Texting - An Epiphany

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with New Paradigm Partners LLC EB #1326335

I may be an old fart, but I'm still a reasonably tuned-in techie - I've always worked hard to stay that way, ever since my first computer - a room-sized IBM 1620 that consisted of a card punch machine, a card sorter with a manual cable-connect control board, a huge console with lots of blinking lights, and a very primitive printer. I had to learn Fortran, Cobol and PL1 to operate that monster. But technology moves fast and it's always a struggle to keep up.

Texting 1I text. I even have some stupid little emoticons I can insert. If I need to send a short message to a client to confirm an appointment, or ask my wife where I left my glasses, or get a quick update on something from an associate, I have no problem texting (unless I don't have my glasses handy).

But I was treating texting as a kind of quick-and-dirty form of e-mail or phone call, as just another way to communicate.  And I could tell that wasn't quite right - my daughter, my daughter in law, and even Mary, my wife, were texting a lot more than I was. They were, in fact, really into it.

I didn't really get it, so I did what us old farts tend to do - I just shook my head and said "Those young folks. tsk tsk." and went on with my life.

Then the other night, while I was at home and Mary was still at the office, we had a text conversation on a minor topic that went on for a while - about something stupid and entertaining that had happened that day. And in the middle of the conversation, it occurred to me that it was just as if Mary was here at home. We were directly in touch and accessible. Sure, it wasn't the exactly the same, but it was real communication, and it wouldn't have worked as well if it had been a half-dozen phone calls back and forth - that would have become annoying - and we certainly wouldn't have done it by e-mail. And in a strange way, it felt less lonely than being at home, waiting for Mary to arrive.

Texting 2And it hit me - this is what my kids are doing: they are always surrounded
virtually by their friends and family, able to have on-going discussions with anyone they want at any time. They don't have to phone or wait for face-to-face, because they're always all together, in this big on-going virtual get-together. They just have to reach out with a few taps to establish contact, share something good or bad, offer support, get an answer to a question. Their world has expanded tremendously, and I think, become enriched, by doing this.

Okay, you're probably saying "well, duh!".  If you're a young techie punk, this is all painfully obvious to you. And maybe even if you're a more tuned-in old fart than I am. But it was an epiphany for me and I know I have a lot of associates out there who also don't "get it" - I hear a lot of "tsk tsk's" - so think of this as my attempt to share with those of us less fortunate than you enlightened ones.

I'm going to be texting a lot more in the future. Maybe I'll even get good at it, if I have my glasses, if my thumbs still work, and if I can manage to outsmart that stupid auto-complete function on my iPhone.

Posted by
Mary & Dick

Mary & Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC
2601 S. Lemay Ave. #41
Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-689-4663
www.maryanddick.com

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  1. Donald Bradbury 10/04/2011 10:35 PM
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Rainer
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Karl Self
Avisod, LLC. - Pensacola, FL
Real Estate Mobile Marketing, Text Marketing, QR Codes, Mobile Pages

Dick, you nailed it.  Texting makes you accessible.  And while texting will never replace in-person interaction or phone calls, it is an inexpensive way to deliver information with ease and immediacy.  If you think texting keeps you connected to family and friends, think how connected potential buyers will feel if you can deliver property details and photos to them when they want it via text.  Whether through QR codes or texting a keyword to a shortcode, put information in the hands of potential buyers and your name in the head of potential buyers, getting an edge on the competition.

Oct 04, 2011 09:44 PM #44
Anonymous
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Dick, Great post on texting, it took a while for me to get the significance of it also. And I did not use it very often, just when responding to others. Now I use it daily, and love it!

Oct 04, 2011 10:00 PM #45
Rainer
109,437
Carlotta Remong
Prudential Prime Properties - Newport, RI

Dick, Great post on texting, it took a while for me to get the significance of it also. And I did not use it very often, just when responding to others. Now I use it daily, and love it!

Oct 04, 2011 10:16 PM #46
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Peter Pfann @ 1 Percent Realty Victoria, and Pay-Less For Victoria Real Estate Results!
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Hi Dick,

I get the benefits, but I guess I still do not use it to any serious degree, and am not expecting that to change any time soon

Oct 04, 2011 11:03 PM #47
Rainmaker
478,013
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Michigan

I text using Yahoo. Maybe I will graduate to a smart phone in the future.

Oct 04, 2011 11:13 PM #48
Rainer
177,469
Rosalie Evans
Meritus Group Real Estate - Sioux Falls, SD
The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale

I like texting unless its like my daughter texting from one room away asking me to bring her something! She does that all the time and it is beyong annoying! 

