Real estate agents need to do their best to stay at the forefront of their clients’ minds. Because you get paid only when you sell a property, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that you don’t lose clients after they have already traveled along your sales funnel.
This means that you have to rely on various marketing strategies and give clients ways to reach you easily. This is where real estate SMS marketing comes into play.
Using SMS marketing for real estate agents lets you make the most of your real estate lead generation. With SMS marketing, you can nurture those leads and turn them into satisfied clients.
How SMS for real estate marketing works
Just like any other type of SMS marketing, real estate text message marketing involves using SMS to send campaigns, news, promotions, updates, and other relevant communications to clients, prospects, and leads.
The important thing to know about SMS marketing is that it allows you to send only short messages. As such, these messages must be direct to the point. Technically, SMS supports only 160 characters and doesn’t support sending multimedia such as images. However, MMS (multimedia message service) allows you to send messages with pictures and videos. Most services support MMS in addition to SMS.
The other crucial thing to know is that SMS marketing typically involves sending messages in bulk. In other words, real estate agents can easily send the same message to hundreds or even thousands of clients. They can even involve an element of automation and customization.
Real estate agents may use text marketing to announce new properties for sale, an open house, changes to their policies, or special deals. You can also use real estate SMS templates to share more property info with interested leads.
Agents may also use this strategy to create a conversation or build a connection with clients. Either of those goals can help ensure that clients don’t change agents.
What is a shortcode?
In the world of SMS marketing for real estate agents, a shortcode refers to a number with five or six digits. The shortcode appears in the “sender” or “from” section instead of the agents’ number. In most cases, real estate agents also can use a vanity number for the shortcode, so it is easier for clients to remember.
Using a shortcode instead of a method that displays your number offers a few benefits. First, the shortcode is brief and easier to remember. This makes them easier to use in marketing campaigns, such as when you ask potential buyers to text you a keyword to opt-in as a way of gaining new leads.
Shortcodes are also obviously business numbers and make your messages look more professional. For instance, messages appear more trustworthy when they come from a shortcode bearing your business’ name.
Shortcodes also have the benefit of sending more quickly. You can send up to 100 messages a second. This contrasts with long code messages (standard phone numbers) that typically only send one per second.
Collecting data through SMS
In addition to the marketing aspect of SMS, you can also use them to gather data about clients. For example, different automations can help you to collect information about clients or potential clients. Depending on the service you use and your needs, you can gather data like client names, contact information, and the type of real estate they’re looking for.
This type of data collection is typically automated, but you can also frequently turn it into an interactive conversation if that better fits your needs. You can then use that data to gain insights into your overall client base.
You can also use the data you collect for more targeted or segmented marketing. This is particularly important as adding more personalization to your text messages will make your marketing efforts more effective.
Another option is to use texts to remind clients to fill out a survey. This is more of an indirect method of using SMS to gather data.
SMS marketing vs. one-on-one text messaging
The most significant difference between real estate text message marketing and one-on-one text messaging is the scale to which you do each. With one-on-one messaging, you text just one person at a time. By contrast, with SMS marketing, you can easily text thousands of clients and leads at once.
Because of this, SMS marketing is nearly always automated, while one-on-one messaging may be automated or manual. As mentioned earlier, mass texts also use shortcodes instead of typical phone numbers, while one-on-one messages use traditional numbers.
The difference in the number of people who receive the message also affects the level of personalization in the message. For example, SMS real estate marketing may involve sending a mass text about a promotion. Or maybe you will use it to promote listings, especially a new listing or one that doesn’t have enough interest. By contrast, a one-on-one text may highlight a new property that the specific client would be interested in.
You need to find the right balance between the two styles of text marketing. Mass texting is a great way to share news and promotions with all of your customer segments, but you risk your messages coming off as impersonal. Or, worse, it may seem like you’re sending spam. This can hurt your client experience.
On the other hand, one-on-one messaging provides a more personalized experience, and it may be more effective at boosting customer satisfaction. However, it takes a lot longer. Both have a place in your real estate marketing.
Key benefits of real estate SMS marketing
Taking advantage of real estate text message marketing will lead to a long list of benefits for your real estate business. The following are just some of the most important ones.
1. Reach clients in real-time
One of the biggest advantages of SMS is that you can reach your clients in real-time. This is especially important for urgent or time-sensitive information. For example, you can send appointment reminders or updates and know that clients will receive them right away.
2. Increase response rates
You will also notice an increase in response rates when you incorporate SMS because 98% of text messages get opened, and, as of 2021, 75% of clients opt to receive offers via text message. It’s good customer service to use the communication channels that homebuyers prefer.
SMS has a higher open rate compared to emails, so you may find that your clients respond better to your SMS marketing campaigns.
3. Streamline internal operations
You will also find that text messaging streamlines your internal operations. This primarily comes from the ability to automate messages and send them en masse. That combination makes your processes more efficient.
4. Save time
It should come as no surprise that streamlining internal processes will also save you and your team time. You can then use that time to focus on gaining more prospects, nurturing leads, and growing your business.
5. Reduce costs
Real estate SMS marketing can also quickly reduce costs. Some of that is a direct result of the time savings. There’s also the fact that each text message you send will cost a fraction of the cost of other marketing methods. This is especially true for bulk messages.
In addition to the above benefits, text message marketing will also offer real estate agents the following advantages:
- Personalization: Text messages can easily be personalized, helping you build a connection with clients. That, in turn, increases their chances of buying property from you.
- Less spam risk: Compared to email marketing, there is a lower risk that your message will end up in the spam folder.
- Fewer no-shows: Using texts to remind clients about showings or other appointments reduces the time you waste on no-shows.
- Automation: You can automate various aspects of text messaging. This extends to auto-reply, which can save you significant time and help you meet clients’ expectations regarding response time.
- Information is easily accessible: When you text information to a client, they will always know where to find that information in the future. This is great for links to listings or appointment reminders.
Explore the best practices and tips in our SMS marketing guide to get the most from your efforts.
Text marketing solutions for real estate agents
With a better understanding of how real estate text message marketing can help you, the next step is to find a text marketing service. A real estate texting service is as essential as your property management software. As you look for a provider, pay attention to rates and features.
You want to use a service that will also help you get opt-ins via other interactions with your clients. You also want a service that makes the communications feel human-like and personal; and one that gives you immediate insights. This last point is crucial to evaluating and updating your SMS campaigns over time. The best services will even offer additional features and services, such as an SMS marketing webinar, eBooks, or articles.
With the right solution, you should see your SMS marketing efforts pay off soon.