A lesson - a warning - a question

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

As everyone knows, following up with leads is important. The sooner the better.

That's why, when someone writes me about copy they need, I respond just as soon as I see their email.

But - as I realized this week but should have known all along - some of those who have written to ask about agent bios don't know that I did respond quickly.

I'm kicking myself and saying "Dumb, dumb, dumb."

Here's what happened...

Last spring an agent wrote to ask about a bio and I sent her my standard reply. I Big mistake!didn't get a response, but that's pretty normal. Some don't like the price and some don't like that I ask for 3 weeks to finish the bio. A few write to tell me they want it but can't afford it, and others simply don't respond. Or - at least I thought they just didn't respond.

This week that agent wrote again, saying she was ready to go forward and asking if the information I sent in April was still valid. I wrote back and said yes, and I attached a copy of my agent questionnaire. I hadn't been able to do that in April because the computer that housed it was in the computer hospital.

A few days later she wrote saying she guessed I was too busy for her. Of course I wrote back immediately, then picked up the phone. I'll start work on her bio tomorrow.

Why did she not get my response?

Because it was sent straight to junk - it contained an attachment.

So I learned a lesson. From now on I won't send an attachment unless I first write and let them know it is on the way - so they can check the junk folder.

Let my lesson be a warning to you if you are in the habit of sending attachments.

And now my question: Whatever happened to good manners?

Sometimes people write numerous times, asking questions and even asking me to send an agreement. Then they vanish.

If they've decided they can't afford it or have other priorities, or even decided to use a different writer, that's fine. But why not just send a simple note saying that they aren't going to go forward?

I'm sure you have had a few would-be real estate clients who do the same thing.

So - why? Are good manners that out-of-date?

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments (19)

Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Marte- I have a program on my email that lets me know if someone has opened an email I sent. I do have a pet peeve with texts. When I text someone, I'd like to know they received it...even if only to click the thumbs up icon. 

Sep 01, 2021 06:27 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Marte... yes indeed... good manners are very much out-of-date... I was just discussing that with another long-term agent here in Charlotte yesterday... he kept thanking me for returning his calls and texts. Say what? Isn't that what we're supposed to do to represent our clients properly?

Sep 02, 2021 04:31 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Marte, OH MY.    I check my spam folder daily, as all sorts of important emails go there.

Sep 02, 2021 07:11 AM
Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425
Century 21 Peak - West Hills, CA
Homes For Sale in West Hills, Ca (818) 926-5425

You are right Marte, very important to check our emails and of course respond those emails. I also check my spam and promotions. Just in case I missed something

Sep 04, 2021 12:12 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Sep 04, 2021 06:09 PM
Marte Cliff

Thank you Kathy!


Sep 08, 2021 10:33 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Marte - I don't know why good manners have fallen off either.  But I can't relate on the junk folder issue.  I think that your idea of sending a simple email announce that the attachment is coming is a really good practice to follow.

Sep 05, 2021 04:29 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Marte. Technology does not necessarily flow with good manners. Glitches can occur. The programs are developed by humans after all. Follow-up and continuous learning are key, especially these days. Enjoy your day.

Sep 05, 2021 05:58 AM
Wayne Martin

As a side note, viewing your post this morning I discovered that I was not following you. News to me, I have been commenting on your posts for years. A glitch, maybe!

Sep 05, 2021 05:59 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

There are many who do not seem to have the manners required to respond back. It's frustrating! That being said, I do think a lot of our emails go to junk mail. If I don't hear back from someone, I usually just send a text or other message asking if they received it. The spam folder is often the culprit.

Sep 05, 2021 06:19 AM
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"

Marte Cliff I've come to expect this non-response from different parties. I think part of it is the world of sales spam, so even on an individual basis, some won't respond for fear of sales tactics.  It is too bad that civility is affected.

Sep 05, 2021 11:55 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Marte:

What an important reminder about spam (which probably should always be checked regularly) and attachments. I think many just assume technology works when sending an email or text, especially if there is no error message, but obviously there are all sorts of way tech can fail us. We should not just assume something was received, especially when there is no confirmation.


Sep 05, 2021 01:00 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

At the very east I learned to send a preliminary email to announce the second with the attachment.  Haven't ever done that.  And too often people just ignore as a matter of their own way of doing business.

Sep 06, 2021 10:11 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Marte Cliff ,

You are right what ever happened to good manners? I had an agent wanting to see one of my listings..I scheduled her in and moved some others around and then she didn't show! I emailed and texted her and asked if something came up and did they ant to reschedule? Crickets!!

Sep 07, 2021 05:56 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kathy Streib That's a good program to have. I only get notice if the mail wasn't delivered.

Nina Hollander, Broker I know - you shouldn't need to be thanked for being polite. However, I find that when I respond to an agent inquiry and they get back to me right away, I thank them. I've also recieved plenty of thank you's for responding promptly.

Sep 08, 2021 10:30 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Joan Cox I should check my junk mail daily, but admit that I often forget to do so.

I also forget to come back to AR to see if anyone has commented on a post. I do miss the days when we got an email announcing a comment!

Esperanza Butler® 818 926 5425 That's a wise practice. I have found "real" mail in my junk folder a few times.

Sep 08, 2021 10:33 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Grant Schneider I think it's the only safe practice these days.

Wayne Martin That "not following" thing has happened to me a few times too. I find that I'm not following someone when I've been commenting on their posts for years. Do you suppose "follows" just fall off sometimes? As you said, computers do have glitches.

Sep 08, 2021 10:36 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kat Palmiotti A few times I've just picked up the phone to ask. But that's only when someone has seemed eager to get going and then disappears.

Wendy Rulnick I can see that with mail from strangers - I get a lot that I wish would go straight to junk. However, if I've written someone with an inquiry, I'm usually watching for a reply. I, perhaps wrongly, assume that others do the same.


Sep 08, 2021 10:40 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jeff Dowler, CRS - Assuming is where we make the mistake. We should never assume that technology always works.

Ed Silva I've decided that letting people know in advance is the only way to proceed.

Sep 08, 2021 10:42 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Dorie Dillard Austin TX You just reminded me of the time I went to the office on a Sunday morning to meet with someone. I had scheduled a half dozen appointments for that morning with people who would have preferred not to show their homes on Sunday morning.

When she was a half hour late I called her house and a child answered. That child informed me that "Mom's eating breakfast and doesn't want to be disturbed."

Then I got the fun of cancelling those appointments. People were not happoy.

Sep 08, 2021 10:44 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

A good reminder about following up Marte. When sending an introductory email, I let the recipient know to check their spam folder because the address contains the word 'sell' in it.

Oct 17, 2021 05:37 PM