Buying a new home is one of the most personal and stressful things we can do. According to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, taking on a mortgage ranks as a top-20 stressor, while ANY change in living conditions comes in a few spots below it. Between the two, you have two of the top-30 stressors wrapped up in one hand-wringing life event. Sounds like a lot to manage, right?
Even without hearing the science behind this dynamic, it’s fairly common knowledge that you manage a lot of process, emotion, and expectation on a daily basis as a real estate professional. No doubt this makes any and all assistance you can get in simplifying and organizing tasks a godsend.
Here’s the good news: Following up with new leads, sending a showing reminder, requesting documentation for estimates — it all gets easier with the help of real estate text message marketing.
So let’s set the foundation (see what we did there?) with a few important topics, including:
- Real-world application of text message marketing in real estate
- Understanding the legality, getting a response to your text efforts
- Choosing a text message marketing tool for real estate agents and firms
You’ll find our Do’s and Don’ts under each one. Before that, let’s recap what text messaging can do for your business, clients, and growth goals — as well as your work day.
How Real Estate Text Message Marketing Helps
How viable is text as a marketing channel? Well, let’s start with the fact that the average adult looks at their phone 96 times a day — 96 times! Plus, text messaging can boast six times the engagement of email. There is little doubt those glorious, little smart devices are getting the lionshare of our attention. Not only that, but smart devices are also seeing an unprecedented amount of engagement from your potential customers, making text marketing the notable up-and-comer within the marketing world.
How does this help a real estate agent or professional in their day-to-day? Let’s explore some practical applications of text message marketing and how they can keep you focused on paperwork, client relationships, and your busy schedule. Some benefits:
- Text message marketing helps with new lead conversion. For example, let’s say a potential client goes to your website and fills out a form looking for more information. You can immediately send them an automated welcome text that opens the dialogue.
- Add event appointments and reminders. This feature is an absolute life-saver for real estate professionals. Whether a showing, a signing, or just a strategy session over coffee to explore what a client is looking for in a potential purchase, you can make sure you and your clients have all the necessary information and reminders to make sure the meeting happens without a hitch.
- Use text for quick and easy follow-up. Real estate professionals send important and sensitive information all the time. Quite often, that information warrants a timely response, especially when dealing with offers and counter-offers. Text allows you to remind clients of the need to respond, once the information is sent through email.
- Share promotions and special offers. Perhaps a listing has dropped in price or offers a special incentive for buying. Maybe the office you work for has a special move-in offer that you want to push out to clients that are casually looking. Either way, text is the ideal medium for closing new business or generating repeat business from your client base.
- Update your sales team of client status. You and your associates have clients moving through the sales process all the time. Text is a great way to alert everyone to existing clients moving through the pipeline or potential new ones being tagged.
Legality for Real Estate Text Message Marketing
There are some strict SMS (short message service) laws and regulations that are applicable to the real estate industry and marketing in general.
Currently, there are FOUR organizations that regulate and oversee wireless device laws, including texting, in the United States alone: the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, the Mobile Marketing Association, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Organization. Combine that with a variety of federal and state laws governing marketing guidelines for SMS and you can see that real estate text message marketing has a few nuances and complexities to it.
This is why it’s crucial for real estate professionals to choose a platform that is already compliant with each and every one. Take Keap, for example: Keap has already handled all of the detailed legal compliance issues, allowing you to use the platform and its text messaging features with confidence. You can always explore opt-in and opt-out for your Keap Marketing Number to learn all about legal issues surrounding text message marketing for yourself.
In the meantime, here are a couple tips:
DO share a text messaging opt-in for clients and potential clients. Think of it as asking for permission to text them in the future.
DO track your lead’s opt-in status on the contact record, so you know if they are willing to be engaged.
DON’T send a cold text blast to real estate leads or prospects containing an offer or asking for more information.
DON’T send group texts for any reason. Even if you don’t mean to, you could be openly sharing sensitive or private information.
Getting the Response You Want from Your Texts
No matter what your impressions are of real estate text message marketing, you can’t argue with results. Text messaging has an open rate of 94%, compared to email at 24%. Topping that, 66% of customers made a purchase because they were sent a personalized text.
No doubt the opportunity is there to reach your current clients, existing clients, new leads, hot leads, and more. There are some situations where a 1:1 automated text message is the best answer, while text broadcasts are an amazing tool in other situations.
Let’s explore some ways to use both:
DO consider text broadcasts to your hot leads when having a showing or other special event.
DO consider the seasonality of your business. Do you have a variety of listings that are move-in ready? Make sure you highlight those in text during summer months, when most families move.
DO compile a text V.I.P. list for your investment or fix-and-flip clients. Regular text broadcasts of properties that meet their criteria can and should turn into regular sales.
DO send listing text alerts for price changes, especially when a home falls into a client’s range.
DON’T write War and Peace. Text only offers 160 characters, so use them wisely. Share a brief greeting or introduction, present your news or offer, then get out with a call to action.
DON’T send text messages at odd times. When is it best to reach your clients? Most people respond best between 9 am and noon, but is it different for your audience? Either way, you shouldn’t text too early or too late.
DON’T forget to announce yourself. If you don’t share it’s you texting, your clients won’t know whether they should trust the message or not.
DON’T forget to set up a text automation that asks clients who have recently bought for a review. Don’t wait — you want to capitalize on all the good feelings that happen once they get the keys.
The Right Marketing Tool for Your Real Estate Business
The question is: What does your business need? What would best serve your client base?
Some want a standalone text messaging marketing tool, while other real estate agents and professionals can use a bit more. We’re obviously a little biased, but there is real power in being able to advance the growth of your real estate business, while simultaneously reducing the amount of busy work you do. Keap customers report saving an average of 10 hours a week on menial tasks, which is a lifeline for most real estate pros.
Support is another key issue. Many platforms for text and other channels are great at getting you onboarded and paying regularly. Once that takes place, however, you’re on your own. Meanwhile, Keap offers ongoing strategic support, 24/7 support through chat and phone, plus an active community of entrepreneurs — all sharing tips for growth and success.
DO shop around. Do your research. Maybe even take advantage of some free trial offers. Keap offers one for 14 days, no pressure and no credit card needed.
DON’T pick a solution based on today. Choose the solution you’ll need for your next stage of growth.
Most of all, we suggest talking to other real estate professionals. We’re happy to share one opinion from Keap customer Bryce Henderson, owner of Four Peaks Brokerage.
“Before I signed up with Keap, I was literally doing everything myself. I was following up with potential clients, past clients, and current clients, and the software has allowed me to remove myself from that role.”