To think that a real estate agent is nothing much but a property seller couldn’t be more wrong. In real estate, establishing a close relationship with both sellers and buyers is paramount if you want to succeed. They often have to turn into a negotiator for their pickier clients, a tour guide for those who are not familiar with the neighbourhood, but, most importantly, they need to be outstanding marketers.
Sales rarely happen without effort, and in this fast-paced world, you need to take advantage of every single channel available, to nurture and explore leads. Living in the Internet era makes us accustomed to using emails and other online advertising methods to reach potential customers, meaning we forget the more traditional direct marketing approaches. One such approach is text message marketing.
SMS marketing is one of the easiest and fastest ways to reach customers. Everyone has a text message system on their phone, be it a smartphone or not, so the information will get to them almost instantly. Eager to find out more? Below we will explore the benefits that SMS marketing brings to real estate agents.
How does SMS marketing actually work in real estate?
Surveys show that 82% of people read a text message within the first five minutes upon receiving it, whereas, with emails, only 1 in 4 get opened, out of which more than 95% are deemed irrelevant. The reason why people are so reluctant with opening newsletter emails is that they get bombarded with them daily, which really affects credibility.
Gone are the days when SMS marketing meant you would have to manually craft and send a text message to all your clients individually. Now real estate agents can schedule automated SMS messages that get sent either at a certain point in time or when a customer texts with a designated keyword.
Speaking of keywords, this is the most popular SMS marketing strategy and amongst the simplest to implement. By inviting people to text a simple word and receive 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 the property, as well as a link that directs people to the sales page. You can even include photos via MMS, especially for properties that have recently been remodelled or that feature some outstanding details.
Another interesting idea is developing a mobile app for real estate that you could promote with SMS marketing. This enables you to direct customers using text messages to specific listings in the app and push them to the next deal stages faster.
Now that you know how easy it is to implement it, let’s take a look at some of the benefits.
Text messages are more likely to be opened
I mentioned above that text messages usually get opened within the first 5 minutes, meaning the information will reach potential customers much faster. The text message inbox is less drenched with marketing messages, meaning that, when people receive a text message, they will check it out almost immediately. Emails tend to get lost in a sea of newsletters, invoices and sales campaigns, which is exactly what you want to avoid.
Another survey reveals that people actually prefer SMS notification, instead of emails, simply because they are shorter, easier to read and only deliver important information. With emails, given the fact that there is a little limitation to the type of content you can send, marketers tend to go a bit over the top and lose the information amongst text or image fillers.
Setting up an SMS marketing campaign is actually 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 phone number, 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.
Bulk SMS is easy to send and only costs a few cents per message. This can result in quite an impressive return on investment. You will most probably get charged based on the number of messages sent, meaning you can control the price much easier and know exactly what to expect when planning the budget. You can also monitor response and categorise receivers based on location, age, or any other information you have on them, for more customised campaigns.
Adds a more personal touch
Despite being one of the most important communication means nowadays, emails tend to be quite impersonal, whereas SMS is a much friendlier way of communicating. Most of the time, we receive text messages from friends, family, or people that we feel are important enough to know our phone number. Email addresses are easily shared between marketing companies, whereas phone numbers are a lot harder to obtain.
Apart from that, text messages are much easier to be used as a direct method of communication. People rarely reply to marketing emails, but are more open to start a conversation through text, because it takes a lot less and feels more natural.
Last, but not least, text messages look 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 information that is important, whereas, with emails, you need to do a bit more work.
Information won’t get lost
People receive large numbers of emails daily, which makes it much easier for yours to get lost in the sea of newsletters. Apart from that, spam filters don’t always work as they should be, and important emails can be sent straight to the Junk folder and get lost, or get deleted by the recipient, in an attempt to clear their inbox.
With SMS, a message rarely gets lost, and you can ensure the important information gets to the client as fast as possible. Sure, if they don’t want to receive messages from you, they can easily unsubscribe or block your number, but that only happens on rare occasions.
Set alerts and reminders
Last, but not least, you can schedule text messages to be sent to your clients to remind them about an important appointment. For example, if you discussed visiting a property and you want to remind your client about that, you can schedule an SMS to be sent to them a day, or at least a few hours prior to the meeting.
This will make it much easier for you as well, 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 automated messages when a meeting is approaching. This way, you will have more time to prepare for the scheduled visit, instead of focusing on small, tedious tasks.
Text messages can be an extremely powerful tool for real estate agents to connect with customers, schedule and remind them of appointments, as well as generate leads. They are a cost-effective way to get your information sent to a large number of prospects, and you can expect a much bigger response rate, that with emails. This happens simply because text messages feel more personal, being much closer to a real conversation that emails are. If you follow a few simple rules and focus on making the messages clear and concise, SMS marketing can bring tremendous benefits to your business.
Donald Fomby is a professional writer, with years of experience behind. The knowledge he gained while working as a marketer determined him to want to share the secrets of the industry with others as well. When he does not write marketing-related content, he works as a translator for PickWriters, providing game localisation services for prestigious companies.