Several years ago Verizon aired a fun ad featuring a quirky guy walking around with a cell phone stuck on his ear asking “Can you hear me now?”.
It was a clever way to promote the way the company was working to expand their wireless footprint. It also was a clear message that simply owning a cell phone was not enough – we also needed to communicate or the cellphone was useless.
It seems that today’s business -especially real estate- suffers, not from a lack of ways to communicate but rather from a lack of utilizing all the simple tools to keep in touch. Homes are for sale all over greater Cincinnati and buyers and sellers are coming to terms over purchase contracts on a daily basis. Usually during “negotiations” everybody is on their toes and quick to respond to questions, concerns and communications. However, once the contract has been negotiated it seems that some agents, buyers, sellers or vendors disappear into a zone where nothing is communicated – leaving parties on edge and, on occasion, sinking a good deal down the drain.
Think of this as the virtual communications vacuum.
So it’s important for you to discuss with your agent the best means to communicate-understanding that sometimes the quickest way to resolve issues may be a simple phone call. If texting is your thing-let your agent know reliable timeframes that work for you to respond to requests and likewise your agent shoud do the same. Needless to say agent-to-agent communication is vital to keeping the process running but remember your agent has no control over when and if another agent may repsond to requests or answer questions. Most of us are pretty dilligent about keeping up……but some are not.
The communication vacuum is especially problematic when it comes to lenders. Just like everyone else, some lenders go above and beyond to keep both the buyers and the buyer’s agent in the loop- others simply disappear and you only hear from them if there is a problem. Unfortunately for anxious sellers, updates on the status of the loan may never be available…until there is a problem. Some of the lender issues can only be fixed by the buyers who need to insist on getting periodic updates and allowing their agent to pass the information along to the seller’s agent.
“Can you hear me now” is effective if everybody takes a few moments to communitcate using all the tools (phone, txt, email, in-person) we have available. One lost deal, one lost customer, one lost sale is not worth the 60 seconds of your time that was needed to keep clients, peers and vendors informed.