really need to do this as sometimes I cross over texting and emailing clients and I want a paper trail for all 'conversations'.  

Aug 21, 2012 10:42 AM #53
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

Being a huge deleter of everything, this is a great find, Jeff.  I don't like clutter and didn't know how to kee these text messages.  Thank you.  I will check out the iPhone app.

Aug 21, 2012 12:33 PM #54
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jeff - I was just asking myself if there were a way to save text messages this past week.  I don't have that many but sometimes there are ones that I want to keep.  Thanks.. will bookmark this. 

Aug 25, 2012 07:32 AM #55
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Jeff Dowler, CRS

The Southern California Relocation Dude
What's my Carlsbad CA Area Home Worth??
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