The Complete Guide To Text Messaging for Real Estate
According to the National Association of Realtors 2021 member profile, 93% of realtors prefer to reach clients through text messages. It exceeds phone calls (90%) and email communication (89%). This interesting insight begs the question: What makes text messaging for real estate a valuable communication channel for realtors and real estate investors? And do you need one for your real estate business?
In this guide, we will explore why you should use text marketing and everything you need to launch a successful real estate text message marketing campaign.
Why Use SMS Marketing in Real Estate
One of the greatest advantages of SMS messaging is its uninterrupted, fast access to potential clients. According to a recent survey, 50% of customers respond to new texts within 3 minutes. A whopping 90% reply within 30 minutes.
In a highly competitive market like real estate, these high response rates make a lot of difference. You can instantly alert interested buyers to offers and send property information ahead of competitors. This advantage allows you to connect to prospective homeowners and close deals faster.
What’s more, SMS has astounding engagement rates. According to data from the same survey, text messaging has 6x the email engagement rate. That makes building and nurturing client relationships a lot easier. You can drive more interactions, build stronger relationships, and improve sales.
All that said, the above only holds true if you find the right SMS services provider. At Smarter Contact, we help SMEs, enterprises, and individual marketers send bulk marketing messages to potential customers with just a few clicks. We understand that getting started with an SMS marketing platform doesn’t have to be rocket science. With Smarter Contact, you can literally sign up right now, import contacts, manage user lists, and send messages to thousands of users in a matter of minutes.
Who Uses Text Messaging for Real Estate?
Real estate text message marketing is used by realtors, brokers, and investors. From reaching out to clients to promoting properties it allows real estate professionals to streamline their operations.
With text marketing, they can:
- Send property info;
- Receive client data;
- Set appointments and viewings;
- Follow up on interested leads;
- Create keywords and shortcodes for each property;
- Advertise promotions or campaigns.
Benefits of Text Messaging in Real Estate
- High Open and Response Rates
As mentioned earlier, 90% of clients respond to text blasts within 30 minutes with texts having a 6x more engagement rate than email. From surfing the Internet to shopping on websites, consumers spend a lot of time on their mobile phones. This constant proximity gives real estate agents a chance of reaching prospects faster without disrupting their online activities. It beats the hassle of phone calls or sorting through their email for information periodically.
- Ideal for Time-sensitive Communications
In real estate marketing, reaching clients first and securing more properties before competitors is vital to closing more deals. Whether you’re sending an open house invitation or following up on leads, text conversations help you deliver time-bound text messages faster. It conveys an urgency that prompts a timely response. This ensures that your real estate clients can view new listings or promotions within a few minutes.
- Lower Barriers to Entry
Unlike most communication channels, text messaging allows you to reach clients with fewer barriers. For example, to avoid unsolicited mails, people use spam filtering tools. This may explain why spam emails account for 45.1% of emails in March 2021. In social media messaging, most users use features that prevent direct communication. With real estate text message marketing, there are fewer barriers. You have direct access to customers when they opt-in on your website, online form, or more.
- It Streamlines Lead Generation
There’s no need to send separate responses for each SMS when using text messaging. Real estate agents can automate custom responses based on keywords for specific events or listings. They can collect client data, send reminders, and chat up all clients at once. For you, this translates to less time and money attracting and nurturing new leads.
Is Bulk Text messaging Legal And What Are The Regulations?
Sending mass text blasts is not illegal, but it is strictly regulated. Different text messaging regulations govern specific countries or regions. Let’s look at them.
SMS Privacy Laws in the United States
- The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
Under the TCPA, companies must obtain explicit written consent before sending SMS to clients. Even if the individual is a long-term client who has given their phone numbers to the company, opt-in consent is still needed. To obtain consent, you may provide a paper or online form that clearly states a customer agrees to receive an SMS from you. You may also provide an opt-in shortcode or a sign-up link on your website.
- The CAN-SPAM ACT
This Act is the text spam law that provides clarity to the TCPA. Under the CAN-SPAM ACT, customers must be able to opt out of commercial text messages. Once a customer unsubscribes, it is illegal to send unwanted texts . Also, businesses must make it easy for individuals to identify that commercial texts are advertisements.
SMS Privacy Laws in Canada
- Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)
The CASL states that businesses who wish to send SMS must obtain consent, have an identification infection, and provide opt-out means. Here, there are two types of consent:
- Explicit consent is where an individual agrees verbally or in writing to receive texts from you.
- Implied consent is established when an individual discloses their contact information to a company.
Other Privacy Laws
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and UK’s Data Protection Act 2018 are other privacy regulations to know. The GDPR regulates data privacy across the European Union and its transfer beyond the region. It governs how businesses use or store personal information. The Data Protection Act 2018 is the United Kingdom’s implementation of the GDPR. The two regulations share similar requirements on how businesses manage personal information.
