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How to Effectively Use SMS Marketing for Real Estate?
As a real estate agent or broker, you play a lot of roles. Negotiator, educator, salesperson and neighborhood guide, to name a few. One of the most important roles, however, is marketer.
Every successful sale begins with a single point of contact, which means it’s crucial to follow up with real estate leads as quickly as possible. Text message marketing gives you an invaluable channel to connect with prospective buyers quickly and reliably.
The Most Effective Real Estate Text Marketing Strategies to Engage Customers
Real estate text message marketing strategies can do wonders with traditional marketing methods. Start by evaluating your current marketing strategies and lead generation initiatives to analyze how SMS campaigns can supplement results.
While there are several real estate SMS marketing strategies, we've listed the top three text messaging strategies to help you ease into the process.
Send Appointment Reminders
While you can set appointment reminders in person through phone calls and emails, text messaging is more convenient. Schedule meetings and set reminders on your calendar with a simple text message to stop wasting valuable time doing the mundane and instead focus on what's important, your clients. Textback.ai offers several plugins to make your life easy.
Offer Listing Information
Your current customers and prospective buyers would love to stay in the loop when a new listing appears in their desired pin code or a home valuation changes. Utilizing automated messages to send out listing information is an excellent way to promote listings.
Promote Open Houses with MMS
Text message marketing isn't only about boring texts. Increase engagement by using pictures and audio. Create an open house flyer with all the details to increase attendance, including the address, date, time, price, and images.
Real Estate Text Message Marketing Statistics
Before we dive into the specifics of how texts can help you become a top-producing agent, let’s talk about why realtors should use SMS marketing in the first place. Check out these stats:
A 2017 report from National Association of Realtors found that 62% of all home buyers prefer their agent send property info via text message. By limiting yourself to calls and emails only, you may be shutting out a large chunk of your potential market.
The California Association of Realtors found that only 5% of realtors communicate by text. Using text messages as part of your real estate marketing strategy gives you a major competitive advantage over other realtors.
According to Pew Research Center, text messages lead to higher response rates than email alone. Our customers see an average response rate of nearly 45%. Emails, on the other hand, have an 11% response rate according to MailChimp.
The numbers are clear, text marketing is an effective way to reach interested leads. By now you may be ready to go out and find the best real estate SMS service. Before you get started, walk through some use cases.
How Does SMS Marketing for Real Estate Businesses Work?
Text marketing is a powerful tool that can be used to accomplish specific business goals. You’d need an in-depth, comprehensive guide that explains all the ins-and-outs. Luckily, we have one. But you only need to know about a few features to get started:
SMS short codes are short phone numbers that are five to six digits long. These numbers are used to send SMS or MMS messages only.
An SMS keyword is a word that your customers can text to your shortcode to opt-in for messages. You can set up an message with more info that sends automatically when someone texts your keyword.
A campaign is a text message, or series of text messages, that you send a list of subscribers who opted-in using your keyword.
MMS stands for “Multimedia Messaging Service.” These are messages with a longer character limit. You can include photos, gifs, audio files, and video files with MMS.
Autoresponders are pre-scheduled text messages that can be spaced to automatically send after a few days, weeks, or months.
The data collection feature lets you request more information from subscribers such as first name, last name, email and more.
Text Marketing for Realtors — How Agents Can Use These Tools
Now that you’ve learned a bit of the lingo, here are some of the ways that SMS or text marketing can help promote your listings and generate sales.
Put Keywords on Riders to Find New Leads
It only takes a few seconds to send a text, and many people will do it on an impulse. What they get in response is a wealth of information on the property, easily accessible at any moment on their phone.
Picture this: A house-hunter drives by your property and spots your rider, which has a keyword you select. They text your custom keyword (“MAINST” in our example) to 41404 and immediately receive the following text message:
Thanks for your interest in 44 Main St! Here’s some info: 3 BR, 2 BR, 1,400 sqft, $305,000. Call (555) 328-8121 anytime to schedule a viewing. Click for a virtual tour: http://bit.ly/OBbb
Create Unique Keywords for Every Property
Our platform gives you access to unlimited keywords. That means you can create a designated keyword for each listing in your portfolio. When an interested lead texts that keyword, they’ll get information for that specific property.
Your keyword should be simple and easy to remember (just like our short code, 41404). You could use the property address, the name of your realty company, your name, etc.
