It’s no secret that society has grown an obsession with smartphones. Cellular devices have become a staple for how we communicate with each other, and businesses are capitalizing on the power of text messaging to increase their sales volume. And real estate industry is not an exception.
But why messaging is being so effective nowadays?
To understand it better, let’s talk about stats. When you send a text message, there is 99% chance that it will be opened. And most likely to be read within 5 seconds. Over 30% of all adults prefer text messages to all other forms of communications. Nowadays, it is #1 way people want to communicate with your real estate business.
In the fast paced world of Real Estate, texting is the quickest means of getting your message across: “123 Main St. is back on the market!” “Can you make the appointment for 5:30?” and the ever-so time-sensitive “Key not opening. Buyers waiting outside. Need the garage code ASAP.”
It’s also a dominant force to boost your conversion rates. Together with emails and phone calls, introducing text to your communication can effectively turn cold leads in to hot ones, and nurture them in to closings.
Rules, Laws and Regulations
Before sending ANY text messages, educate yourself with your local and federal laws about Text Message Marketing & Communications. In some countries, it is unlawful to send a text message to anyone without having explicit consent. That said, there are plenty of ways to get consent. This can be accomplished through web forms and short codes.
Text Message Etiquette
- Send texts during hours that won’t disturb your client.
- Keep your messages short and to the point.
- Space your text messages out appropriately to avoid badgering a new lead.
- Don’t text bad news; Pick up the phone and call instead.
- Check for spelling errors before hitting ‘Send.’
Write to Engage
It isn’t enough to simply send out a text and call it a day. The goal is to get your leads to engage with your messages. The more you engage your lead and build a relationship based on communication, the more you gain their trust. The more they trust you, the more likely you’ll be top of mind when it comes to selling or buying their home.
Always try to ask an open-ended question that encourages a detailed response. Avoid questions that prompt a “yes”/”no” answer. Once you get a response, engage in further conversation. (Or at the very least, acknowledge their response with a “Thank you.”)
Hey Alex! I handpicked a few great homes and they’re really well priced. When are you thinking about purchasing a home?
TIP: Immediacy is key! When someone texts you they assume you will receive the message and respond right away. Meet their expectations and make an effort to reply back ASAP. Being responsive is a projection of how you may be perceived; a lack of response may be interpreted as a lack of care and professionalism.
Add More Value
In the first couple of days upon receiving your lead, continue to add value to your communications. For instance, on Day 1, if your original offer was an e-mailed list of homes, follow up with a text confirmation that they’ve receive their list, then offer to supplement it with a complimentary Buyers’ Guide.
Hey Alex! I just emailed you the list of homes in Orlando. What’d you think? I also have an awesome guide for buyers on how to get the best deals in town. Where can I send it?
TIP: We live in a world filled with distractions. If a lead doesn’t respond right away, it may simply be because they are distracted or busy. Be patient. But if you don’t get a response within, say, 10 – 15 minutes, follow up with something like: “Please let me know.”
I can’t tell you how many text messages I’ve received that either don’t include my name, the person who’s sending the message’s name, or both. Use your recipient’s first name in every text you send. If you’re using an auto responder, use merge tags to make the process easier.
Try to include elements that are personal to each lead. For instance, if you noticed a client was browsing your website, follow up with a text that includes the neighbourhood they were looking at.
Hey Alex! A new listing in Avalon Park came up that I think you might like. What are your thoughts on that neighbourhood?
TIP: When sending out a text message for the first time, include your name and company name at the end of the message so your recipient can trust where the text is coming from: Still in the market to buy a great home, Alex? I put together this great list of homes under $450k in Toronto. How would you like me to send this to you?