Today’s real estate consumers expect lightning-fast responses, and in my experience providing that as an agent can mean more conversions, more sales and most importantly, stronger long-term customer relationships. Texting can offer busy agents and real estate pros a quick and easy way to provide these immediate responses, without taking up too much time or bogging down their workload. And my own experience is the proof.
Lessons Learned Through 100,000 Texts
I’ve sent more than 100,000 text messages as a part of my lead-nurturing and professional relationship-building efforts, and what I’ve found is that texting is one of the most valuable tools in our marketing arsenals — but its efficacy isn’t just about speed or response time.
It also provides a relationship-building opportunity. Agents who use those texts to not just send listings or facilitate showings, but also to talk with their clients, ask them questions and learn more about them, can see serious long-term loyalty (not to mention referrals) as a result.
I consider texting my secret weapon, and any good agent should, too. It’s like Thor’s hammer, Wonder Woman’s lasso and Spiderman’s web shooters all rolled into one. When used right, it can be what sets you apart from the pack — what no other agent can mimic and take away from you. After all, those text conversations are unique to you, your customers and the strong relationships you’ve built as a result. No other agent can touch that, no matter how big their ad budget is or how deep their experience may be.
Here are some more lessons I learned on my way to 100,000:
Texting is a two-way street.
You might be using texting as a marketing and lead-nurturing tool, but it shouldn’t feel that way to the client. The best approach to client relationships is to treat them like your personal ones. That sentiment applies to text message communications, too.
You wouldn’t text your new co-worker 12 times about your upcoming art show without any prompting, or barrage your old college roommate with 20 texts over two days with no response, right? The same goes for texting your clients. Engage in conversations, ask them questions and text them about the things they care about. That’s how you ensure a good response rate (and a good response in general).
It’s okay to have typos. In fact, you should make some on purpose.
By nature, texts are sent quickly and on the fly, so typos are expected — yes, even in the business world. At their most basic, typos can make you more relatable. They humanize you and make you seem more authentic, more real and more approachable to your customers. On top of that, they also prove you’re not a bot (a legitimate worry nowadays) and could instantly improve your response rate.
Also, make sure to throw in a few emojis here and there to really paint a visual picture. In today’s climate, you’ll come off even more authentic as a result.
Timing matters — a lot.
There are two sides to the timing coin. At the start of a customer relationship, it’s about adhering to the statistically proven top response times. Accepted marketing wisdom is that the best days to make contact are Wednesdays and Thursdays, and time-wise, between 4 and 5 p.m. is your safest bet. When just connecting with a client, adhere to these time frames for best results.
Once you’re further into the relationship, though, these time frames don’t matter so much. What does matter? That’s context. Think about it: Your friends text you any time day or night, but it’s always about something you care about, something you’ve discussed before or some experience you share. Carry that approach through to your professional texting, too. Enter the conversation that’s already in their mind.
On July 4, don’t ask them to come to a consultation or go sign the paperwork you just sent over. Check in and ask for a photo of the fireworks they’re watching, or better yet, send them info about a great fireworks show in their area. Make it personal, and make sure it resonates.
It can improve your other communication channels.
Text messages shouldn’t replace your other forms of client communications, but should instead be used to amplify them. Use texts to follow up on past emails or facilitate meetings or phone calls. You can also use it to speed up important conversations or improve efficiency throughout the buying or selling process.
The next time you need that e-file filled out ASAP or want to go over a counteroffer or other contract detail, follow up your email or voicemail with a quick text. Just be sure to include a thumbs-up or winking-face emoji to keep things light-hearted.
The Rules Of The Road
Keep in mind that there are many options for tools to help you automate your personalized texting efforts, as well as templates to guide you in formatting your messages. Be prepared to adhere to the rules of texting, too: Use emojis, keep it short and sweet and be human. Even using common abbreviations like plz, thx, smh and LOL can be great ways to add a human touch.