Yesterday I was perusing online through my cell phone bill. I took note that my two teenagers ages 15 and 17 had sent and received over 10,000 text messages – in December.
The two adults in the home sent and received approximately 400 text messages this month -– mostly between the aforementioned teenaged children. Sometimes it seems like I text them more often than I talk to them.
This got me to wondering about the future of communicating in the real estate industry.
As I write this, I’m looking at an email inbox containing 5,586 messages. Lousy email management skills aside, this is an indication of how often I send and receive emails. As I look into my sent mail folder, I see that I have sent an average of 11.33 emails each day this month. These are emails sent from my account and does not include things like listings emails generated by my MLS and IDX providers, or any other auto-emails. 11+ emails a day, every day from me to one or a couple of people.
Meanwhile my kids are sending roughly 83 text messages a day. Each.
I just asked my 17 year old son this question: “How many emails have you sent this month?”
His response: “Emails? Emails?? Maybe 10?”
Neither of my kids use email to communicate with their friends. They text, and use Facebook and to a lesser extent MySpace. When they use email, it’s almost exclusively to send files and photos, often just from one PC in the house to another.
You may be asking yourself, “Self, who cares how a 15 and 17 year old communicate? What is this guy’s point?”
The point is, the way we communicate is changing. According to some researchers there will be 2.3 trillion text messages sent this year. Wikipedia says that 80% of 13 – 24 year olds use text messaging (compared to 18% of 40 – 49 year olds). That’s a whole lot of texting by a whole lot of soon to be first-time home buyers.
Business communication is changing as well. Many businesses are beginning to use social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to communicate with clients. The other day I got notification on Twitter of discounted tickets to a Phoenix Suns NBA game -– only available to Twitter users. Doctor’s offices are sending appointment reminders via text. You can even order a pizza delivery via text message.
Whether we like it or not, the way people communicate -– in day to day life and in business -– is changing. Those that stay on top of these changes will have a distinct advantage over those that do not. If you don’t communicate with your clients and prospects the way they prefer, then they will find someone who will.
Are YOU changing the way you communicate?