Unlocking The Power of SMS Marketing for Real Estate Agents

Sms,Messaging,Communication,Notification,Alert,Reminder,Sms,Thoughtful,Male,PersonIn the fast-paced world of real estate, effective and timely communication is key to your success in growing your business and client base. As technology evolves, real estate agents must adapt to new and efficient ways of engaging with clients. 

One of the most effective tools you have right in your pocket is SMS messaging, and it’s time to start using it for your business. 

Let’s face it, we’re texting every day. Our phones are almost always in our hands… if we’re not using it effectively to communicate with our clients we could be losing out on potential sales and the chance to find your clients their dream home. 

In this article, we are going to do a deep dive into the benefits of incorporating SMS marketing into your real estate communication and marketing strategies. 

We have put together a few recommended platforms, the pros and cons of setting up automations, legal considerations for messaging, appropriate scenarios for texting, examples of effective texts, and offer practical tips for getting started. 

Ready to start learning how to use SMS to grow your business?

Advantages of SMS Marketing as Your Best Channel of Communication

Woman,Using,Instant,Messaging,App,On,Mobile,PhoneThere are several reasons why SMS is a tool you need to have in your marketing, and one of the more fascinating statistics I’ve come across is that people prefer it. 

  • 91% of customers want to receive text messages from businesses (source).

I honestly didn’t expect that to be the case, because our phones can be such a distraction with constant notifications. 

But, if you make sure you are always delivering personal and important information your clients will likely be happy to receive a text from you. 

Advantages for you to consider:

1. Instant Communication:

SMS messaging provides real estate agents with a direct and instantaneous way to connect with your clients. Unlike emails or phone calls, which may go unnoticed or get sent to spam, text messages are more likely to be read promptly.

So you can trust that your hot new property is getting eyes on it, and your client can trust that you don’t skip a beat when it comes to communicating. 

2. Higher Open Rates:

Studies show that SMS messages have significantly higher open rates compared to emails, which leads to an increased likelihood of your clients engaging with their messages… ultimately leading to more business. 

  • Text messages have an average open rate of 98% (source).

3. Convenient for Clients:

Time is money, and this industry moves fast. I think we can all agree to that, and while we can all email from our phones now… emails get lost and buried. 

SMS is a convenient communication channel for clients who may prefer quick updates or alerts on their mobile devices. 

It also can cater to the on-the-go lifestyle of modern property buyers and sellers, just a quick tip to keep in mind who it will work best for. 

4. Personalization:

The most important element of your marketing is personalization. Always remember that. 

You are in an industry of helping people find their homes, whether they are investment properties or long term homes: It is a personal business.

SMS directly allows for personalized communication, enabling you to tailor your messages to individual clients. This personal touch can strengthen relationships and build trust for long term client retention.

Setting Up SMS Marketing Automations

Women,Hand,Using,Smartphone,Typing,,Chatting,Conversation,Working,Home,InAutomated text messaging is a huge time saver, and ensures that your clients won’t slip between the cracks.

Now that we know clients typically prefer texts, scheduling a few check-ins and updates ahead of time will help you save a lot of time when you have a ton of clients to keep track of. 

However, there are a few pros, cons to be aware of so that you continue to use this marketing tool effectively. Let’s go through a few.

Pros:

  • Time Efficiency: Automated SMS systems save time by handling routine tasks, which allows you to focus on more complex aspects of your work.
  • Consistency: Automation ensures consistent communication, preventing the risk of missing important updates or follow-ups. Clients truly appreciate this!
  • Scalability: As your client base grows, automation becomes crucial for managing a high volume of communications effectively.

Cons:

  • Lack of Personalization: This is the tricky part, and somewhat contradictory, but with automations it’s something to be extra cautious about. You don’t want to come across as a robot. 
    • Over-reliance on automation could potentially diminish your client-agent relationship if your not thoughtful ahead of time about setting your personal tone in messaging with relevance to why you are messaging at this moment.
  • Risk of Miscommunication: Automated messages might lack the nuance required for certain situations, leading to misinterpretation by clients. 
    • It could be beneficial to set aside time to review your automations once a week to ensure the information you have set up is still relevant.
  • Initial Setup Challenges: Setting up automation systems requires time and technical expertise, which can be challenging if you’re unfamiliar with the technology. But it’s worth learning! 

5 Platforms for SMS Messaging to Consider

Man,Sending,Text,Message,And,Sms,With,Smartphone.,Guy,TextingChoosing the right platform is crucial for successful SMS communication in real estate. There are several out there, we’ve done some homework for you to help break down things to look for in your platform when you’re ready to get started.

Here are five platforms to consider:

1. Twilio

Known for its versatility and reliability, Twilio offers robust SMS APIs, making it suitable for customized messaging solutions.

2. EZ Texting

EZ Texting is user-friendly and provides features like scheduled messages and keyword-based responses, ideal for real estate campaigns.

3. TextMagic

TextMagic offers a cost-effective solution with features such as two-way messaging and contact management, making it suitable for small to mid-sized agencies. It also integrates with Zapier. 

4. Textedly

Is a platform that offers scalability, making it an excellent choice for agents getting started knowing they will require an upgrade later. It also integrates with Zapier and Constant Contact

5. Follow Up Boss

A personal favorite, FUB offers advanced features such as 250+ integrations and the ability to organize your client lists for bulk messaging in one place. 

Legal Considerations for SMS Messaging

Happy,Bearded,African,Businessman,Using,Phone,While,Sitting,On,SofaWhile SMS messaging is a powerful tool, real estate agents must adhere to legal regulations when incorporating this marketing strategy into your calendar. 

