3 Instances Where Phone Calls Trump Emails

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Sure, email may be convenient, super fast and free, but nothing can top the beautiful simplicity of a phone call.


We live in an email world. Everything nowadays – bank statements, credit card bills, personal correspondence, coupon mailers, company advertisements, marketing campaigns – is distributed via email, and for good reason. Not only is email remarkably fast and intuitive – it’s also free, a fact that has given it a distinct advantage on the U.S. Postal Service the last couple decades.

However, though email may be all those things, it does have some disadvantages when it comes to real estate. Here are three things you should keep in mind:

1. Phone Calls Solve Problems Immediately – Email may be instantaneous, but everyone checks their inbox at different rates; just as you may have one client that checks their messages obsessively, another may do so only in the evenings. Therefore, if a problem arises that needs immediate attention, it’s always better to take the more direct route and call the individual, rather than send an email and hope the person receives it. Plus, as anyone will attest, it’s pretty hard to ignore a ringing phone!

2. Complexity Works Better on the Phone – Real estate agents have many complicated topics to explain to their clients. From appraisals, to escrows, to the nuances of inspections and counteroffers, these are topics that defy simple explanation, making phone calls a necessity. For instance, can you imagine explaining to a client how comps were applied unfairly to their appraisal over an email? It would take you 30 minutes to write such a thing! Meanwhile, on the phone, you can explain the topic lucidly in your own words, and still allow time for follow-up questions.

3. Interpretation is Clear as Day – Larry Alton put it best on Social Media Week: “Professional emails have no room for nuance.” Sure, you may have a sardonic sense of humor in person, but you should never think that a client will pick up on your context when reading such humor in an email; if you’re talking on the phone, and have vocal inflections and pitches at your disposal, meaning is a snap.

Of course, we’re not saying that you should never use email, which is still an enormously useful tool for any business. Should you count on it, though, for every aspect of that business? Absolutely not.

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