Text is here to stay – that’s a fact of life. It certainly has its advantages and can be a fabulous communication tool when properly used. But like anything else, it can be misapplied and abused. In the world of real estate it can be very effective or not, depending upon the circumstances:
- Requesting showing instructions from listing agents where warranted
- Requesting showing times from sellers
- Asking if there are offer due dates (from listing agents, if none are posted)
- Confirm meet times between agents, or agents and clients
- Anything contractual. A paper trail is paramount. As my broker is fond of saying…. “Handle your file as if it’s going to court. Document, document, document!”
- Timeline changes. See above – it’s no doubt related to some contingency period in the contract. Document!
- Communicating offer outcome. A text from a listing agent that your client did not ‘win the bid’ is less than satisfactory. You can forward that text showing the date and time it was received, but it won’t necessarily show who it was from. Clients want to know that we are communicating timely and really want the details of that communiqué.
- A listing agent may not be someone who has you in their database. Without context about who you are and what property you’re asking about, your text could go unanswered.
- All phone numbers aren’t text friendly. Check your inbox to see that your text was actually delivered.
- Text messages are short and sweet. (or at least they should be). If you have difficult news to convey, for goodness sake, don’t make it worse by texting. Pick up the phone so your clients (or other agents) can get a sense of your professionalism, level of caring). Texts rarely convey emotion, and sometimes, that human touch can take the sting out of less-than-satisfactory news.
I'm a big fan of technology making us more productive. But it can't take the place of common sense.