Here is a great resource provided by EZtexting.com that could give you a more comprehensive look into the legalities, rules, and regulations to familiarize yourself with. 

In the meantime, below are three important rules/laws to make sure you are following:

1. Consent

Agents must obtain explicit consent from clients before sending promotional or informational messages. Consent can be acquired through opt-in forms on websites or in-person agreements.

2. Identify Yourself

Always include clear identification in your messages, stating your name and affiliation as a real estate agent. This helps build trust and ensures compliance with regulations.

3. Provide Opt-out Options

Include opt-out instructions in every message, allowing clients to unsubscribe from further communications. This is a legal requirement under anti-spam laws.

A Few Scenarios for When SMS Communication is Appropriate

Close,Up,Of,Women's,Hands,Holding,Cell,Telephone,With,BlankWe always want to make sure we are not pestering our clients, and that we are giving them relevant information that they will want to know about. 

And now you are aware of legal aspects, we do not want to come across as spam. That’s bad for so many reasons. So, there are specific times that are more appropriate to reach out than others. 

1. Appointment Reminders

Send SMS reminders for property showings, meetings, or other appointments to ensure clients are well-prepared and on time.

This one seems obvious and is almost always appreciated, but the key is to also make sure they are personal. 

“Hey Mike, looking forward to meeting with you to view [insert property type at “x” address tomorrow at “x” time.] I recently took another tour of the property, and think it’s a great match for you. Feel free to reach out before then if anything comes up or you have any questions ahead of time!” 

2. Status Updates

Keep clients informed about the status of their transactions, providing timely updates on negotiations, inspections, and closing processes.

It’s a very good practice to keep your clients in the loop as much as possible. Buying and renting is stressful, the more you communicate at this stage the more you can ebb those anxieties to best ensure a smooth process. 

3. Special Offers

If you’ve got a new listing, this is where you can create a bit of hype, and make your clients feel extra special. 

Examples of Effective Texts for Real Estate Agents

Woman,Using,Her,Mobile,Phone,In,The,Street,,Night,Light1. Appointment Reminder

“Hi Nick, this is [Your Name]. Just a reminder about our property viewing tomorrow at [Time]. Looking forward to showing you the potential dream home!”

“Hey Carla, looking forward to meeting with you to view [insert property type at “x” address tomorrow at “x” time.] I recently took another tour of the property, and think it’s a great match for you. Feel free to reach out before then if anything comes up or you have any questions ahead of time!” 

2. Status Update

“Hey Jill, amazing news! Your offer has been accepted. We’re moving forward with inspections. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. Exciting times ahead!”

“Hey Bob, just wanted to touch base… haven’t gotten a response yet, but I have a call scheduled with [agent at time]. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything.”

3. Exclusive Offer

“Hi Heather, as a valued client, I want to offer you an exclusive discount on closing costs to help you find the perfect match for your next home. Let’s discuss how we can make your deal even better!”

“Hi Nick, I just listed a gorgeous new property that aligns with what you are looking for. I wanted to reach out to you first to invite you to an exclusive open house to take a look and see what you think. [Insert time and place with a link to property.]

Tips for Getting Started with SMS Communication

Business,Process,Photo.,Account,Manager,Using,Mobile,Phone.,Typing,ContemporaryMost agents when they’re getting started didn’t realize marketing would play as big of a role as it does in their day to day, but as you know… it is crucial. 

Without marketing tools, you don’t have clients. It is vital to your business to stay up to date and aware of marketing trends that will help you grow your business, and SMS has proven to be one of the most effective. 

Assuming you do not have a degree in marketing, I can imagine, this aspect could be pretty overwhelming. But don’t worry, tackle it piece by piece. And as you know now, there are several platforms that will help you along the way. 

If you’re just getting started here are a few tips to help out:

1. Build Opt-In Lists

Encourage clients to opt-in for SMS communication through various channels, such as your website, social media, or in-person interactions. 

The more places you can make your opt-in obvious and incentivise in your language the better. Let people know it’s the fastest way to get tips in the market, and that you will do your best to keep them informed for their benefit. 

The larger your lists… the more potential to grow your business. 

2. Segment Your Audience

This is imperative. This is why I like Follow Up Boss, they have great tools to create clients lists so you can make sure the right info is getting to the right people. 

To do that you segment your client list/audience based on preferences and needs to send targeted and relevant messages.

Create a list of clients who have budgets in certain ranges. Create lists of previous clients to ask for referrals. Perhaps you have clients looking for vacation properties. 

Creating lists is how you elevate your marketing, and help prevent you from coming across as spam. 

3. Craft Engaging Messages

Create concise and compelling messages that capture attention and convey important information. 

You want people to feel engaged, and that they have a reason to open your message every time you send them. Incorporate questions, offer a meeting, or a fact that you know will help your clients wherever you can in your messaging. 

4. Monitor and Analyze

Data analysis is key in making sure you are staying relevant to your clients. 

Use the analytics tools provided by SMS platforms to monitor the performance of your messages and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

You want to be on the lookout for what your average open rates are, and you unsubscribe rates are. If something isn’t working, you can always change it up. So don’t stress too much! 

5. Train Your Team

If working in a team, ensure that all members are trained on the proper use of SMS messaging and adhere to legal guidelines. 

Marketing can be overwhelming, so it’s a great practice to give your team as much support as possible in training. If they feel confident in their marketing strategies, the more likely they are to use it effectively to increase business. 

In Summary

Embracing SMS messaging can empower your marketing efforts by enhancing communication, engaging clients effectively, and staying ahead in a competitive market. 

By understanding the benefits, exploring automation cautiously, complying with legal regulations, and leveraging the right platforms, you can transform your communication strategies and build lasting relationships with clients.

Sources

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 1/19/2024