I don’t like texting. It’s not the practice of sending a text message that I don’t like. It’s the fact that “text” has become a verb. It’s in the Oxford Dictionary now.
Sending a text has become such a convenient way to communicate. Everyone does it. In fact, it’s now the primary source of communication between my Mom and me. Don’t get me wrong … we still talk a couple of times a week, but we text every day. She said she’d never do it, but I get a text every day about something, which is cool.
It’s just incredibly easy to send a quick message via text. And that is precisely why it can present a challenge for anyone in a professional setting. It is probably the most casual means of communication. Out of habit, we now text and we sometimes forget the standards of communication – like grammar and punctuation. There is a limited number of characters available in a text, and for that reason, many people abbreviate.
Is texting in a professional setting inevitable? Probably. If you must do it, use discretion. Serious topics should not be covered in a text. Meeting times should not be changed via text. Anything which could escalate emotionally or is in any way confrontational should not be sent in a text.
Some of the funniest things posted on Facebook involve unfortunate text messages. They are either sent to the wrong person or autocorrect rears its ugly head. If you are texting someone, make sure you are giving the conversation your full attention and not making them wait while you are communicating with someone else.
Don’t use an emoticon in a text to a client. If you wouldn’t put it in an email, don’t use it in a text. And for Pete’s sake, don’t LOL. Ever. Coming from a professional, that is highly annoying to most people.
The most important thing to remember is that the quality of your messages reflect upon your business, your credibility, professionalism and tech savvy. No matter who you’re communicating with, don’t hit send without a quick check for spelling and grammar.
The only time I would advise a REALTOR® to text a client is if they’re running late on the way to a meeting with that client. Otherwise, send an email. You can always go “old school” and use your phone to call the client. An actual call might be the best choice for good relationship marketing, because it makes a client feel like they are your priority – not just an afterthought.