Each day, more than 20 billion text messages are sent out across the globe. In fact, it’s said that more people have access to mobile than to toilets! These stats would be impossible for most of us to even fathom years ago. For today’s generation of agents, however, texting is a part of daily life, and while it often saves you the time of having to make a phone call, it can get you in hot water if you don’t follow certain rules.
The Dos of Real Estate Text Messages
1. Be Aware of Your Tone
We’ve all received text messages that didn’t perhaps come off as they were intended. Keep in mind that so much of regular communication comes down to visual and audio cues, something we don’t have access to in a text message.
Be sure to read your message over and make sure you are expressing the actual tone you are meaning to. Not sure if your text could be taken the wrong way? Run it past a friend or fellow agent in your brokerage. Sometimes a second pair of eyes can prove to be very useful.
2. Keep it Short and Concise
Long, wordy text messages are hard to follow. Use texts for simply and to the point communication. If you feel like it will turn into a multi-paragraph text, you should turn to a phone call or email to relay all the information.
3. Text During Business (or Reasonable) Hours
Just because people have their phones on them (or near them) 24 hours a day doesn’t mean that texting at any point in time is acceptable. If you have something that can’t wait until a reasonable time, you might want to send an email and follow up with a text message when possible.
4. Follow up with an Email if Needed
While on the topics of following up, a text can sometimes can lost in the shuffle. If you need a fast response, or it’s been several hours or days since you have heard, there’s nothing wrong with following up with an email. Or, if you know the client is easier to reach via phone, make a quick follow up phone call.
5. Send Maps, Images, and Links to Listing
Today’s smart phones are perfect for agents since they allow visual information, like images, exact locations, and maps, to be sent easily and quickly.
The Dont's of Real Estate Text Messages
1. Don’t Send Unsolicited Text Messages
Prior to sending that first text message to a lead or client, get their permission. Some people don’t use text messages, others may fear that they will get that dreaded 5:30 am text message like they have from other agents. Asking if texting is okay ahead of time will help decrease your chances of unhappy clients and leads.
2. Avoid Slang Text and Abbreviations
While nearly everyone is on the “LOL” “BRB” bandwagon, this type of texting jargon isn’t professional and shouldn’t be used when contacts clients or leads. Save these abbreviations for texts with friends and family, but as a general rule internet slang should not be used in business texts.
3. Avoid Discussing Specific Financial Information
Very personal information or specific financial discussion is best left to email or phone conversations. Email is preferable since it is much easier to have a paper trail of your conversations.
4. Do Not Send Without Proofreading Your Message
Nothing’s worse than sending a text message with an embarrassing typo and noticing it just at the point of no return. Avoid this blunder by proofreading your text messages to make sure they are error free before hitting send.
5. Don’t Text While Driving
With the hours you spend driving to and from meetings, listing appointments, and house showings, it may be tempting to text and drive but don’t do it! According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving leads to 1.6 million car crashes a year. In fact, one out of 4 accidents in the U.S. is a result of texting at the wheel. Stay safe!
Want to learn more digital marketing real estate tips? Our expert marketing team can walk you through a free demo and show you how PropertyPulse can help automate your lead generation and communication efforts.