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Why You Should Stress In-Person Communication

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Cell phones and email may make communication more convenient, but they pale in comparison to the most traditional form of all – in-person communication.

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Few industries are more reliant on clear communication than real estate. As any agent will attest, from listing accommodations, to pricing negotiations, to home showings, agents are in constant contact with their clients, and their skills as communicators will largely determine how effective they are in their real estate business.

However, the type of communication is just as noteworthy as the style and execution of that communication, and though email and cell phones have made communicating infinitely more convenient, one could certainly argue that in-person communication remains not only the best form of communication, but the style that most professionals (real estate agents included) should utilize most often. Here are two reasons why:

The Absence of Ambiguity – Text messages, emails and phone calls are great; they’re quick, easy and relatively inexpensive. However, they all suffer from one key flaw – the problem of interpretation. This is less of a problem with phone calls, but with text messages and emails, there can be a considerable difference between what you intended to say to a customer/client and how he or she interpreted it. That’s not a problem, though, when communication in-person, when your body language, facial expressions and vocal inflections can project the full meaning of your message.

The Power of Visuals – When communicating in-person, your message will also be aided by the fact that your customers and clients are actually seeing you deliver the message. We’ve written before about the powers of a professional appearance for agents, and how consumers will inevitably accept the guidance and advice of an agent that projects professionalism over one that does not; furthermore, it would behoove any agent to keep in mind the pioneering work of Marshall McLuhan, and his legendary phrase “the medium is the message.” With that phrase, McLuhan meant that how a message is delivered is just as important as the message itself. Therefore, think about how much more compelling your ideas will be to clients, from possible homes, to pricing suggestions, to negotiation tactics, if they’re coming from a living, breathing, impeccably presented professional, and not a computer screen or an iPhone.

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