Yes, this week's tool of the trade is the good old fashion telephone. I don't mean texting either. I mean a good old fashion get someone on the phone and talk.
When obtaining the details of a property listing that I'm interested in getting more information on, I admit I send an email. That is because I am normally sending request of numbers on about thirty properties at a time. The majority of those will not meet my criteria, so it would be foolish to spend so much time and effort on calling each one.
Most realtors will have numbers emailed to me by the next business day or two. Sometime it will be within a few hours, no matter the hour. Most of the time, if I don't get numbers I get an email confirming they will be on their way. And then sometimes I get nothing back at all. I'm not sure if it's a screening process from some realtors. But in those circumstances, sending a second email would be useless.
That's when I use old technology and pick up the phone. It's a bigger commitment. I had to pick up the phone, dial the number and take the time to talk to someone on the phone and request my demands. And it is perceived as a bigger commitment. Of course at first, I was uncomfortable with the vocabulary of real estate, and my lack of confidence showed in my voice. But it sure was a great learning experience. You can also get a feel of the realtor and them of you. It's a great way to start what could turn into a business relationship.
I found the same with mortgage broker. In fact with a mortgage broker I wouldn't even bother starting with an email. Even a casual phone call could be a waste of time. You should request the application paper up front and ask that the proceeding get started right away.
With property managers, you need to perform a short phone interview to make sure they will fit with your vision. So there again a phone call is a must. Same for potential tenant-buyer. As far as tenant goes I leave that to my property manager, but if you where going to self manage then you would definitely get a feel for them, but probably in person. Have a quick look at their vehicle, how is it maintained? How organised is the interior.
So don't be shy, pick up the phone and call somebody :)