The average American checks their cell phone 344 times a day. That’s 344 opportunities to get in front of the right customer at the right time. You can make the most out of this window of opportunity by incorporating SMS messaging into your real estate marketing strategy.
When done right, SMS marketing effectively drives more leads, brand awareness, sales, and growth for your real estate business. If you’d like to join the other 39% of businesses that use SMS as a marketing tactic to connect with prospects and customers successfully, this comprehensive guide will show you how.
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How you can use SMS messages in your real estate business
A successful real estate agent effectively creates meaningful relationships with clients and nurtures these connections. Therefore, having an open line of communication is important to establishing, nurturing, and optimizing your business relations.
With more of our communication happening from a distance with the aid of technology, it’s no wonder why SMS messaging has become a popular tool for establishing relationships with prospective clients. Beyond this, 75% of customers would prefer to receive promotional offers and communications from brands via SMS. Below are some practical ways for you to connect with your real estate clients via SMS:
- Share details of properties and deals with clients
- Share property details with clients
- Share property details with potential leads via automated SMS
- Inform prospects about meetings, expos, and open houses
How to set up your realtor SMS marketing strategy
Understanding how to set up your realtor SMS marketing campaign will ensure you get the most out of this tool. You need to be mindful of how you set it up, as SMS marketing changes how you acquire, grow, and sustain your client base.
Here are four steps you can follow to set up a customized SMS marketing campaign for your real estate business.
Research and identify your target audience
Begin by creating a buyer persona. Like any other marketing strategy, understanding who you will send the texts to will help you have a successful campaign.
Construct an ideal buyer persona and use it to learn what your target audience would like to know and want from a real estate agent. Use details like location, age, profession, income, gender, and other information to forge your ideal buying persona. The buyer persona will also help you understand the kind of messages they would like to receive from you.
Create a database with their phone numbers
As you network with prospective clients at open house events or run paid media campaigns to attract new leads, ensure you are collecting their phone numbers to start pulling together a database of contacts to reach out to for your SMS campaign.
Send compelling text messages
You can work with a creative writer to create attention-grabbing messages for you to send. The messages should have a uniform tone and language that fits your brand. The goal of these messages is to be able to connect with your ideal audience and resonate with them enough to elicit positive responses. You might experiment at first to understand which messages work best for your audience. Also, you may find you need to switch up your messages again in the future. It is unlikely that you will be able to stick with the same messages and keep the best results.
Choose a reliable SMS platform
There are several SMS platforms to choose from for your campaign. Some of the most common SMS campaign services at Twilio, Podium, and ActiveCampaign. Before choosing a platform, we recommend you spend some time evaluating your options and reviewing all of their features. Compare them with your requirements, buying persona, and campaign goals.
Create a messaging schedule and start texting
Once you have set everything up to start the campaign, it’s time to figure out when you will send the messages. Timing is essential; mistimed messages will not get you the desired results.
There are tons of digital marketing articles available online to help you determine the most optimal time to send your messages. Once you’ve decided on this, you can use your SMS platform to schedule your messages to go out automatically. After you have gathered enough data from the campaign, you can analyze it to find the best parameters to use and optimize them.
How to improve your real estate SMS marketing
Here are a few tips and strategies to incorporate into your SMS marketing to make it more successful and value-adding.
Include relevant information in your texts
When sending a text message, you must include all the relevant details of the property. These details will give your subscribers the information they need to consider the property.
Since the text messages provide relevant details about the property, the subscribers can quickly evaluate if they want more information. If your message invokes curiosity in the minds of the reader, it will encourage them to contact you for more comprehensive details of the property.
Provide prospects with listing information
People cannot keep up with the constant changes regarding property listings. Therefore, they can easily miss properties they would love to buy. Hence, sending them property listings over SMS is one of the best ways you can improve client satisfaction and acquisition.
When you have an updated or new listing for a property, you can use the bulk SMS option to inform interested parties. Once you receive responses, you can filter for high-quality leads and follow up with them.
Even if you don’t have success closing listings right away, the exposure through SMS will help you stay top-of-mind and will eventually be worth it when they need an agent.
