Texting etiquette for real estate agents
Texting is one of the most efficient and effective ways for agents to communicate. As a real estate agent, it’s important to practice good texting etiquette to build trust and convey information. Here are some texting dos and don’ts to help you stay on your clients’ good side.
Remember that texting is something you should do after you’ve built rapport with your clients. Before you begin, make sure that your clients are comfortable with and prefer receiving text messages. Once you’ve got their permission, consider following these best practices.
Keep things professional when texting
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. Use complete sentences over lingo and abbreviations. Use emoji sparingly, at least until you get to know your clients better. And set guidelines with your clients. While some clients are willing to receive texts late into the night, not all are.
Send photos and videos of listings
It’s perfectly fine to send photos and videos of listings. 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.
If you’re worried about data use, you might consider sending your clients a link to photos or videos.
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’re likely looking for a quick response. 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 something complex, like contingencies or escrow, ask if you can send an email or talk on the phone to explain it thoroughly.
Though texting can make communication easier, it’s not always appropriate. Here are a few things to avoid when texting your clients.
Sending group messages
When clients give you their number, they expect you to use it responsibly. Group messages are one of the most irresponsible ways to use their number. It can expose them to complete strangers and ruin any trust you’ve built.
The only time you should ever send a group text is if a client specifically requests it and all people in the group message agree to it (e.g., a couple has separate phones and they both want the same update sent to their personal phone).
Additionally, never spam your entire client list with links to your latest listings. Instead, ask each individual client whether they want to receive occasional texts about listings and market updates before you start sending them. Then, send such texts separately to each client.
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, insensitive, or even cowardly. 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.
Also, if you do make a mistake, don’t try to blame it on autocorrect. Autocorrect is often based on how you write regularly, and rarely, if ever, corrects things out of the blue. If you make an honest mistake, apologize for it and clarify.
Texting while driving
Texting and driving is extremely dangerous, against the law in 48 states (be careful in Missouri and Montana), and simply unprofessional. There is no excuse to do so at any point, ever. In fact, you’re 20 times more likely to get into an accident if you text while driving.
While it may seem inconvenient, it’s important to wait until you aren’t driving before sending a text message. There’s never a good reason to take a risk with your life or the lives of others. If you need to return a timely text, pull over.
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