Oct 05, 2011 12:47 AM #49
Rainer
204,518
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

I have experienced the same epiphany that you describe so well in your blog.  Texting really is a unique form of communication and once you get used to it, it's very handy

Oct 05, 2011 12:58 AM #50
Rainmaker
199,359
Jim Mushinsky
Centsable Inspection - Framingham, MA

Let me send the text for you.

That is what I commonly hear and see among the young and old.  Of course there are others that just send a message anyway without asking the owner of the phone.

I still prefer to hear the tone of voice and the back ground noise. 

With kids, my policy is a text message means you are in a situation where you can't talk (emergency) and still want/need to communicate.

I still prefer to watch sports games from the ball park.  Someday I'll have to write about the time I grabbed a foul ball just before it was about to hit a "texter" in the head.  Maybe I should've stayed in my seat.

Oct 05, 2011 02:56 AM #51
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Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Dick - My mom discovered a year ago how well texting works to communicate with her kids, and I agree, it's a great way to stay connnected.

Oct 05, 2011 02:57 AM #52
Rainer
16,518
Christine Gerbehy
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield - Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Making waves, one home at a time...

Hey, we old farts gotta stick together, lol!  I always used to say, "Why not just pick up the phone and talk, that's ridiculous!"  But it is faster, and you can't always "talk..."  It's a great quick way to get to your clients after 5pm to say hey, is it a bad time to call?  Got a minute?

Oct 05, 2011 03:02 AM #53
Rainmaker
1,607,118
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

LOL I remember those punch cards too.  My mom was a computer programmer so I remember this from when I was in elementary school.  Yes, great insight.  when I text with my 8 yr old niece it's definitely a social thing.  When I use for work, it's just functional.

Oct 05, 2011 06:42 AM #54
Rainer
320,761
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

Texting has some great merits. Some long term studies show some "bads" in this arena as well. IE communication with teens being so shallow (360 Characters) stunting there ability to carry on meaningful conversation later in life. Addiction to texting. Its a now world tho, as a father of teens and younger It greatly concerns me. Especially since my 14 year olds avarage per month text is 25K. Yep 25K. UGHHH

Oct 05, 2011 06:49 AM #55
Rainmaker
575,116
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer
Dick. Good post and congrats on the Feature. I like your closing about having to have your glasses. Texting is quick and there is no rambling. Love it.
Oct 05, 2011 07:27 AM #56
Rainmaker
998,679
Michael J. Perry
RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster, PA. - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster Relo Specialist

Texting is now a crucial part of raising teenagers(and knowing their whereabouts !) !!!

Oct 05, 2011 08:28 AM #57
Rainmaker
892,863
Michael Setunsky
Michael's Commercial LLC - Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Dick, texting seems to do away with face-to-face conversations. I heard the other day that kids are texting as many as 1,000 texts a day. Is it replacing verbal communication?

Oct 05, 2011 09:03 AM #58
Rainmaker
1,080,262
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

There is a place for texting in business for updates, news,  etc but i have agents who text me offers and that just doesnt work for me, they can not include enough information and leaves other info up for interpretation.

Oct 05, 2011 09:11 AM #59
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Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I agree 100% with you.. the same way, I embrace Facebook and beg m clients to join me and I join their circle of friends. . what a way to just be connected with just very little effort everyday. . when done properly they will be clients and virtual friends for life. . .

Oct 05, 2011 10:05 AM #60
Rainmaker
145,772
Ann Cordes
Towne Adams, Realtors - Waco, TX

Dick, I have gotten more into texting also. That is the only way i can get some of my clients to respond to me. But as always don't text and drive.

http://www.kxan.com/dpp/news/texas/study-texting-slows-drivers-response

 

Oct 05, 2011 10:46 AM #61
Rainmaker
365,165
Cathy Bureau
www.GreenHomeRealty.com - Alamo Heights, TX
Your Personal Real Estate Concierge

Well duh! It's way beyond email due to the immediate response of it. I remember being at a Spurs game some time ago and some 20 year old next to me kept texting and I thought, wow, he paid all this money to get a great seat and isn't even paying attention to the game.

Fast forward... I was at the Inaugral UTSA RR game and with some friends. My husband couldn't make it due to a family emergency. I texted him throughout and sent a few MMS (I was in the end zone where all the TD were happening).  It was as if he was there, almost.

Glad to know you're adjsuting and not a dinosaur -

 

 

 

Oct 05, 2011 11:01 AM #62
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Roland Woodworth
Keller Williams Realty - Clarksville, TN
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource- SFR - Clarksv

These days alot of our buyers and sellers really expect quick responce via text message. Funny how that works. I have just started to photography the messages for future reference. Never know when it may come in handy.

Oct 05, 2011 12:36 PM #63
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