On the softer side - 5 communication tips - by Willem Tait


As promised my blog is not all about commercial property and what better than a Friday to relax a little and forget about the serious side of the past week and look at the basics of business.

In the past month I have really been struggling to keep up with my cell phone calls. On top of this, my cell phone provider disappeared, not just once, but a couple of times per week.

Firstly, I could not phone out on selective numbers. My voicemail message departed and then resulted in my number not existing at all. Things are now back to normal, but I am sure that I have lost a couple of calls and irritated some of my clients and network of property brokers and agents.

That said, it made me think about business communication tools in general and how I communicate. This is my 5 points to success:

1.Your standard voicemail message on your cell

Driving in the car, like I usually do, on my way to an appointment, I always struggle to write down telephone numbers from a voicemail. I fixed this by asking in my standard voice message on my cell, that a client should please repeat his/her number twice. It is simple and it works!

2.Using sms/short message communication

I know sms’s are for old people and with all the new technology out an about, that the sms could be a dinosaur in the next year or two, but it still works for me. If I receive a call from a number that is not loaded on my cell, I always try to add the contact after the discussion and then an immediate sms with a quick thank you. This way the recipient could also save my details and it makes it easier for future communication.

3.Taking notes

I have an A5 note book and I tend to make notes as I go along. Think I’ve used more than a 100 books to date. This way all my scrabbles and activities are all in one place. Works for me.

4.Communication via email

When I communicate via email, I always ask myself what other questions the client could have and I try to answer the question in my email, without the question being asked! This way it reduces the number of emails. That said, in the turf that I am in, being a commercial property sales and leases broker, I always draft what I call an offering memorandum for a property and I include all the info in this document. If you do it right the first time, you will have less questions.

5.Leaving a message in a voicemail

My feeling is that cell phone companies generate more money from voicemails left than the actual conversations that we have via cell. That said my approach to voicemails are to be as informative as I possibly can. Leaving a message i.e. “Hi, it is Dick here, give me a call on xyz, thanks, cheers” is so wrong. Firstly, I prepare for a call by assuming that it will go over to voicemail. I tend to over compensate and leave a message that is clear and to the point. I leave a task or request on what I need or what is next to be done.

I really hope that the above will also help you in your day to day communication. Have a great weekend.

If you would like to work with me or require more info, kindly give me a call or join me for a cup of coffee at our Nelson Mandela Sandton Square offices in Sandton, Johannesburg, Gauteng.

Welcome to Click Here and email me to be contacted.


Willem Tait - Director, PropX Invesco (Pty) Ltd Cell: 084 491 1123