Most people think that since we live in an age of massive communication that everyone knows how to do it. Maybe because there are so many different ways to communicate we have lost touch of how to keep up. We almost get overwhelmed with the options, and I think this goes beyond just real estate. We have been bombarded with communication being swirled at us at lightening speed, and we don’t know how to manage.
The first step to great communication is to start off by paying attention to how that person has contacted you. This has been a huge pet peeve for me as well, so let me explain what I mean by this.
Let’s say your client calls you on the phone and leaves you a voice mail. How do you respond to that phone call? Most of the time lately, when you call someone and leave them a voice mail, all of a sudden you receive an email answering the question. This is a HUGE mistake!
Or you have texted someone and they respond with a Facebook message. Don’t be that person! Be aware of how people are reaching out to you. If someone calls you, call them back. If someone sends you a Facebook message, Facebook message them back. It’s as simple as that! With today’s technology and multiple ways to communicate, there needs to be some sort of order. I feel that is the largest part of the communication breakdown.
The second step is to master all of the ways people can now contact you. This is going to be different for each person because how you choose to be contacted is your business strategy. Allow all means of communication to be a way of someone contacting you and make sure you take time to set them all up properly AND check them on a regular basis. These can range dramatically, but a few of the big ones are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
The absolute most common form of social media contact is via Facebook. That’s where most people spend a lot of their time, and they could be browsing Facebook and think of something they need to ask.
It’s about putting systems in place so that it becomes easier for you to manage. Put all the apps on your phone so that when you have downtime you can check them. You can also set alerts to notify you instantly upon receiving a message. The great thing about using tech today is that you can set things to your preferences. If you are new to using anything other than traditional email or phone calls to have people contact you, then start off with one and see what you think. You will be surprised how easy it truly is and how your clients will like other options.
The last step is to let your clients know how you would like to be contacted. This is probably one of the most important steps of all. Setting the expectations for your clients and how you do business is key to successful communication. You need to let your clients know how and when you are able to be contacted.
This is going to do two things for you: One, it will give you an idea of their expectations, too. If you tell them you are available only by phone, then most of the time they will ask you, “What about email?” That way it opens the conversation up to know what would be easier for them as well.
Two, it will let them know that you have specific ways that you can be reached so that nothing gets lost in translation. If you leave it up to a guessing game, then that’s where communication gets lost. You start hearing things like, “But, I emailed you that last week — didn’t you get my Facebook message?” It really makes everyone aware of how communication will go when working with each other.
*Excerpts taken from article written and published in NewsGenius.com