It’s not always a bad idea; let’s not get drastic. Let me explain.

In the beginning there were telephones. They were big and heavy and clunky and attached to a wall with a wire. To speak with a real estate agent, you had to call and hope that he or someone else was in the office, since answering machines and cell phones had not yet been invented.

With the invention of computers, email was created, a way to send letters beginning with Dear and ending with Sincerely and generally being formal and stuffy. Cell phones smaller than bricks came along right about then, so contacting a real estate agent suddenly took a step forward and backward at the same time: a call was quicker than an email and was almost always answered immediately, because talking on a cell phone was super cool.

Then came texting. Originally invented as a quick way of communicating important information, it quickly became the domain of teenage girls who flooded the ether with enough OMGs to fill the Library of Congress as their fingers moved faster than a teenage boy’s on prom night.

Texting slowly gained social acceptance (although it’s taken a huge step backward in Washington this year), and it’s very common nowadays for real estate agents to communicate with their clients, attorneys and lending officers in this manner. Yay for progress.

But that has created a slight problem for professionals as well: when should one write an email, or pick up a cell phone, or text? All three are acceptable after all. Logically it comes down to common sense: something complicated or detailed should be emailed; a call should be made to make absolutely sure both parties understand a situation; and a text is fine for quick questions, answers and confirmations.

Now then. The operative word here is common sense. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve arrived at a home for a showing, waited for my client for 20 or 30 minutes, got bored spitless and decided to check my email, only to find a message—emailed to me!—that my client can’t make it after all. Really?? Do you seriously think that I read my email as I’m driving, or even check it every few minutes to see what critical information I may be missing? You couldn’t text or call me to save me the hour-plus I spent driving and waiting for you?

I love your emails, really I do. But there is a time and place to become a teenage girl and use the thing that’s probably Velcroed to your body at all times called a cell phone. I’m not being snarky, just helpful.

And by the way, be courteous and respectful of my time as well. Don’t call me just as I get to an appointment and tell me that you got hungry and are stopping to eat for an hour. Yeah, you know who you are.

Bo Twerdowsky

Real estate agent, self-professed computer geek, grammar policeman, proud father of two. Opinionated, questioning, intolerant of stuffy sorts devoid of a sense of humor.