Reaching potential buyers in the real estate world is what it’s all about. Unlike many other industries, real estate leads often start looking when they’re already ready to buy, so appearing in front of buyers at the right time is essential to any real estate agent’s success.
How can you reduce the time it takes for your leads to get communications from you? While ads, search engine optimization (SEO), and other marketing methods are great for creating a presence online, nothing compares to the speed of text message marketing for real estate.
Why is SMS, or text message marketing, perfect for real estate marketing, and what are its main benefits?
Why text message marketing for real estate agents is effective
Text message marketing for real estate is not just effective — it’s ideal. To understand why, put yourself in the homebuyer’s shoes. While you’re looking for homes, what are you more likely to do: check your email, or look at your texts? Americans check their phones an average of 96 times a day, meaning you have the same number of opportunities to show up on their lock screen.
Benefits of SMS text marketing for real estate
If you’ve ever used email marketing for real estate, you know that it’s a reasonably affordable way to get to their inboxes. Since people usually check their email several times daily, it’s quite convenient. The only issue is that you’re arriving in what’s already a full inbox, leaving you to compete with other non-related emails. When was the last time you received a marketing email and replied to it? It’s typically a one-sided communication method.
With that said, how does text message marketing compare with other types of marketing? Here are some of the main benefits:
- It personalizes communication. Your leads feel like they should respond to a text, while an email or ad is mainly for reading and leading you to a landing page.
- It speeds up lead generation and conversion. Text messaging puts you in front of your leads first. This way, the moment a house hits the market, a potential buyer can receive details on the home they’ve been looking for.
- Real estate text message is affordable. Texting your leads directly means no mysterious fees and no guessing which keyword will get attention.
- It immediately provides value. Your lead can receive all the information they want about a listing they drove past simply by texting a code.
What to use real estate text messaging for
So, you can now reach leads faster than ever with real estate text messaging. But what should you text them? You can’t exactly shoot a “What’s up” message and expect results. What are you supposed to use it for? Here are some options.
Warm up those cold leads
Reach out to those leads that seemed excited to buy at first but have since cooled off. Are they still interested in buying? Re-engaging them via text could be the game-changing factor that turns a “maybe” into a “yes.”
Make them your feet on the ground
You can’t always be standing in front of a listing waiting for someone to see it and come chat. Your text code allows people who are viewing your listing to approach you virtually, at any time.
Share a hot new listing
You can’t call every one of your leads the moment you see a beautiful opportunity they’d love, but you can text it to them. If they’re actively looking, make sure you add them to a list that gets semi-frequent updates about offers on the market that they might consider.
Invite leads to an open house
Email and social media invitations are one thing, but getting text updates and same-day reminders on upcoming open houses can increase turnout at your next property event. Your leads will get a chance to see a new home, and you’ll be able to interact with them in person. From there, you can follow up on the text interactions they’ve had with your brand.
These are just a few ways to get the conversation started via text message, but any conversations you’ve been having on the phone with potential clients are also possible via text message marketing.
How to start using SMS marketing for real estate
At this point, texting as a marketing tool may start to sound really enticing. So, enough about the benefits already — let’s go through how to start using them for your real estate business. First of all, let’s talk about what happens from the user’s perspective.
How do you text a real estate listing?
When interested leads find an online listing or a sign on a front yard, they’ll be able to read a short code you’ve created for that listing. A shortcode is a five to six-digit number the user will text. They’ll message this number using a keyword, which can be the street the listing is on, the number of the house, or anything else that’s memorable and relevant. In return, they’ll get whatever automatic response you’ve created for it — whether it’s asking what the user wants to know or immediately offering all the information for the listing.
Get informed on the “rules” of SMS
Not all messages are made the same. Understand the line between helpful marketing that increases the value of your service to your potential buyer and, well, harassment. It’s pretty straightforward — just don’t send anything you wouldn’t want to receive. But in case you want some extra parameters, here are a few:
- Like email, text messaging is permission-based. Create shortcodes that leads can text you to opt-in and receive something. You can also text any mobile numbers you’ve previously collected (with permission).
- Choose your words. Limit your texts to 160 characters or less to fit within a text message.
- Find a balance. Sending too many text messages is just as bad as — if not worse than — sending too few.
- Choose your timing carefully. Although you could technically send an email at 2 a.m., texting someone in the middle of the night is inappropriate and can make your lead lose faith in you.
Balance bulk messaging and P2P
In order for text message marketing to feel personal, you should balance sending mass broadcasts (say, about an upcoming open house) and personal peer-to-peer (P2P) messages answering questions. This way, your leads know there’s a real person behind the marketing that they can count on and trust with their search.
Recycle the media you have at hand
You don’t have to create new content to start using text message marketing for real estate. Chances are you’re already working with copy that you use on a listing, photos, and videos to show the property. You can recycle all of this via text. Get creative by recycling the content you use for other marketing methods and applying them.
Find a text message marketing service
Reaching real estate leads with effective, quick marketing methods is easier than ever when you follow text message marketing best practices. With the benefits of being able to recycle content you use for other marketing channels and having more personal interactions with your leads, texts can hardly be beaten in the real estate industry.
You don’t have to set up text message marketing for real estate with an elaborate plan detailing all the ways you’ll use it long-term. Start with the basics. Sign up for a text message marketing service that meets the criteria you’ve learned about here, such as allowing bulk messages, P2P messages, and media messages. Set up a few automations that include a link to your website, Google Maps, and your contact information. Over time, you’ll build up a wealth of leads who are ready to have you help them through the next steps of buying a home.
Did you know? Constant Contact offers a corporate account option designed for real estate brokers/owners, so you can provide agents with all the digital marketing tools they need — in one place. Benefits of a corporate account include a discounted rate for your agents, locked branded templates to keep brand consistency across all users, tools to track results (opens, clicks, etc), and more. For more information, fill out this quick form, and we’ll reach out with more information on how you can make your marketing easier and more consistent throughout your brokerage.