The Definitive Real Estate SMS Marketing Guide for Realtors

🕒 12 min.

Different business industries rely on various marketing practices to boost their overall results. Since the internet appeared, marketing has changed in so many ways. First of all, businesses now have many more marketing channels to choose from. 

On the other hand, digital marketing has made advertisement affordable and available for companies of different sizes. It’s become such a standard that most companies have forgotten about more traditional marketing techniques and how effective they can be. 

SMS marketing might sound like something outdated, but 39% of companies still use it. More importantly, they use it with great success. Today, we will talk about the potential for SMS marketing in real estate and how you can use it to your advantage. 

How Realtors Use Texting

Before we get to how real estate can utilize SMS marketing, let’s look at how this industry uses texts. Before starting, you should know that real estate is about establishing meaningful connections with clients and managing those relationships effectively.

One of the best ways to create strong relationships is through communication. Sadly, we live in a fast-paced world, and people don’t always have the time to meet up and talk about important things. In a lot of cases, this communication takes place from a distance. 

how realtors use texting

That’s why a broker or real estate agent will commonly use texts to: 

  • Do their lead follow-ups;
  • To send words or phrases to customers so that customers can use them to get more information about some property;
  • Send automated texts to potential leads;
  • Organize meetings, tours, and talks about important issues;
  • Send information about a property. 

One of the reasons why so many realtors use texts to do these things is because their customers want them to. Research shows that 62% of buyers prefer getting property-related information via text instead of calling or emailing

Benefits of using SMS marketing for real estate

When the subject is marketing, most business owners want to know the benefits, and that’s completely normal. After all, we all want to get the loudest bang for our buck. Text message marketing has a wide range of benefits in real estate, and here are some of them. 

Increased reach 

Reaching customers is very important in real estate. Sometimes it’s crucial to deliver information within a certain time frame to close a deal. SMS marketing lets realtors provide time-sensitive information like updates, appointment reminders, price drops, or other buyers giving up on a purchase. 

High chances of being opened 

You might think that SMS marketing is outdated, but you probably also open all your text messages on time. Texts aren’t flashy or trendy, and we take them for granted but use them often, even with all the digital chatting options. 

In fact, 98% of texts are opened, meaning that your message will get delivered and read by recipients. This number is much higher than the email open rate. 

People want to get texts 

As we’ve mentioned earlier, real estate customers prefer SMS notifications. They don’t want their privacy invaded or to be annoyed by realtors. Texts are an excellent way to send out vital information in a non-intrusive manner. 

SMS marketing is affordable 

SMS marketing is cheaper compared to some more popular marketing techniques. With a single weekly campaign for a list of around 10k recipients, companies can expect to pay about $500 per month for their SMS marketing campaign. It’s much cheaper than other options, especially if using bulk SMS. 

Always available 

As you might know, SMS communication doesn’t require the internet, so you can consistently deliver your messages no matter where your customers might be. Everyone has a mobile phone today with exceptional network coverage. 

When should real estate companies use SMS marketing?

It’s never been easier for companies to reach customers with multiple marketing channels, but at the same time, it’s never been more challenging to reach people. Why? The answer is simple – marketing channels are oversaturated. 

In other words, emails only have an open rate of around 20% because people receive so many messages and advertisements via this channel. Real estate companies should try investing in SMS marketing when other channels aren’t working.

However, you don’t have to wait for this to happen, and you can be proactive and diversify your marketing strategies early on. Companies looking to boost response rates, improve lead generation, find potential buyers, and keep it in front of their client base should also consider SMS marketing.

There isn’t much competition on this channel, making it easier to reach customers and get them to engage with your business. Numbers show that only around 5% of real estate companies communicate with their customers using promotional SMS messages

It’s an excellent opportunity to try something new and solidify your business before others start using this same strategy. On top of that, this makes it easy to stand out from the crowd and make potential customers remember the name of your real estate business. 

Use cases of SMS marketing for real estate

SMS marketing might seem straightforward, but there are many different things you can use it for. We touched on a couple of different uses earlier, but you can do much more. Here are some ideas to consider: 

Use cases of SMS marketing for real estate

Share property listings 

Sharing listings is one of the most common uses for SMS marketing. People looking for a new apartment or house understand that good deals can quickly slip out of their hands. On the other hand, these people can’t stay on top of all listings constantly. 

With bulk SMS, you can quickly send texts to all interested parties. Real estate companies can also include images by sending MMS messages, sending short video tours, and sharing vital information with potential buyers. 

Engage cold leads 

Cold leads are those people that have never actually engaged with your business. Just because they went cold doesn’t mean they can’t be valuable. In fact, this group of people is an excellent target for an SMS campaign to find new potential customers. 

SMS messages are a perfect way to “warm up” those leads. Companies often ask them if they are still looking for a property, where they found something they like, or how they can help those people.

Send updates and reminders 

Real estate companies managing property can use bulk SMS sending to quickly update all the tenants and share the latest news with them. You can use SMS marketing to remind people of the bills they owe, maintenance, events, etc. 

How to do it 

There are four general steps to take when setting up your campaign. 