In addition to advertising your keyword on the property’s lawn sign, you should display it prominently on your online listings.
Send Property Photos via MMS
Our platform doesn’t limit you to words alone. A beautiful photo of a property can play a huge role in driving the decision to schedule a viewing. Send video walkthroughs and photos using MMS.
Follow Up With Leads Automatically
Buying a house is a big decision. Understandably, some leads may need time to think before closing or scheduling a viewing. In the meantime, autoresponders make it easy to keep your property top of mind. Let’s go back to 44 Main St. Here are examples of follow up texts you could send out:
Collect Information About Your Leads
Use the data collection feature to find out your leads’ first and last names, what cities they’re looking in and what their budgets are. With this info collected, you can follow up with other listings in your portfolio. And of course, our platform lets you access and export this data at any time.
Keep The Conversation Going
Once you’ve used text marketing to generate leads, send photos of your listings and share important property information, you’re ready to take the conversation offline. Follow up and close the deal!
Key Information to Include in Real Estate SMS Marketing
What should you include in the body of your text message? You can customize the message to include any info you want, but we recommend treating it as a bite-size listing.
- Here are just a few items you can include:
- Your contact info
- Shortened link to Google Maps
- Shortened link to your website
Benefits of SMS Marketing for Real Estates
Text message marketing is one of the most effective ways of reaching potential buyers quickly. Text messages have a 98% open rate, meaning your messages are delivered and read instantly. Let's look at the top five benefits of text messages for real estate marketing.
High Open Rate
95% of all text messages are opened within the first five minutes, meaning the property information you send reaches interested buyers instantly. People consider other marketing channels like email or phone calls intrusive and tend to ignore them.
Text message marketing is cheaper than conventional promotional strategies like email and is more effective in generating leads. When prospective buyers see your ad, they are more likely to contact you, increasing your ROI.
SMS messages are a friendly way of communicating with customers. Unlike email, text messages offer direct communication and feel a lot more natural. Hence, it's easier for both parties to receive and send property information within minutes.
Prospective buyers are bombarded with offers from real estate agencies in the form of emails, newsletters, flyers, etc. Since spam filters don't always work as intended, crucial information like new listings often ends up in the trash. So you know that the information you want is always delivered.
SMS for real estate marketing is effective since the audience looks forward to your texts. Text message marketing is not intrusive as the people explicitly opted in for your services. So, it's safe to say a real estate texting service offers the best chances of getting your messages across.
The Uses of SMS Marketing for Real Estates
The two primary problems of real estate marketing include tons of paperwork and follow-up with clients. Text marketing for real estate solves these problems effortlessly. Here's how real estate agencies can use text messaging to boost customer engagement.
Reduce No Shows
Send prospective buyers appointment reminders via text messages a day ahead to reduce no-shows. While this doesn't prevent clients from ditching at the last minute, it reduces the likelihood of it happening. The message can also include prompts for rescheduling if the customer cannot make it, saving you valuable time.
Follow Up Conversation
A quick follow-up message right after a meeting is an excellent way to remind your clients about their commitment. Whether asking what they think about a property or congratulating them on a recent purchase, make your customers valued with follow-up conversations.
More Engagement at Events
Send text messages to inform interested buyers of an auction or open house. You can send bulk SMS to every client simultaneously. Save time and keep potential buyers in the loop, even when opportunities present themselves at the last minute.
Timing is everything in the real estate business. When real estate professionals are hurrying to utilize every second to get the message across to their customers, even a slight delay could be catastrophic. Texting is a game-changer for everyone involved.
How Are Real Estate Agents Succeeding with Sending Text Messages
The popularity of text message marketing for real estate has grown over the past decade. Among the several benefits of real estate text message marketing, the ability to engage potential buyers effortlessly stands out.
Texting allows real estate agents to answer questions on the fly, follow up on conversations, and nurture existing and new customers. Texting is convenient for scheduling meetings, sending home valuations, and keeping customers informed. Combining text with photos and videos can lead prospective buyers to buy quicker than every other marketing channel.
You can integrate text messages with email marketing for quicker results. For instance, send a text message to your clients reminding them to check their email for an exciting offer.
The following metrics show how superior text messages are to conventional marketing channels.
- 98% of all text messages are opened and read within the first five minutes.
- 90% of all text messages are read within the first three minutes.
- The average response rate of text messages is 45% compared to 10% for email.
