Walking the Line: Communications, Emails, and Texts – Why you need these records!
“WE TALKED ABOUT THAT” “HE/SHE/THEY WOULD OR AGREED” “NO I DON’T NEED THAT INSPECTION”
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of keeping records of all communications as relates to a transaction. Think about how many conversations you have prior to a listing or prior to writing a purchase agreement. How many conversation & communications you have during the course of the transaction.
The ART of effective commutations is paramount every day. Some food for thought!
- Conversation log – Lenders & attorneys to this day keep a conversation log. It can be as simple as piece of paper that states what the conversation was about-any action items – the date and time the conversation took place. Logs can be created in many electronic sources, so whatever you choose stay consistent. The conversation log becomes really important for those folks who have not entered the electronic world.
- Text messaging is effective. Remember text messaging should be used delicately. And should be used for relaying timely and important communication only. There are a couple of aps that you can use to convert your text conversation log to a PDF which can then be placed in you closing file.
Androids – SMS Tracker Plus – https://smstracker.com/
I-Phones – iExplorer – https://www.macroplant.com/iexplorer/
- Emails – This is probably one of the most effective resources that we have. If you send an email mail make it a habit to keep the “subject in one string of emails” so it become very easy to follow the conversation. If you start a new subject, then start a new string of emails.
Conversations are easy recap for example: Client(s) says “I smell something musty”. Agent says “would you like to have a mold inspection”? Client(s) say no “I think it will be ok”. Your immediate next step would be to follow up with an email restating your conversation. “Client(s) as we discussed earlier today regarding the musty smell, we advised that you consider getting a mold inspection. You’ve stated that it was not necessary and declined to pursue the matter any further”. This was a real conversation and had the agent followed up with this simple email it would have kept us from being involved in an E&O claim.
You make a phone call to a client advising them that the back door of their vacant house won’t lock. Follow up with an email and be specific as to what the action plan will be and who will be doing what – when.
When you send an email do not copy the world. There is nothing worse than sending email that copies multiple people as an FYI. Your information can be an unfortunate redundancy. Only copy people who must be copied. If the person you are emailing wants to forward it to others, let them do that.
Be sure you pay attention to who is being sent the email. If you are forwarding an email make sure you verify that email is going to the appropriate people.
- Emotions – Can be the death of a transactions. Keep these few simple things in mind:
- Don’t get mad. Nobody wins when you do.
- Keep your communications on topic and to the point.
- Do not take sides – Give good advice but let them make the decision.
- Don’t respond if you are mad or angry. Take a break – Walk away – Talk to your broker/manager. Write your message wait 24 hours if possible and then convey.
- Don’t speak ill of your fellow agents, lenders, inspectors, etc.
- Surround yourself with professionals – We should always be the professionals.
- Don’t make it personal – We are here to serve our clients.
Just a final note: It cannot be stressed enough the importance of making sure that all communications are part of your file. If and when we have to deal with L’s (Lawyers – Lawsuit), mediation, arbitration or just plain settling an argument the importance of a complete file cannot be stressed enough.
You can do everything right for 15 years and never have a problem. When there is a problem everything that you have done will be forgotten. You will be consumed with solving the current issue. If you do not have the records to support what you have done then everything becomes subject to interpretation. – He said – She said means nothing unless you can support it in writing.
Always do what right and document!
For questions or further information, email email@example.com.
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