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Do’s and Dont’s of Text Messaging for Real Estate Agents

June 30 2011

There's a time and a place for text messaging. It can be a helpful tool – or a totally inappropriate misuse of technology. Here are just a few pointers about how to use text messaging appropriately. As with all our articles, we'd love to hear your comments about your own experiences.

DO capture the cell phone number for your potential clients (or existing clients). There are many ways to capture this information. We've spoken quite a bit about lead generation – and no wonder, since leads drive sales. Here are a few sources to explore:

  • QR Codes
  • Online forms

Of course, if you begin communicating with someone, one of the first things you should do is ask for their contact information – including their phone number.

DON'T send text messages at inappropriate times. Remember that this is someone's phone, not their email account (although they may have a Smartphone that serves as both). Avoid sending text messages after 8 or 9 p.m. and before 6 or 7 a.m.

DO follow your client's lead. Whenever you have a client that sends you a text message, it's courteous to text them back. They didn't call you for a reason. If you text them and they respond with a call, you should probably consider just calling them in the future.

DON'T send a text message if it's seriously time-sensitive. If you've got something that needs to be taken care of immediately (i.e. "We have an offer on your home and they want an answer right away") – pick up the phone and call your client.

DO use text messaging to send links if your client has a Smartphone. Sending info to your clients as links via text message will often get a response faster than sending an email. Also, some people can't check their email at work, but they can check their phone for a text and respond.

DON'T go overboard. If you send too many text messages, you're going to start annoying your contacts rather than building a relationship with them. They'll begin to ignore what you send them.

DO maintain your in-person and on-the-phone communication. It's a simple truth that hearing your voice and seeing your smiling face will build and maintain a connection much more than characters in a text message.

DON'T trust your auto-complete. You could end up with some hilarious, but horribly offensive, mistakes. This is especially true if you have an iPhone.