When and When NOT to Text!

Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel Realtors, Pleasanton, CA BRE#01732313

Text MessagingText is here to stay – that’s a fact of life.  It certainly has its advantages and can be a fabulous communication tool when properly used. But like anything else, it can be misapplied and abused. In the world of real estate it can be very effective or not, depending upon the circumstances:


  • Requesting showing instructions from listing agents where warranted
  • Requesting showing times from sellers
  • Asking if there are offer due dates (from listing agents, if none are posted)
  • Confirm meet times between agents, or agents and clients

Not Ideal

  • Anything contractual. A paper trail is paramount. As my broker is fond of saying…. “Handle your file as if it’s going to court. Document, document, document!”
  • Timeline changes. See above – it’s no doubt related to some contingency period in the contract. Document!
  • Communicating offer outcome. A text from a listing agent that your client did not ‘win the bid’ is less than satisfactory.  You can forward that text showing the date and time it was received, but it won’t necessarily show who it was from. Clients want to know that we are communicating timely and really want the details of that communiqué.


  • A listing agent may not be someone who has you in their database. Without context about who you are and what property you’re asking about, your text could go unanswered.
  • All phone numbers aren’t text friendly. Check your inbox to see that your text was actually delivered.
  • Text messages are short and sweet. (or at least they should be). If you have difficult news to convey, for goodness sake, don’t make it worse by texting. Pick up the phone so your clients (or other agents) can get a sense of your professionalism, level of caring). Texts rarely convey emotion, and sometimes, that human touch can take the sting out of less-than-satisfactory news.

I'm a big fan of technology making us more productive. But it can't take the place of common sense.


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Comments 64 New Comment

Sharon Parisi
Dallas Homes
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty

Karen,  this is needed advice for many Realtors who love texting more than any other form of communication!

May 26, 2013 10:10 PM
Lottie Kendall
Helping make YOUR dreams a reality
Today | Sotheby's International Realty
Good post on texting etiquette. I'd add: ask clients how they liked to be reached for routine matters; more mad more they answer, "text."
May 31, 2013 12:40 PM
Lisa Friedman
25 Years of Real Estate Experience!
Lisa Consulting VT

I hate when people cancel appointments by text.  Have the decency to call me if you aren't going to show up.  Texting is very impersonal, and also seems a 'coward's way out' which is a poor substitute for just doing the right thing and being honest about why you are canceling.  I am not usually so negative, but that really bothers me.

July 05, 2013 07:37 PM
Tom Arstingstall
General Contractor, Sacramento, CA - 916-765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366

You bring up some great points to consider when deciding how to communiacte. Texting can be quick, but not always appropriate Karen.

January 08, 2014 07:15 AM
Karen Crowson
Livermore Wine Country Homes
Alain Pinel Realtors, Pleasanton, CA

Hi Tom, who says blogs don't live on! Nice to hear from you.

January 09, 2014 08:29 PM

Karen Crowson

Livermore Wine Country Homes
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