One of my biggest pet peeves in my job is the lack of communication from people in the real estate industry. Especially when it comes to email.
I will reach out over and over again to a lender or agent and never hear anything back. A lot of the time, they won’t return calls either. I understand things are busy, but if you aren’t communicating with your clients and the other members of a transaction, you are hurting yourself. Why would anyone want to recommend you if you disappear off the face of the planet as soon as a contract is signed?
On the flip side, there are numerous people in the industry that have realized the value of communication. They are the ones sending an email once a week with status updates. I don’t care if it’s a fill-in-the-blank form email, it’s USEFUL. They check in if something changes. They check – and answer (!) – their emails. I love working with people like that!
Here are a few things that will not only improve communication and impress your clients, but will make your life easier as well.
- Develop a plan for communication. Consistency is very important. Develop plans for calls, texts, and emails. Plan how often you will call to check in on your clients and what you will be calling them about. Develop a plan for updating your clients by email on where they are at in the process. Develop a plan for follow-up after the transaction is complete. Create templates for these emails so that they are easy to fill and send.
- Keep your voicemail clean. Don’t just put your name in your voicemail. Make sure you set an expectation in the message for how long it should take you to call them back. This will help prevent people from calling constantly because they reached your voicemail. And super important, learn how to delete emails so people don’t constantly get a “voicemail box is full” message.
- Check your email. I cannot stress this enough. So much is done through email that it can quickly get overwhelming. But you can’t just pretend email doesn’t exist. People are waiting on answers from you. Besides, if you are constantly asking for things that people already emailed to you, you just come across as a dunce.
- Set expectations in communication. Just like with voicemail, make sure people are aware upfront how you communicate. Let them know how long to expect an answer from a text or email. Set up a vacation responder when you’re not going to be checking your email, even if it’s just for half a day. If people are constantly overstepping boundaries at night, put your phone on night mode and turn on a vacation responder on your email that you will get back to them the next day.
These are just a few things I’ve found helpful. What other ways could we improve our communication with others? Have you run across someone who impressed you?