The housing market is a very competitive industry. It takes a special talent to excel in real estate. Real estate agents are conventionally thought of as people who simply act as a middleman in a property purchase transaction. Realtors nowadays are not limited strictly to a single role. Their job can range from a negotiator to a guide and all the way to a salesperson. However, their responsibilities do not end there.
In the modern world, marketing has become an integral part of any realtors business strategy. Even though it adds to the ever-growing pile of tasks, it is essential in creating and maintaining a successful business environment.
One marketing channel that we are going to discuss that can prove beneficial for real estate agents is text marketing.
What is Text Marketing?
First things first, before we can delve deeper into the subject, let’s establish what text marketing is. Text marketing—also known as SMS marketing—is the use of the Short Message Service channel to send promotional text messages to customers on their mobile devices.
Text Marketing Benefits
Regardless of business type and industry, text marketing has pretty incredible benefits that make it a must-use marketing channel. Let’s do a roundup of its key benefits:
Marketing can get expensive pretty fast. It is what discourages a lot of people not to use marketing in the first place. However, that is absolutely not the case with text marketing. It ranks among the cheapest marketing channels, yet manages to be just as effective. When marketing budget is of concern, this is the one reliable channel that you can turn to use.
With text marketing, all you can expect is efficiency. Among all communication channels, SMS has the highest open rate, the highest conversion rate, and the highest response rate. If you are wondering how it compares to email, let’s just say the competition is not even close. SMS is multiple times more effective than email, not to mention you do not run the risk of your message being ignored by the recipient when you send it as an SMS message as opposed to email.
Text messages in practice can reach just about anyone in the world, regardless of distance and location. This is a huge benefit of text marketing, as your marketing efforts can reach a larger audience, thus increasing the number of leads you can generate. Another thing that factors into reachability is that text marketing does not require an internet connection. So just about anyone with a cellular connection on their phone can be a target of your text marketing campaign.
Text Marketing for Real Estate Agents
So far we have discussed what text marketing is and what benefits it brings to the table. Now let’s see how real estate agents can benefit from using text marketing.
Realtors are aware of how time-sensitive their business can be at times. Sometimes they may have a hot new listing disappear simply because they could not communicate with a buyer or a client on time, therefore losing out on a potential sale.
While email and phone calls are important, when immediacy is a priority, text messages are the go-to channel to communicate information as quickly as possible.
Texting is the most popular form of communication nowadays and, as a result, is the most demanded one by customers as well. In fact, there are some notable facts supporting this claim.
- 78% of consumers prefer text communication with businesses
- One-third of Americans prefer receiving texts to phone calls. Here are some statistics that further showcase how valuable text marketing can be for agents in the real estate industry.
- 62% of all home buyers prefer to receive property info from their agents via a text message (National Association of Realtors, 2017).
- Text messages lead to higher response rates than emails, 45% and 11% respectively (Pew Research Center).
The facts are clear—text marketing is the easiest way to reach people and generate new leads. But we have not even got to the best part yet.
According to a survey conducted by the California Association of Realtors, only 5% of realtors use text messaging as a form of communication. What this means is that incorporating text marketing can give you a competitive edge over the majority of competitors, by a huge margin at that.
So with everything that has been said, the question of how to get started with text marketing looms at large. Text marketing is neither too easy nor too hard, so do not be overwhelmed by it. As a real estate agent, here are quite a few things you need to be aware of when starting your own text marketing campaign.
These are short numbers intended for text message communication. You absolutely need to have one to be able to send text messages to customers and receive responses.
Keywords are designated words (set by you) that customers send to your short code in order to opt into your campaign. Keywords can be used for other purposes as well, like providing more information (automatically) to the customer in the event someone texts that particular keyword.
Sometimes it is impossible to be available 24/7 as a realtor and ideally, you would not want to miss out on a potential deal or a client because you were not active at the time. Autoresponders solve this issue by automatically replying to customer queries and questions before you can personally address them.
Text marketing is also an ideal channel for data collection purposes. You can request more information from your clients using SMS and store the data for future use. This helps build a database of potential leads that can turn into deals in the future. It’s also a more casual way to stay top of mind and build a sphere of influence with possible future clients.
Text marketing is an effective marketing channel that is heavily underutilized by real estate agents. Considering its many benefits, it makes little to no sense not to use this channel and gain an advantage over the competition.