Real Estate Text Messaging Dos and Don’ts
Modern consumers are becoming more comfortable with receiving text messages from businesses. If you want to utilize texting to communicate with clients, however, you will need to use a certain amount of etiquette to keep from turning them off. Here are some texting dos and don’ts to help you stay on your clients’ good side.
Keep things professional. While you may be able to loosen up once you get to know a client, you should be extra professional with new prospects who don’t know you very well. It’s important to preserve your professional image by using complete sentences. You should also only text during reasonable hours and avoid using abbreviations, exclamation points or emoticons.
Send photos and videos of listings. It’s perfectly fine to take advantage of your phone’s ability to send photos and videos. Most clients won’t mind receiving them, and many will feel like they are getting personal attention and an inside scoop. You can even create digital video walkthroughs of your listing and send it via phone to busy or out-of-town buyers.
Respond as soon as you can. Most people text because it’s a more immediate way to communicate compared to an email or phone call. When prospects text you, they are likely looking for a response as soon as possible. Although you may be busy when they reach out, you should try to respond sooner rather than later, even if it’s just to say you will get back to them soon.
Follow up with a call. While texting can be a quick, efficient way to communicate, it’s not always appropriate. If a client texts you a question about contingencies or escrow, reply that the answer is complicated and ask if you can send an email or talk on the phone to explain it thoroughly.
Send group messages. When clients give you their numbers, they expect you to use them responsibly. Avoid group messages at all costs, and never spam your entire client list with links to your latest listings. Even better, ask when you get their number if they want to receive occasional texts about listings and market updates before you start sending them.
Never text bad news. You should always deliver disappointing news in person or over the phone. If you text bad news to a client, you could come off as cold and insensitive. Additionally, the client may have questions about the news and how you think they should proceed. Instead of dropping bad news like a bombshell, frame it within an in person conversation.
Send without proofreading. Typos and autocorrect errors can result in embarrassment and misunderstandings. Be sure to thoroughly proofread each message before sending it to present yourself as a professional.
Texting while driving. Real estate agents are typically burdened by busy schedules that send them driving all over the city. While it may seem inconvenient, it’s important to wait until you aren’t driving before sending a text message. Research indicates that people are 23 times more likely to end up in a car accident if they are texting while driving. Texting can also result in costly tickets and higher insurance premiums. There’s never a good reason to take a risk with your life of income – if you need to return a timely text, pull over to the side of the road.
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