Determine your target audience 

Like any other marketing approach, you will have to target the right people by creating a buyer persona. The ideal buyer persona defines what your ideal customer looks like. Consider things like age, location, gender, income, and other interests – research who the people with the most interest in your services are

Get their phone numbers 

Use various marketing strategies to get people to give you their phone numbers. You can do this through email, ads, forms, etc. Build your list of potential customers that you’ll target in the future. 

Work on your writing 

Messages need to be edited and proofread. Find an ideal language and tone to which your target audience will respond. Instead of using empty jargon, give actionable solutions and offer relatable information to recipients. 

Check our article on how to write the perfect real estate SMS Marketing text for more info.

Find an SMS platform and create a messaging schedule 

An SMS marketing platform gives you many features to make your campaigns more effective. These platforms offer automation, bulk messaging, personalization, metrics tracking, testing features, etc. 

Once you’ve done that, figure out the time of day you want to send your messages. People respond differently to messages depending on when they receive them. 

How to create your messages with Instasent 

Instasent is a top-rated SMS platform with an intuitive interface and is really easy to use.  Since many companies rely on this platform, we’ve decided to use it as an example of how you can create messages easily. 

For example, you could use the Instasent bulk SMS to inform all potential customers about a new listing to engage them to check out your offer. To do this, follow these steps: 

  1. Register and verify your account.
  2. Go to “Send SMS.” 
  3. Click on “Send Bulk SMS.”  
  4. Add a title of your campaign, numbers, contacts, and select a country.
  5. Add your business name. 
  6. Write the text message without text limits. 
  7. Check the preview before sending the message. 

When doing this, make sure to personalize texts and consider including specific listings that those prospects might be interested in. At the same time, include a general invite to your listings page. For example: 

Hello (prospect name), we hope you’re doing great. Here are some of our many new home listings you might be interested in: 

  • Listing 1 
  • Listing 2
  • Listing 3 

 Still looking? Check out our websites to see our full offer. Have a good day (company name)! 

Here is an SMS example when looking to get more details from potential sellers: 

Hi (prospect name), there are a handful of people looking to buy a property in your area. Are you still selling your house? Call me for more details. 

Tips to get results

There are many ways you can polish and fine-tune your messaging campaign. Every company makes ongoing changes to its strategies to get the best results possible. It takes time to try different things and test between approaches before you understand what works best and why. 

However, there are some general tips or rules that you can always rely on to boost your texting efforts. Here’s what you need to do: 

Provide value and relevance

Real estate agents need to build trust with buyers. If you want to make sure people open and reply to your message, send them valuable information about a specific project. Give them market updates, schedules, send quick notifications, inform them about opportunities, etc. 

Don’t bother people with irrelevant things. Keep in mind that buyers want to see action and get closer to deals they have an interest in. If you can’t provide this chances are they won’t respond to your messages. Send texts when you have something concrete on the table. 

Don’t call unless necessary 

Lots of real estate agents are used to being on the phone. They project this habit onto their clients, but clients aren’t always too fond of talking on the phone. So before making that call, make sure to send a message first. 

Always ask over a text whether it’s ok to call and what’s the best time for them. Only resort to calls if there’s something important you want to share with your clients that you can’t explain in 160 characters. 

Use templates 

Realtors have several different types of messages they send to clients. These messages can be to thank someone, invite people for a tour, provide updates, information about a property, etc. It’s a good idea to create general templates for each of these categories

You can do this after a while once you see which types of texts you are sending the most. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be sending the same text to everyone. You can use any SMS platform to quickly personalize a message while saving time in the process. 

Avoid talking about important details using SMS 

Using SMS constantly might turn into a bad habit. Even though you should make the most out of text messages, there is the right place and time for them. When you are discussing important details like price changes, market fluctuations, prices, and negotiations, you should always talk in person or over the phone. 

Clients might not understand the importance of these things when they read them on their phones. Instead, make sure to call a meeting or have a phone call so that you can talk about all of the intricate complexities.  

Keep your SMSs short 

Just because there’s a good chance people will open your text messages doesn’t mean they will read them and act. If you want this to happen, you will have to make your messages short and easy to read. 

Work on writing messages to get your point across as quickly as possible. Recipients can scan and probably even respond to messages before they lose interest. 

Try to engage people on a personal level 

Sending automated texts is a good thing in terms of output, but you have to make it personal if you want to engage recipients. Address recipients by their name, talk about their location, interest, or anything else you know about them to make a meaningful connection. 

Work on your clarity 

Just because a message is short doesn’t mean it’s clear. Be direct and use simple words that deliver the point without any doubts – you can use common message templates if you’re not sure how to keep things concise. Make it clear what you’re promoting, how you can help customers, and what they can do to make their lives easier. 

Pitfalls to avoid

Now that we’ve talked about some of the things you should do, let’s see some of the common mistakes you should avoid. Knowing these mistakes will make it easier to recognize and avoid them during your campaign. 

  • Sending unfinished texts;
  • Spamming random people that haven’t given you their phone numbers;
  • Not including an opt-out in your texts;
  • Including broken links in your messages;
  • Disrespecting recipients. 

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These are some of the essentials you should know about SMS marketing. If you feel that it is a bit too much for your business to handle on its own, consider hiring a marketing agency that can help you tailor your SMS campaign for you. 

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