The Business of Texting
Text messaging is happening everywhere. Text messaging has become a convenient business tool that can help you communicate and operate more efficiently. Texting can also help you respond more quickly to your clients and colleagues. However, knowing how and when to text appropriately is important in professional situations. Make sure that your texting is helping and not hampering your career by considering some of these texting tips:
- Always ask your clients if it’s acceptable to send them messages via text. Not everyone has unlimited text messaging cell phone plans, and could be charged per text message. Some people simply prefer not to communicate via text, and would prefer phone or e-mail messages. Ask on the front end to find out what communication method works best for each client.
- Be careful when using abbreviations! Shortened words, acronyms or phrases could be misconstrued by the recipient. If you can’t clearly communicate your business message in the body of a text message without abbreviations, it’s probably best to send an e-mail message instead.
- Be even more careful when typing numbers in a text message. It’s very easy to drop zeros or to type totals incorrectly, which could be critical errors when trying to communicate prices, fees, offers or counter offers.
- As a general rule of thumb, don’t text at the table – whether it’s a conference table or a dining table. When you’re sitting around any table, the other people present expect and deserve your undivided attention.
- Don’t overload people with text messages. Even If you have permission to text the person or you communicate frequently with them via text, it’s never a good idea to send multiple messages within a short timeframe. If you have that much to say to a person, pick up the phone.
- Don’t text at the expense of personal interaction. If you find yourself communicating with anyone only by text for a long period of time, you are probably missing some valuable and relationship building personal interaction. Call the person on the phone or, better yet, meet with them.
- Avoid texting bad news or discussing sensitive topics via text. The short, immediate nature of texting is not the right forum for communicating when you need to show empathy, concern or when you need to be available to answer questions.
- Never text confidential information or any message that you wouldn’t want read aloud. You never know who’s looking over the shoulder of the message recipient, who has access to their phone, or with whom they might share the message.
- Although you spend a lot of time in your car as a real estate professional, never text while driving. It’s simply unsafe and in some cases illegal.
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900