Real Estate Text Message Marketing
What has a 90% open rate and no longer needs two thumbs?
💬 this guy
Yes we’re referring to text messages…and with modern text marketing tools, your thumbs are no longer be required!
In this post we’ll get into the top text marketing tools for real estate agents and we’ll also cover how text messaging has clear advantages over other marketing mediums (cold calling lovers, you’ve been warned).
Unless you’ve been living under a rock OR you’re behind on paying your mobile plan, you know that text marketing is gaining momentum and we’ll be diving in across these topics:
- Key Advantages to Text Marketing
- Effective Use Cases for Text Marketing
- Top Text Message Marketing Tools for Real Estate
- Popular Features Texting Services and Apps
- Compliance with Laws and Regulations
Key Advantages to Text Marketing
Diving in deeper on the thumbs joke earlier, the key advantages of real estate text message are the following:
- Higher Open Rates: Text messages boast an exceptionally high open rate, often cited around 98%, compared to emails. This ensures that a larger percentage of your audience actually reads your message.
- Immediate Delivery and Response: SMS messages are typically read within minutes of being received. This immediacy, compared to emails which may sit unread in an inbox for hours or days, allows for quicker engagement and response from the recipient.
- Personal and Direct Communication: Text messages provide a more personal and direct line of communication. Unlike emails that get lost among numerous other messages, a text message is more likely to be perceived as a direct conversation.
- Higher Engagement Rates: SMS marketing tends to have higher engagement rates than emails or cold calls. People are more likely to interact with a text message, whether it’s clicking on a link, replying, or following a call-to-action.
- Less Intrusive Than Cold Calls: Unlike cold calls, which can interrupt and annoy potential customers, text messages allow recipients to read and respond at their convenience. This non-intrusive nature respects the recipient’s space and time, leading to a more positive reception.
For real estate agents these benefits can translate into an incredibly effective tool for a variety of campaigns which we covered extensively in the next section.
In an industry where timing can be critical, text messages ensure that vital information is shared with minimal delay through a medium they are very likely to engage with.
Suffice it to say, adopting this approach could help revamp your marketing approach and foster stronger relationships with your database.
Effective Use Cases for Text Marketing
Let’s delve deeper and look at some outstanding use cases for real estate text message marketing. This is pivotal because not every campaign will be relevant for every agent or team. Plus overdoing it when it comes to text marketing can be a major turnoff for your prospects/clients. .
Here’s an extensive list of types of text messaging campaigns for agents:
- Automated SMS Drip Campaigns: Implementing drip campaigns helps agents stay in touch with clients over time. For instance, after a client visits an open house, an automated series of texts can provide additional property details, schedule follow-up appointments, or offer related listings.
- Timely Listing Activity: Real estate agents can use SMS to announce new listings OR properties that are “coming soon” which can be highly valuable for buyers. For seller prospects, news on a recent sale can also be helpful info to keep them engaged and let them know that you’re tuned into the market.
- Mass Text Messaging: Mass texting should be used carefully and only within local and mobile carriers rules, but they can be highly engaging and valuable for recipients. For example, agents can send updates to their entire client list within a region about a community event.
- SMS Keyword Campaign: Real estate agents can grow their client base by using SMS keywords. For instance, advertising “Text HOME to 12345 for the latest listings in your area” can be an effective way to gather new contacts interested in buying or selling properties.
- Run Contests, Giveaways, and Sweepstakes: Agents can increase engagement and grow their contact list by organizing contests where participants can text a keyword to enter. For example, “Text WIN to 12345 for a chance to win a free home valuation.”
- Get Opt-In from Live Chat on Website or Facebook Messenger: Using chatbots on their website or via Facebook messenger campaigns, agents can encourage visitors to sign up for SMS updates on new listings, market insights, or home-buying tips, turning their website into a dynamic lead generation tool.
- Send Clients Status Updates during a transaction: SMS is perfect for sending quick updates about the status of a transaction especially notifications about documentation and other items that require something from the recipient.
The goal is always to provide value and stay relevant. By incorporating these approaches when they make sense, your real estate text message marketing campaign can reach new heights.
Top Text Message Marketing Tools for Real Estate
- Primary Attributes: Known for its user-friendly interface and discreet mass texting capability.
- Features: Allows sending texts to multiple recipients simultaneously without revealing that it’s a group message. Offers unlimited texting for a flat monthly fee.
- Ideal for: Small businesses or individual professionals, particularly in real estate, who need an affordable, straightforward solution for reaching multiple clients efficiently
- Key Characteristics: Lauded for its functionality and efficiency in mass texting.
- Functionality: Provides personalized group messaging where each recipient feels they are receiving an individual message.
- Best Suited for: Businesses and professionals who need to send bulk messages but want to maintain a personal touch, making it useful for client engagement in various sectors.
- Specialization: Focuses on SMS marketing solutions for businesses.
- Key Features: Offers tools for mass texting, MMS, keyword responses, and text-for-info services, alongside robust analytics.
- Recommended for: Realtors, Teams and organizations that require a flexible and feature-rich platform for engaging with prospects through text messaging.
- Core Offering: A cloud communications platform that provides a variety of communication solutions including SMS.
- Functionality: Known for its powerful API that allows for integration with various systems, supporting a wide range of communication features beyond just SMS.
- Ideal for: Tech-savvy businesses and developers looking for a customizable and scalable solution to integrate SMS services into their existing applications or workflows.
- Known For: A well-established platform in digital marketing, Constant Contact offers solutions that include text message marketing. While traditionally known for email marketing, their expansion into SMS provides a comprehensive approach for realtors.
