Establishing a close relationship with sellers and buyers in real estate is paramount if you want to succeed. To think that a real estate agent is nothing more than a property seller couldn't be more wrong. They often have to turn into a negotiator for their pickier clients and a tour guide for those unfamiliar with the neighbourhood. But most importantly, they need to be outstanding marketers.
Real estate marketing via SMS
Sales rarely happen without effort, and in this fast-paced world, you need to take advantage of every channel available for nurturing and exploring leads. Living in the internet era has made us accustomed to using emails and other online advertising methods to reach potential customers, forgetting the more traditional yet practical direct marketing approaches. One such approach is real estate text message marketing.
SMS messages are one of the easiest and fastest ways to reach customers. Everyone can receive texts on their phone, be it a smartphone or a simple feature phone, so the information is guaranteed to reach them, and that too, almost instantly. Let's discuss exactly how real estate marketing can benefit your firm.
Why text message marketing works for the real estate business
Below we explore some of the top benefits that real estate SMS marketing offers.
Text messages are more likely to be opened
Surveys show that 60% of people read a text message within three minutes of its delivery. In contrast, only 1 in 4 emails gets opened, and recipients deem over 95% of those unimportant or irrelevant. People are reluctant to open newsletter emails because they get bombarded with them daily, which severely damages credibility and typically leads nowhere.
The text message inbox is much less inundated with marketing messages, meaning when people receive a message, they will check it out almost immediately. Since text messages usually get opened within the first 3 to 5 minutes, your information will reach potential customers much faster. The same phenomenon applies to real estate SMS marketing too. Emails tend to get lost in a plethora of newsletters, invoices and sales campaigns, which is exactly what you want to avoid.
People prefer text marketing
Several studies over the years have revealed that a significant fraction of people prefer SMS notifications over emails, usually because they are shorter, easier to read, and only deliver essential information. With emails, given that there is little limitation to the type of content you can send, marketers tend to go a bit over the top and lose critical information amongst long-form texts and image fillers.
Setting up a text marketing campaign is much more affordable than email or mail marketing and has a much higher lead-generating rate. If a person sees your ad, they are more likely to text a simple word to a short code rather than start composing an entire email to ask for details about the house. When you receive the text message, you can easily add their phone number to your list of potential leads and use it for future campaigns.
It adds a more personal touch
Despite being one of the most important means of communication nowadays, emails tend to be quite impersonal. SMS is a much friendlier way of communicating, even for real estate marketing. We often receive text messages from friends, family, or people we feel are important enough to know our phone number. Email addresses are easily shared between marketing companies. Phone numbers are much harder to obtain, proving their exclusivity in any marketing activity.
Apart from that, text messages are much easier to use as a direct communication method. People rarely reply to marketing emails but are more open to starting a conversation through text because it takes a lot less and feels more natural.
Last but not least, text messaging is much more like a natural conversation than emails. When you have been communicating through text, it is much easier for both parties to search through the conversation and find important information. Emails, on the other hand, require a bit more effort.
Information won't get lost
People receive large numbers of emails daily, which makes it much easier for yours to get lost amidst the horde of newsletters and ads. Apart from that, spam filters don't always work as they should, and important emails can end up being sent straight to the junk folder. They will either be forgotten forever or get deleted by the recipient in an attempt to clear their email inbox.
With text marketing, a message rarely gets lost, and you can ensure that important information gets to the client as fast as possible. Spam filters built into default messaging apps are also much more flexible. If someone doesn't want to receive messages from you, they can easily unsubscribe or block your number, but that only happens occasionally.
Tips for real estate agents
Now that you know how beneficial text messaging can be as a marketing channel, let's take a look at how easy it is to implement. Here are a few practices we recommend to real estate professionals to help them run successful SMS marketing campaigns.
Use relevant real estate keywords for opt-in
This SMS marketing strategy is quite popular, low-effort, and among the simplest to implement. By inviting people to text a simple word and receive real estate information, you will get the chance to find new leads and even turn them into customers.
Choose different keywords for every property or neighbourhood, and include them on the sale sign or in your ads, with an invitation to text the said word for more information. In the response text, you can include some information about your business or offerings and a link that directs people to the sales page. You can even include photos via MMS, especially for recently remodelled properties or with some exceptional details.
Have a mobile app for real estate
Another interesting idea is developing a mobile app for real estate that you could promote with text message marketing. This enables you to quickly direct customers to a platform where they can find out in extensive detail about specific listings they are interested in and push them to the next deal stages faster.
Gone are the days when text message marketing meant you would have to manually craft and send an SMS to all your clients individually. Real estate agents can now set up automated SMS messages that get sent depending on particular triggers. For example, you can set them to be sent at a certain point in time or when a customer texts with a designated keyword.
Bulk real estate text marketing
Bulk text messaging is easy to set up and only costs a few cents per SMS. You will likely be billed based on the number of messages sent, meaning you know precisely what to expect when planning the budget and can easily control your costs. This can result in quite an impressive return on investment.
Using a decent real estate texting service, you can personalise your messages instead of sending generic bulk messages. You can also monitor responses and segment your target audience based on location, age, or other personal information for a more customised real estate SMS marketing campaign.
Set alerts and reminders
Last but not least, you can schedule text messages to send to your clients to remind them about important appointments. For example, if you discussed visiting a property and want to remind your client about it a little in advance, you can schedule an SMS to be sent to them a day or at least a few hours before the meeting.
This will also make it much easier for you as you don't have to constantly check and remind prospects about an appointment manually. You can sync the automated SMS service to your online calendar and schedule it to send messages when a meeting is approaching. This way, you will have more time to prepare for the planned visit instead of focusing on small, tedious tasks such as having an extensive back-and-forth with the client over a call.
Quick and easy real estate SMS templates
Here are some personalised templates you can incorporate into your real estate text messaging campaigns.
For opt-ins and new leads
Text RENTALS to 12321 to get the latest rental properties in the neighbourhood of your choice delivered straight to your inbox!
Reply YES to receive the latest updates from [XYZ Real Estate]. Reply UNSUB to cancel. Do check out our app for prime properties for sale: [URL]
Dear [Name], we noticed your interest in [Property Name/Address]. Excellent choice! Our agent [Name] will reach out soon with details.
Dear [Name], we've booked you a prime slot at the viewing for [Property Name/Address] on [Date,Time]. See you there!
Dear [Name], we're all set for your visit to [Property Name/Address] on [Date,Time]. See you tomorrow! Call [Number] to reschedule.
Text messages can be an extremely powerful tool for real estate agents to connect with customers, schedule and remind them of appointments, and generate leads. They are a cost-effective way to get your information sent to long lists of prospects, and you can expect a much bigger response rate than emails.
Simply put, text messages feel more personal, being much closer to a real conversation than emails. If you follow a few recommended practices and focus on making your messages clear and concise, SMS marketing can tremendously benefit your real estate business.