Choose simple, effective keywords
Use keywords in your SMS marketing to simplify and automate most of your texting. Remember to make the keywords short, memorable, and unique to your real estate business. Specific keywords will help your audience opt-in to your text messages and get the details they need more easily.
For example, say you set up a keyword like “Home 01” for a particular property. Then, clients who text “Home 01” to the dedicated number will automatically get the property’s details.
You can set up keywords for property sizes, areas, listing prices, and more.
Use SMS to set meetings, appointments, and reminders
SMS is one of the best ways to remind clients about meetings and appointments. Getting clients to attend meetings is one of the biggest challenges that most real estate agents face. Most clients need a push to commit themselves to meetings or other appointments. Sending SMS to follow up can certainly improve your client acquisition rate. It will also help you improve your relationship with the clients.
Focus on providing value, not getting sales
Of course, any marketing is a means to get more sales and business. However, you first need to establish a good rapport with the clients. SMS marketing is one of the best ways to do so.
Use SMS to create a positive relationship with the client by sending valuable information about properties and clearing client concerns. As a result, clients will want to work with you.
Use SMS to promote open houses with details
One of the best ways to personally meet and interact with clients is to invite them over to open houses. However, the clients may not always be aware of open houses.
Incorporate SMS to inform the clients about the open houses in their preferred locations. This easy spread of information will provide plenty of options to interact with the clients in person and develop stronger relationships.
After you create worthwhile memories from your first messages, clients will be more than open to receiving your text messages and willing to work with you.
Gather data and insights to improve SMS marketing
You can improve client acquisition through SMS marketing by analyzing your campaigns. Most of the SMS marketing platforms that real estate businesses use have provisions to gather insights from the campaigns.
These insights will tell you how your campaigns perform, where you need to focus on more, and how you can improve them.
Based on the insights generated, you can change the campaign. For example, you can change the scheduling based on when people open and respond to your SMS messages.
Create a sense of urgency to ignite user actions
Psychology says that humans are more likely to act upon cues that have a sense of urgency. Urgency improves the product’s perceived value, and people want to buy it before it is gone forever. When sending SMS texts, create a sense of urgency with the message to entice the clients to respond more quickly.
This approach can work exceptionally well with open houses and listings. For instance, you can send an SMS stating that entry is limited for the open house and the showing is almost over. This message prompts the client to react quickly and book the entry.
Best practices to enhance SMS marketing
It’s necessary to design a thorough plan before starting SMS marketing. Here are some of the best practices you can follow to improve your client acquisition rate.
Get permission to send SMS to the users
Getting specific permission to send SMS is the most crucial part of your SMS campaign. Apart from legal requirements, this shows your integrity as a business. Sending messages to people without their consent will hurt your business.
You can use various techniques to encourage your potential clients to sign up or opt-in for your SMS marketing campaign—review permissions to filter out those who are no longer interested in your texts. Focus, instead, on those who are interested in receiving your SMS. As a result, your costs will reduce.
Create the best possible copy for SMS
The conciseness of text messages may be challenging for most real estate businesses. However, you want to create the best copy for your text message, as engagement depends on the content you send. Therefore, you must create multiple messages for the different messages you send. Choose the best content for your campaign based on your data when testing the copy.
Choose the right SMS marketing platform
Sending SMS requires a reliable and robust platform that can improve the efficiency of your campaign. Many SMS marketing platforms are available to send text messages to clients, gather insights, and improve overall efficiency. When choosing a platform, consider your requirements, your goals, and the platform features to make the best choice.
Combine SMS marketing with other channels
Combining SMS marketing with other marketing strategies is another way to acquire high-quality leads and grow your business. For example, after sending an email to your mailing list, you can send an SMS to alert the clients of the email. This extra notification will better the chances of clients opening and responding to emails.
Review and update your sending frequency
No one likes to get bombarded by text messages and information. It can even annoy a person actively looking to buy houses or invest in them. To avoid sending too many messages, review your text messaging frequency and revise it as needed. Figure out when people engage with your SMS the most and create an SMS-sending strategy based on your findings.
Double-check texts before sending
When you send a text message or any marketing communication on behalf of your business, there is a lot on the line: your business’s reputation, legitimacy, and trust. Making an avoidable mistake can significantly impact your company. Therefore, it’s beneficial to double-check everything before sending to make sure no mistakes have been made.
