We are in the process of selling a house. Our realtor, John, is someone we worked with previously when we bought our current home. He also is a member of a social group that we belong to. He's a nice guy, and we like him. We thought he represented us well when we purchased our house.
To preface this, DH and I are new to text messaging. We got our first smart phones a few months ago and never texted until that time. We don't really understand all the social norms of text messaging yet. I know that a lot of people carry on full conversations by text. I know texting also may be used to send brief FYI types of messages. We are finding ourselves put off by John's use of text messaging, which extends to e-mail as well. We perceive it to be a lack of communication bordering on rude.
1. Our e-mails to John don't receive a response. We have waited for him to reply to e-mail anywhere from one day to nearly a week. When he does reply, he generally provides an "I was so busy" excuse. In one instance, his delayed responses actually kept us from getting the house on the market as soon as we'd hoped. We were waiting on him to advise us on a repair.
2. Because John does not reply promptly to e-mail, we started texting him. This seems to generate faster responses.
3. When John responds to our texts, the responses are brief and often one-liners. They don't provide the detail we need. We ask follow-up questions, and his responses are short and almost curt. It's hard to know if he intends them to be curt because they're just words on a screen.
4. When John sends texts to us, even with FYI types of messages, we always respond with our thoughts on the topic. He rarely responds. As an example, we hit a serious snag in the contract on the house we're selling. On Sunday, John texted DH with the buyers' concern (the buyers are working with a different realtor). We responded. We haven't heard from John since. We would have expected him at least to respond with something along the lines of, "I will relay your response to the buyers' agent and get back with you by Tuesday." But nothing? It's as if the conversation has dropped into the abyss.
I'm wondering if the texting behavior we're observing from John is unusual as far as texting goes. We understand that texting can be more convenient than e-mail or a phone conversation, but it doesn't seem to lend itself very well to detailed communication. The texting shorthand and autocorrect mistakes are problematic. We're trying to work with John's preference for texting, but we feel that we're lost in translation, so to speak.
Given that we're his customers and paying his sales commission, our expectations about communication were higher than this. DH is going to text John again today to find out if there is anything more about the status of the contract on our house. We're feeling annoyed and also anxious because the contract is hanging in the balance. As has become the pattern, we expect that John will say he hasn't heard anything, which will then prompt him to contact the buyers' realtor.