- 62% of customers prefer to receive property information via text messages.
- SMS response rates for businesses are 295% higher than phone response rates.
MMS Is Also a Great Option for Real Estates Agents to Engage Their Customers
MMS is an excellent tool in the digital marketers' handbook for real estate marketing. There are several perks of sending MMS to improve the customers' experience. Here are a few examples of how realtors can use MMS to boost their marketing strategies.
Promote Cross Marketing Channels
Realtors can share sneak peeks of a completed house with potential customers by including keywords in their print media. For instance, you can put up a sign saying, "Text HOUSE10 to 990990 for more details".
When an interested buyer sends a text, they'll receive an MMS with images of the property and a link to your website with more information. This helps drive organic traffic to your website and increase engagement.
Engage a prospective buyer using incentives. There's nothing more attractive than freebies. Use that to your advantage by hosting an incentivized MMS contest. Add interactive media to your text messages and encourage people to respond.
Share Promos and Discounts
Entice customers by offering alluring promos and discounts for taking action. Don't forget to insert a call to action and a best-by date to create urgency. You can also direct customers to your social media pages and website to drive traffic organically.
Real Estate Text Message Templates
Crafting real estate messages to clients is easy. We’ve put together some easy-to-use real estate SMS templates below to help get you started. Get more real estate text templates here.
Here’s the info for 10 Cloverfield Lane: 5 BR, 3 BA, 6,000 sq. ft. $2.5 million. (314) 159-2653. Photos: example.com
Thanks for your interest in 10 Cloverfield Lane. Schedule a showing here: example.com
Since you liked 10 Cloverfield Lane, we thought you might also be interested in these properties: example.com
SMS Message Marketing Laws in Real Estate
Texts can be a powerful tool for agents, as long as you comply with the the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The TCPA provides for some basic consumer protections when it comes to text marketing. We’ve made complying with the TCPA automatic, so can focus on what you do best: selling homes.
Remember the keywords and shortcode we mentioned above? If a lead texts one of your keywords to your shortcode, they’ll get an automatic, free compliance message.
How to Get started with SMS Marketing as a Real Estate Agent
Encapsulating a real estate market is a hard achievement. Doing it without using the most effective marketing tool is even harder. Elevate your marketing efforts using only 3 simple steps and Textback.ai's marketing automation tools.
The most crucial aspect is first asking your audience's permission before texting. Real estate agents often include a permission form in the welcome kit for new clients. This is the perfect time to ask potential customers how they wish to be contacted.
Once you receive explicit permission, it's time to set up automated texts. Create appointment reminders and set how frequently the messages should go out. Allow clients to reply to your messages to confirm or reschedule the appointment.
Once your customers are accustomed to receiving text reminders, send advanced communication like newsletters and instant deals opportunities. Ensure that your customers are never in the dark about the hottest properties in the market.
Real Estate SMS Marketing Best Practices
Now that you know how to use text messages for real estate marketing, it's time to learn how to improve customer engagement. Here are the top text marketing best practices to increase the response rates.
- Be Concise and Precise - Keep all SMS communications within 160 characters.
- Send a Clear Message - Have a clear purpose for every SMS and ensure the message is easily understood.
- Use Proper Grammar - Text messaging is an intimate form of communication. So, avoid using slang or abbreviations as much as possible.
- Avoid Marketing Jargon - Text messaging is informal. Avoid using real estate or marketing jargon to keep the message simple.
- Add Personal Touches - Maximize customer engagement by customizing every message to replicate personal conversations.
- Segregate Your Audience - 82% of marketers experience higher open rates when segregating content based on the audience. And this applies to every digital campaign.
- Include a CTA - Open-ended messages are a catastrophe. Include a clear CTA at the end of every message to direct the audience towards a specific action.
Why should real estate agents use SMS marketing?
Text messaging is convenient, cost-effective, and delivers instant results. Hence, realtors rely on text messaging to send property information, promote services, follow up on conversations, and stay connected to prospects.
How can I promote my SMS marketing as a real estate agent?
Growing an SMS subscription list is a painstaking process. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success. If you have an existing contact list, use it to reach out to prospects. Other strategies include promoting your business number via existing marketing campaigns, offering incentives for signing up, etc.
Can real estate agents Cold text?
Cold texting is a severe offense in real estate text message marketing. Unless you have a prospect's explicit permission to send text messages, refrain from invading their private space.
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