The written word is a powerful communication tool used every day. We use emails, social media and texting in almost every aspect of social and business interactions. Written communication, once delivered, cannot be taken back – so it is important to be careful.
New technology including smart devices and apps has made everyone a publisher. As a real estate agent, you use writing on your blog/Website, social media pages, client documents, email, texts and more. Think of your writing as an extension of your image. You want it to be clean and professional. By following just a few simple written correspondence rules, you can become a writing superstar today!
Email and Written Correspondence
Ensure your email includes a courteous greeting and closing. Address your recipient with a proper greeting such as, “Dear Jenny” and conclude with “Sincerely,” “Best” or another polite closing. You don’t need to be too formal, but you should be courteous.
Use spelling and grammar checks, but double check corrections. Just because a word is spelled correctly, does not mean that it is the correct word. Always proofread your words. And when texting, pay attention to autocorrect.
Avoid using all caps. Using all capital letters looks as if you’re yelling. Conversely, using all lower case letters looks lazy.
For emails and documents, a font size of 10-14pt in black is a professional email standard.
Social Media Profiles and Posts
Social media profiles for professionals are a major business tool. Due to the casual conversational nature of the platforms, it can be easy to forget that these are actually business communication channels and should be treated as such. Follow the same basic rules you would as if you were sending a note to someone.
While social media communications can be more informal than email and written communications, a level of professionalism should still be present. To learn more about social best practices, read our blog post about leveraging social media to grow your business.
Complete all aspects of your business profile applicable to your public persona. Social media profiles that are partially filled out appear less professional and send the wrong message implicitly.
Ensure your writing is concise, neat and cohesive. The Grammar Police may not be real, but there is no excuse to post sloppy English. There are many online tools that spell and grammar check. Use them.
If you keep separate personal and professional personas on social media, be consistent with the content you share on each profile. Even though they are separate and have a separate contact list, should someone become a friend of both pages, you want to appear genuine and consistent on and off the job.
Don’t be “spammy” on your social media pages. Share more informative content and less promotional content. The golden rule is that 80 percent of your content should provide value and 20 percent can be promotional. Nobody wants to follow an account where they feel they are always being sold something.
People love to text because it is easy and instant. But, it is not always an appropriate substitute for a phone call or email.
If you use text to correspond with your clients, keep your messages short and professional. Shortcuts like “b there soon” and “call u right back,” appear unprofessional and hurried.
Only send texts during appropriate business hours.
Do not use texts to communicate important and confidential information.
While your reader is a friend, not a critic, you still want to ensure that your communications are well composed and professional. By taking a moment to put these rules into practice, you have much to gain and nothing to lose.