5 Steps To Launching A Successful SMS Marketing Campaign in Real Estate
- Familiarize Yourself with Regulations
The first step is to understand the regulations that govern SMS messaging and data privacy in your region. We mentioned these regulations in the previous sections. They include the TCPA, CAN-SPAM ACT, CASL, GDPR, and the Data Protection Act. Understanding these regulations helps you to conduct your text message marketing without attracting heavy lawsuits from infringements.
- Choose An SMS Marketing Platform
Your text messaging service provider can make or mar your campaign. Ideally, you should choose a real estate texting service that fits your operations. Some providers allow you to send 1-on-1 texts. Others help you send bulk text messages with a click. Most services do both. Besides meeting your business requirements, the platform should:
- Have accurate tracking and analytics;
- Allow seamless integration with core systems;
- Allows personalized messaging;
- Have compliance expertise;
- Provides expert support
- Offer a flexible contract. It may include business-specific plans, free trials with no credit card required, etc.
- Upload Your List of Potential Leads
Before sending out property information or more, you’d need to load prospects’ contacts to the platform you choose. You can then segment them based on criteria or specific parameters. Whichever SMS services you go with, ensure it allows for high-quality delivery and higher response rates.
- Create Several Powerful SMS Templates
To improve the chances of your campaign’s success, you’d need several unique and compelling templates that inspire customers to action. Each text should be tailored to customers at various stages of their purchasing journey. For example; you could have real estate SMS messages for onboarding prospects and another for active clients.
- Prepare Follow-Up Messages
Did you know that 50% of customers say NO four times before saying yes? This shows that most sales occur at the 5th attempt and beyond. Sadly, 48% of sales professionals never send follow-up texts after the first message. To increase conversions, you’d need to check in with prospects. This step could get you the resounding YES you need.
How To Create Powerful Real Estate SMS Messages
- Be Personal and Friendly
Establishing strong connections starts with your message. Avoid scripted or extremely formal conversations. Instead, add a personal touch and aim for a friendly tone. Personalization goes beyond addressing prospects by their names. It includes using previously specified details, tailored offers, and other personal interests to win customers over.
- Use Multiple Templates
Create various real estate text templates for each scenario or activity. This could be different texts for each new property, open house viewings, and more. The right message could help filter out bad leads that don’t need your services. For each template, track the KPIs to know which converts best.
- Keep It Clear And Concise
SMS commonly allows 160 characters. Therefore each word should count. Keep your texts short, engaging, and to the point. Add questions to encourage more responses. Finally, include clear CTAs that inform your real estate clients of the next action to take.
Real Estate Text Marketing Templates
Creating real estate SMS templates can help you scale your text marketing campaigns in no time. For this, you would need specific templates that address the potential needs of prospects. Here are some templates to guide your real estate marketing:
Hi, first name. Thanks for subscribing to receive listings in neighborhood X. Are you looking to buy or sell a property?
Hi, first name. Thanks for agreeing to receive a message from Company X. How soon do you wish to sell your property?
Requesting Specific Details
Hi, first name. I have a few homes in neighborhood X that fits your budget and requirements perfectly. Would you be interested in viewing them tomorrow at noon?
Hi, first name. I’ll have your home valuation ready ASAP. Quick question: Are you planning any repairs? Feel free to let me know what you need.
Hi, first name. I’ll have your home valuation ready ASAP. Would you mind a quick chat about a couple of things I need to know?
Hi, first name. Are you still interested in buying a home in location X? I have a few apartments I think you’ll love.
Hi, first name. Are you still looking to sell your home? I have several buyers who are interested in a property that matches yours.
SMS Marketing Automation Software for Real Estate
An SMS Marketing Software for real estate allows realtors to capture new leads, promote any available property, and showcase offers instantly. This tool helps real estate agents and real estate investors streamline all aspects of their messaging and close more leads effectively.
At Smarter Contact, we provide our users with a myriad of pragmatic features to simplify their SMS campaigns and boost their results. Some of our cool features include:
- Bulk messages
- Message templates
- Call forwarding
- Duplicate filter
- Advanced data merge
- A phone verification tool
- Daily backups
- A calendar follow-up system
- Ringless voicemail campaigns
- Campaign scheduling and throttling
- Text suppressions
- Mobile text alerts
- Multi-User interface and
- A dedicated account manager
Adding text message marketing to your mix is a powerful tool for optimizing client interactions. You can contact prospects, follow up on leads and stay on top of mind as often as possible. With an all-in-one tool, you go further to track your real estate marketing efforts and get the most out of your campaign. For you, this translates to more leads and more closed deals.