Ensure compliance with legal requirements
Every business has to comply with statutory requirements when it comes to SMS marketing. Compliance ensures you are conducting SMS marketing the right way and have permission from the people receiving your text messages.
Benefits of SMS marketing
While SMS marketing is one of the best tools to help you reach your marketing goals, many real estate agents find it hard to commit to using this strategy. If you are on the fence about using SMS marketing to grow your business, here are a few reasons why you should seriously consider it.
SMS marketing is highly affordable
Unlike most other means of marketing, SMS marketing is inexpensive. When you consider the ROIs, it is worth it. If you can combine your SMS marketing with other forms of marketing, you can drastically bring down the cost of acquisition.
SMS marketing is more personal
Although emails are often considered the best communication tool by default, they are not the most personal option. Most people prefer to receive personal communications. SMS enables the personal aspect and, in turn, improves the engagement rate.
SMS marketing has fewer roadblocks
According to DataProt, nearly 85% of emails are spam. The amount of SMS spam is way less, making SMS a more reliable means of business communication. And SMS doesn’t have to fight all of the spam filters that emails do.
SMS marketing provides faster responses
You need quick decisions, reactions, and responses in the real estate industry. The best and most sought-after listings get sold right away. Hence, response time is key in the industry, and SMS supports quickness. Once you send the text, the receiver can reply, and you can know the desired next actions in seconds.
SMS marketing allows for automated messages
The beauty of SMS marketing is that you do not have to type every text you send. Most business text messaging platforms now allow businesses to automate their messages. After you create the templates, the platform uses them to send the SMS. You can use custom SMS options based on the responses you receive.
SMS marketing can reach everyone
SMS campaigns reach everyone regardless of their age. Most people use smartphones now. SMS marketing will help introduce your business to younger and older generations.
Common SMS marketing mistakes to avoid
Although SMS marketing is easy to set up and execute, realtors still make mistakes that can lessen the campaign’s success. Before you start sending SMS to your customers and prospects, keep these mistakes in mind.
Sending unclear/long SMS
The beauty of SMS marketing is that the messages are short and on-point. When businesses send unclear, long messages to clients, they often ignore them or block the senders entirely. Keep your text messages concise for happy customers.
Failing to follow up
Everything you do with your SMS marketing is to get leads and convert them. A detailed follow-up process will help you get high-quality leads and convert them. Following up also prompts customers to do things they won’t do otherwise—like visiting an open house, attending an expo, etc.
Not having an opt-out option
Not everyone would want to get real estate SMS forever. People will eventually want to opt-out because they no longer need real estate tips or information for the foreseeable future. You want to keep happy customers, so inform them of the opt-out option. Filtering out the people who no longer want your SMS updates will help you focus on the engaged clients who you still have a chance to convert.
Relying on the same CTA for every SMS
Using the same CTAs in every text is mundane and uninspiring. Use your creativity and come up with enough variations to keep the client engaged and involved in the whole process.
Using slang, jargon, or abbreviations
As a realtor, you may understand the jargon and slang used in the real estate industry, but not everyone will. Keep your customers happy by keeping your messages easy to understand.
Indirect or passive communications
Marketing communications must be succinct regardless of the platform, service, and product. You need to address the issue right away to respect people’s time.
Be direct in your messages.
Why you should incorporate SMS marketing
Despite the growth of digital marketing across the board, SMS marketing has recently gained popularity in the real estate business.
Here are some SMS statistics on why you should incorporate SMS marketing.
- Nearly 98% of text messages are opened by their receivers, making it an excellent tool for creating awareness.
- Text messages are preferred by 62% of clients for receiving property information and other related details.
- When compared to call response rates, SMS response rates are 295% higher for most businesses.
- Text messages have higher chances of getting opened, and 90% are read within three minutes of receipt.
- The response rate of SMS marketing is 45%, while email marketing has a response rate of just 10%.
The bottom line
As a real estate business owner, you need to establish a close and valuable relationship with your customers. SMS marketing is an effective way to help you do so. SMS marketing can help you build and fortify client relationships while ensuring brand loyalty when utilized correctly and integrated into your existing omnichannel marketing strategy.