Are you tired of your text messages causing more confusion than closings in the real estate world? Wondering if you may have offended a prospect? Curious why you’re being ghosted at times?

We’ve curated the ultimate guide to texting etiquette for agents. From dodging grammatical gaffes to perfecting your timing, these ten rules are your secret weapon for text message triumph.

Rule No. 1: Keep it professional, not personal: Save the emojis and slang for your personal chats. In business, we use proper language and leave the LOLs for after-hours. Use real words to do real business.

If this is what your text sounds like, you’re breaking Rule No. 1 for texting in business:

“OMG, I was ROFL when my BFF told me, TBH, about her date last night. It was TMI, but LOL, I couldn’t stop laughing! You gotta love things IRL!”

Rule No. 2: Grammar police on duty: Avoid committing grammatical crimes in your texts. Remember, autocorrect is not your friend, but proofreading is! Check your work before you hit send! There, their and they’re are not interchangeable! Use punctuation. “ Let’s eat Grandpa” differs from “Let’s eat, Grandpa!”

Rule No. 3: Identify yourself! Don’t confuse your recipient. Start your texts with your name to avoid confusion. Unless you’re texting a psychic, they won’t know it’s you without a little help. Use your last name so you’re not confused with Bob the Dog Walker or Sally the Snake Charmer, or someone with a similar phone number who is NOT you!

Rule No. 4: Timing is Everything: Just because you woke up at 2 a.m. with real estate night sweats and want to alleviate your stress by banging out a text does not mean the other agent, your buyer prospect, your seller client, or the appraiser wants to share your insomnia. Respect the clock and save business conversations for business hours. This also applies to time zones. 9 a.m. in New York is not 9 a.m. in Hawaii. There are tons of time zone converter apps, so don’t guess!

Rule No. 5: Get straight to the point: Don’t beat around the bush in your texts. Be as clear and direct as possible. Remember, we’re not writing mystery novels here. Less is more. You can get back-burnered, lowered in priority, or deleted when you write too much. Don’t make it such a heavy lift for your readers!

Rule No. 6: Privacy please: Keep confidential information from your text conversations. You don’t want to sway a negotiation wrong, over-share, or breach your agency relationship. No negotiation should be done via text. States have laws about what constitutes an agreement, a digital signature, or a contract. Just because you have E & O insurance doesn’t mean you should have to use it!

Rule No. 7: Furiously fast follow-up: Speedy replies are the superhero of business texting. Don’t keep your colleagues waiting like they’re stuck in a never-ending queue. Fast fingers save the day, and urgency could mean winning or losing a deal.

Rule No. 8: Subject lines are the spice of texts: Spice up your texts with descriptive subject lines. Think of them as the appetizer to your message – tantalizing and informative. Make the recipient want to keep reading!

Rule No. 9: Receipt required: Don’t leave your sender hanging! Let them know you’ve received their message loud and clear. No one likes to feel like their texts are lost in the abyss. Don’t be the ghost in the relationship.

Rule No. 10: Call for backup: If the conversation gets too complex or sensitive, it’s time to call in the cavalry – aka, switch to a phone call or face-to-face chat. Sometimes, the old-school methods are still the best!

Bonus Rule: Just pick up the phone in the first place or set up a coffee, lunch, or brunch. Nothing beats face-to-face meetings for clarity and connection.

With these rules in mind, you won’t be a text offender! Check your work, monitor that you’re not breaking these rules, and when in doubt, just make the call!

Tim and Julie Harris host the nation’s No. 1 podcast for real estate professionals in the US. New episodes premier every weekday. Tim and Julie have been real estate coaches for more than two decades, coaching the top agents in the country through all types of markets.

Read More