It’s a casual world these days, but…

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Since the advent of the Internet, email, and texting, communication has become more and more informal. Many people no longer address each other by Mr., Mrs., Miss, Ms, or even Doctor.

That’s probably fine – but it depends upon the person you’re addressing.angry senior citizen

I think of my Mom – and how steaming mad she used to get if a doctor or nurse presumed to call her by her first name. They weren’t friends of hers, she hadn’t given them permission, and in her view, it was an insult – a put-down.

That’s pretty much the way I feel if some stranger calls me honey, dear, or sweetie.

If you’re dealing primarily with young people, they’ll probably expect you to use their first names, but if you’re hoping to score points with older retirees, you might want to think twice. If you say “Mrs. Jones” and she says “call me Susan,” then you’re fine to do so. If she doesn’t give you that permission, then you should continue to say Mrs. Jones.

Meanwhile, if you say “Susan” and she gives you a glare, you probably aren’t going to get that listing or sale.

If you’re using my Senior Relocation letters, I definitely think you should stick with using titles unless you become acquainted and they tell you to use their first name. Why take a chance on that letter going straight to the trash?

Earlier today I learned that one of my customers who is using my Probate Prospecting letters has been referring to the deceased by their first names. I suggested that she change that, as it might seem insulting to the executor and heirs, given that she had never met the person.

Another thought - if your specialty is military relocation, would those officers appreciate it if you addressed them by their first names? It might be something to consider.

It may be a casual world, but respect never really will go out of style.

 

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds 11/19/2018 05:00 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 02/01/2019 01:00 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
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It's all about them (ThemThem)
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Tags:
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respect for clients
good manners in real estate

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Rainmaker
976,885
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent thoughts here. Always appreciate your heads up.  Funny story - when I was growing up Jan was a man's name too.  Imagine receiving a reply after an interview at Pizza Hut corporate headquarter,  "Dear Mr. Green!"  

Nov 18, 2018 02:58 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

John Henry - any excuse will do if you want one? Those emails are funny, but it's really not funny, to think that people will go out in public looking like that. I thought it was bad enough when people came to our local grocery store in sweat pants with runs down the rear, but that's tame compared to those pictures.

 

Nov 18, 2018 03:16 PM #26
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR I hand't thought about how much entertainers influence the public - especially the young people I DID notice that they often look like they're dressed to go wash the car or muck out the barn. Except for the females who look like they belong on the stroll in the red light district.(Will any young people know what I mean by that?)

Once in a while I go looking for old songs on You Tube and it strikes me that the singers in the 50's and 60's were dressed up. The men wore jackets and usually ties. The ladies wore tasteful dresses. They were known for their songs, not their attire.

Nov 18, 2018 03:19 PM #27
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate - yea to good manners!

Jan Green - It seems that people can't tell where "Marte" belongs in the gender pool, so I get mail addressed to "Mr." every now and then. It's my cue to toss it because they obviously don't know me.

Back when I was in high school the man who owned the corner store where we all went to buy soda pop and snacks instead of a proper lunch was Marian Boyd. I guess that was a common name for men back when he was born, but it sure struck all of us as odd.

Nov 18, 2018 03:25 PM #28
Rainmaker
3,194,671
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Marte you made me laugh, yes times have changed and when people call me SIR I feel old or when they call me Mr. Barath, I get nervous is it a notice to appear in court?:))Endre

Nov 18, 2018 10:04 PM #29
Rainmaker
577,868
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

It's all about respect, Marte. Military titles can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with them, but I certainly agree the title is a sign of respect and is earned, and should be used whenever possible. 

Nov 19, 2018 06:38 AM #30
Rainmaker
3,573,019
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Marte. I like this soooooooo much. For me it always comes down to never assuming and always treating people with respect.

Nov 19, 2018 07:31 AM #31
Rainmaker
702,204
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

You know Marte Cliff my first name is William, but ALL  my friends know me as Bill. Whenever I get addressed as William I know they don't know me  and they have taken liberties that I don't appreciate.

So yes, your advice is extremely good and valuable.

Your friend,

Bill Roberts

Nov 19, 2018 07:50 AM #32
Rainmaker
3,301,154
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Marte - a time, a place.  Perspective comes into play as well.  Ahh, familiarity.  I apologize for this "random thought moment". 

Nov 19, 2018 08:26 AM #33
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Endre Barath, Jr. And do you get those notices to appear in court often?

Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty - I have no idea about military titles, but if someone was introduced to me with one, I'd certainly try to remember it and use it.

 

Nov 19, 2018 09:46 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Sheila Anderson I agree - assuming is not a good practice.

What really bothers me is that computer programs automatically insert first names. Way back 20+ years ago I had a Top Producer program that did that, and it was a tedious pain in the neck to go through each letter and make the change before printing.

No wonder agents think it's OK to assume familiarity.

Nov 19, 2018 09:48 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Bill Roberts That's always a good clue, just like when people write me and address the letter to Mr. The difficulty I see in following my rule to use titles is that lists we get don't have them, so when it comes to addressing someone named Chris, Terry, Kelly, etc. we have no idea what title to use.

Some of my customers surprise me when they inquire about bios and I assume the writer is a man or a woman, only to learn I was wrong. There are a LOT of names out there that I'd never heard growing up in a small town that was primarily Scandinavian or Italian.

Nov 19, 2018 09:53 AM #36
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Michael Jacobs Random thoughts are always welcome...

Nov 19, 2018 09:53 AM #37
Rainmaker
5,343,059
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

This is excellent advice to share.

When we moved from Virginia to Maryland several years ago, it took an effort for to grow accustomed to people calling me by my first name.

Nov 19, 2018 11:15 AM #38
Ambassador
3,964,851
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Marte

I don’t think that respect ever goes out of style, at least I hope not, but some do take liberties and a far too casual. Better to ask permission before assuming.

Jeff

Nov 19, 2018 11:58 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Roy Kelley Does that mean Virginia was a bit more formal?

Jeff Dowler, CRS Since politeness is so easy - why take the chance of offending a potential client? Seems silly to me.

Nov 19, 2018 12:26 PM #40
Rainmaker
5,343,059
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Yes, the business real estate industry was more formal in Virginia at that time.

Nov 19, 2018 12:36 PM #41
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Roy Kelley I suppose that's just another of the regional differences we only notice when we move - or get acquainted with people from different areas.

Nov 19, 2018 12:48 PM #42
Rainmaker
3,236,011
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

There are friends of my parents that are still living...and while they have given me "permission" to call them by their first names...I cannot...it is sign of the respect that they deserve...and my upbringing.

Feb 01, 2019 06:53 AM #43
Rainmaker
1,529,928
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Sally K. & David L. Hanson My Mom bristled if a doctor or nurse - or any stranger - used her first name. But she gave my friends permission and they took it. When it was people she knew and liked she preferred it, but from strangers - NO.

I agree, it's all about respect.

Feb 01, 2019 07:23 AM #44
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