- Karen Rogers
Call, Text, or Email? How to Know Which Communication Method to Use with Your Real Estate Clients
When it comes to coordinating a transaction, the experts agree: An open line of communication with the client is absolutely vital.
But with everything from calls, text, emails and messaging at your fingertips, which communication method should you use?
Believe it or not, the tools you use to communicate can have a big impact on your business — from the speed at which your closing pipeline moves to how your clients experience and value your brand.
So which option is best?
Fortunately, we’ve got your back. Today we’re breaking down all the advantages and disadvantages of phone calls, texting, and email so you can master the nuances of each channel and make your clients love (and refer!) you.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
When to pick up the phone
When to shoot off a text
When to draft up an email
How to keep it all streamlined
Ready to streamline communication between your clients and TCs? With Preclose GO!, your entire team can communicate via chat, text, email and chat with any party involved in the transaction. Check it out for free today!
When to pick up the phone 📞
Talking on the phone just ain’t what it used to be. But given the 128% year-over-year increase in spam calls, it’s no surprise that many individuals now answer less than half of the phone calls they receive.
That said, there are still some scenarios when a phone call is the best option for client communication. So what factors should you consider?
Advantages of phone calls
You have more control over your voice and tone.
It’s easier to gauge clients’ emotional response.
Phone calls are arguably the most personal method of communication.
When you have a complex matter to discuss, it’s often easier to explain and ensure your clients understand via phone call.
If you need to contact someone while driving or completing another task, phone calls can be hands-free.
Disadvantages of phone calls
Millennials and Gen Z tend to be more phone call averse than earlier generations. (It’s definitely a thing.)
Answering a phone call may be inconvenient. In fact, 96% of consumers find phone calls disruptive.
Poor network connections, ambient noise, and other distractions can make it a bad experience.
Phone calls are best for…
Complicated topics. If you know there are going to be questions, concerns, or other necessary explanations, a phone call will probably be your most efficient method.
Sensitive subjects. Whether you need to share disappointing news or own up to an error, you need to be able to convey emotion and connect on a personal level.
Silent Generation clients. Texting may be the way to go with everyone from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, but clients born before 1946 tend to prefer a phone call over other communication methods.
Brand new leads. This may seem counter-intuitive, but some research indicates that it’s actually 2x more effective to call a lead before you send a text. (This is likely because it proves you’re a real person and not an automated SMS.)
Get phone calls right by…
Scheduling time for longer, more complex conversations.
Controlling your phone call environment when possible — ensure you’ve got a good cell signal and a quiet place to talk.
Respecting their time by keeping it brief.
Prioritizing a personal connection — a little small talk can go a long way.
When to shoot off a text 💬
This will come as a surprise to no one, but texting is the #1 communication preference in the US, with 33% of adults preferring texts to all other methods.
Of course, texting has its pros and cons too, and it won’t be right for every message you need to communicate. Here’s what you should keep in mind about texting:
Advantages of texting
As a general rule, texting is 10x quicker than a phone call.
Texts are most likely to reach their destination — SMS open rates are as high as 98%.
Texting doesn’t require your recipient’s immediate attention, and they can respond at their convenience.
Responding to a text is quick and easy.
With texting, you can also send rich content like photos and videos, driving directions, and clickable links.
Disadvantages of texting
Even without character limits, texting just isn’t great for long messages, lengthy conversations, or complex issues.
Texting is generally considered more casual and it doesn’t feel “official.”
It’s hard to integrate texting with most transaction systems, so you may not be able to document these conversations or maintain a digital “paper trail” if there’s a concern or dispute during a transaction.
Texting is best for…
Quick back-and-forth. Think easy questions with easy answers — setting up appointments, sending reminders, etc.
Voicemail follow-up. If you get sent to voicemail, follow it up with a brief summary via text. You’ll likely get a quicker response.
Spicing things up. Texting offers so much more than words. Emojis, gifs, and other rich content can help you show a little personality, keep things upbeat, and strengthen your connection with clients.
Get texting right by…
Being professional, but not stuffy. 💅
Keeping it succinct. Sending a flurry of back-to-back messages before your client responds can be disruptive and even annoying.
Sticking to simple, informal topics — save the complicated and official stuff for other channels.
When to draft up an email 💻
When you need something that’s beefier than a text but more tangible than a phone call, email comes to the rescue.
But what are email’s strengths and weaknesses, and when should you use it? We’ve got the deets:
Advantages of email
Unlike texting, email gives you more of a canvas to work with, so you can share in-depth information than with texting.
With email, it’s easy to attach important files and official documents for the recipient to review.
Of all communication methods, email offers the strongest digital paper trail — one that’s much easier to search and manage.
Email offers the ability to CC (or BCC) additional recipients.
Disadvantages of email
It’s easier for your message to get buried in your client’s inbox, which makes it more likely to go unread.
Portraying tone and personality is more challenging via email.
The typical format of email is more formal and structured, which typically makes the client experience with email less conversational and less engaging.
Emails tend to get delayed responses more often than other communication methods — that is, if they get a response at all.
Emails are best for…
Sending official documents. When you need to send over an official document, email is definitely the way to go.
Meeting legal requirements. Again, email is the most reliable and trackable method, which makes it the best fit for any messages that have a legal requirement.
Anything else you want on the official record. If you have a phone conversation that needs to be “official,” follow up with an email re-stating what you discussed and agreed upon.
Get email right by…
Using helpful subject lines. Bold text like “SIGNATURE NEEDED” will definitely stand out in an inbox.
Adding a text alert if your message is time sensitive, so the client knows to look for it.
Leveraging email templates so you can send common emails faster and easier.
See how DASH Carolina makes the most of email
When it comes to optimizing their email communication strategy, DASH Carolina has absolutely nailed it:
“One of the things that makes DASH special is that we have a common belief in ‘a better way to real estate’ and wanting to educate our clients on the biggest investment that they are going to make. With mail scheduling, we can all communicate in a very similar voice and deliver all information in a timely and effective way that is easy to understand.”
And don’t worry — we’re not talking about spammy emails here. Instead, DASH has created a templated workflow that automatically sends pertinent, actionable info to clients at specific points along their transaction journey. It’s a helpful process that provides valuable information at the right moment so that transactions can continue moving forward effectively.
Streamline all your communication channels in one place
While each method of communication is suited to different types of messages, clients, and goals, the reality is that keeping track of them all can get messy (and confusing) pretty quickly.
You could pick one and stick with it — but then you’d lose out on the benefits of other methods. And you may run the risk of alienating certain clients if your chosen channel isn’t their cuppa tea. ☕️
To take advantage of each channel’s strengths without losing your mind, you need a way to keep them centralized and organized. That’s why we created the Chat Experience.
The Chat Experience from Preclose brings all your digital conversations into a single dashboard within the same platform as all your other transaction documents and data. The tool’s Slack-like design keeps your communication neat and tidy — texts, emails, and even chat threads.
With Preclose, communicating with clients is easier (and more impactful!) than ever. Try a free trial today!