- Ideal For: Real estate professionals seeking an integrated marketing approach combining email and text messaging.
- Description: Textedly simplifies the process of setting up campaigns and sending real estate text messages, promising ease of use and efficiency in communication.
- Suited For: Agents and realtors looking for a straightforward and user-friendly platform for text message campaigns in real estate.
- Features: Includes mass texting, scheduled messages, auto-replies, and detailed analytics. Often praised for its simplicity and effectiveness.
- Description: Lead Sherpa is a platform specifically designed for real estate investors, focusing on skip tracing and SMS marketing. It aims to increase deal volume and close rates for its users. The platform offers features like compliant SMS for reaching out to potential sellers, skip tracing to get up-to-date contact information, and PropStack for consolidating lists and targeting motivated sellers. Lead Sherpa positions itself as a tool to reduce administrative tasks, allowing real estate professionals to focus more on growing their business.
- Suited For: Real estate investors
- Primary Focus: Traditionally known for email marketing, Mailchimp has expanded to include SMS marketing capabilities.
- Features: Integrates SMS with email campaigns, offering a multi-channel marketing approach. Provides tools for audience segmentation, personalized messaging, and automated campaigns.
- Ideal for: Businesses looking for a comprehensive marketing platform that combines email and SMS strategies, particularly useful for real estate agents who want to maintain consistent communication with their client base.
- Specialization: A cloud-based service that offers SMS, email, voice, and a range of other communication services.
- Key Features: Robust SMS gateway, MMS capabilities, and direct routes for quick message delivery. Also includes features like SMS scheduling, two-way messaging, and detailed reporting.
- Best Suited for: Organizations requiring a versatile and reliable platform for bulk SMS campaigns, including real estate agencies needing to communicate efficiently with clients and leads.
Lofty (fka Chime)
- Nature: Primarily a real estate CRM system that also includes marketing tools.
- Functionality: Offers SMS marketing as part of a broader suite of tools designed for real estate professionals, including lead generation, client management, and workflow automation.
- Target Audience: Real estate professionals seeking an all-in-one CRM solution with integrated text marketing capabilities for streamlined client interactions.
- Focus: Specializes in lead engagement and nurturing through various communication channels, including SMS.
- Features: Automated text responses, lead capture, and integration with major real estate platforms. Provides detailed analytics for tracking engagement and campaign effectiveness.
- Ideal for: Real estate agents and teams focusing on lead nurturing and engagement, who need automated, intelligent SMS responses to interact with clients.
And we didn’t cover this extensively in the list above but many CRM systems can offer built-in texting capabilities to streamline and manage your SMS efforts and create a “one stop shop” solution. There are a handful of robust real estate CRM solutions out there that support SMS right out of the box – our guide to real estate CRMs is a good resource to find the right fit.
Still, plenty of agents and teams opt for a more dedicated text marketing solution. Here are some points to consider when evaluating a dedicated solution vs using the bundled text marketing functionality in your CRM:
- The benefits of a streamlined “all in one” CRM + communication system VS the specialized functionality that a dedicates solution gives you. Are there feature gaps in your CRM’s functionality?
- The interoperability between a dedicated solution and your CRM. If there’s no integration, that’s probably a deal breaker.
- …and then weighing if the additional cost of a dedicated solution is worth it
…and remember that software gets new features all the time so review your options periodically.
Popular Features Texting Services and Apps
Marketing software has become a very crowded space and end-users tend to benefit by this competition. Prices are pretty reasonable for most services out there and there’s a HUGE variety of features out there.
Still, when it comes to real estate text message marketing there are a few features that are critical:
- Personalization: Tailoring messages to individual recipients or use-cases usually via merge tags.
- Automation Capabilities: Scheduling messages and automated response sequences based on customer actions.
- CRM System Integration: Streamlining customer data and communication management.
- Analytics and Reporting: Insights on campaign effectiveness including metrics on open rates and customer engagement.
- Pre-built messaging templates: Ability to pick from canned text drips messages for a variety of real estate specific use cases.
- User-Friendly Interface: Ensuring ease of use in campaign creation and management.
Once these features are met, then more obscure use cases (ex: asking for a Google Business Review after a deal is closed) can be prioritized.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations
Prior to launching any text campaign, real estate agents need to be aware of the regulations surrounding SMS marketing.
With robocalls and robotexts becoming a massive consumer nuisance, the entire stack of services that sit between a consumer and marketers has been the subject of regulatory scrutiny. This means that carriers (ex: Verizon) are making sure SMS providers (ex: Twilio) are following the rules. Which means, in turn, providers like Twilio are enforcing requirements like A2P compliance and explicit customer consent onto the businesses and marketers that use the SMS services.
All of this compliance adds some overhead to agents starting out with a text message marketing campaigns but it’s part of the process now.
Here are some guardrails to watch out for:
– A2P Compliance: Legally approved application-to-person marketing strategy
– Customer Consent: The definitive prerequisite to initiate real estate text message marketing
– Opt-Out Mechanisms: Essential component that ensures client’s liberty to exit the marketing campaign as desired.
But regulations aside, agents should veer far away from any text marketing behavior that could be perceived as intrusive by recipients because the consequences to the agent’s brand.
Marketing automation integrated with SMS drip campaigns is an excellent tool for keeping prospects and clients “dialed in”. The beauty of text messaging lies in its personalization and relevance, which keeps the recipients highly absorbed. However, remember not to abuse the privilege. Not only will it be ineffective, but it can damage your brand. When designing text campaigns think first about providing real value to your recipients.