You said WHAT?????

There was a time when communication was handled differently. Letters were either hand written or typed, tri-folded and placed in an envelope. A stamp was affixed to the upper right hand corner and the the envelope was mailed to the recipient.

I still own a manual typewriter (for you generation Y folks, that is a machine that has a keyboard much like a computer keyboard. Each key is mechanically connected to a corresonding metal tab. When the key is depressed, voila, an imprint of the letter appears on paper that is in the machine. I won’t even begin to go into the carbon paper between sheets if you want a copy of what you are doing.)

The expediency of the internet and email has become the mode of communication for some aspects of the buying or selling process. Contracts are signed and scanned and some magical way turned into an electronic file called a pdf and attached to an email and sent on their way. The recipient opens the file, prints the contract,  has it signed and scanned and returned to the other agent via email. It is very efficient.

The problem occurs in general communication. Emails are just words and they may be sent with one meaning and read with another. There is no inflection, there is no body language. There are only words. On more than one occassion, I have had to deal with a frantic client that received an email regarding their loan closing (the day before settlement) demanding that they produce documents that may take hours to locate. A call to the lender has usually resulted in the explanation that the documents are not necessary for closing but the lender would like them for their file within the next few days. It sounded like a major problem in the email and it turned out to be just another item on someones “to do” list.

It seems to me that we should be mindful that all is not as it appears with the written word. The give and take of a conversation often resolves issues within minutes. Sure, it could be resolved with back and forth emails. Those emails could take a bit more time and usually one of the parties corresponding is dealing with fears that will never come to fruition. Peace of mind is usually a phone call away. Then you can quickly respond to – “you said what?”

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