Text messages are poised as the most preferred mode of communication for the next generation of home buyers and sellers. When you consider the fact that 96% of Americans own a mobile phone, it's certainly no surprise.
Even more importantly, 78% of the latest adult generation want to receive text messages from businesses. The real estate industry isn’t any different.
As a real estate agent, you stand to double your listings just by adding text messages into your marketing strategy.
Ben Curry, a member of our team, listed this house using a text message.
How it Happened
So how did something as simple as a text seal the deal on this gorgeous home? First of all, Ben focused his listing tactics on giving away his books to old expireds, new expireds, and FSBOs.
At one point, he was trying to get in touch with a new expired who was living in Chicago. It was a good listing, so he mailed her marketing materials but didn’t hear back from her.
He decided to follow up with a call that went unanswered. He tried a couple more times, but the result was the same. He left her messages, but he still never heard back from her.
Eventually, he decided to change tactics and instead sent her a text message. The text message said the same thing he said in his phone calls.
"Hi, this is Ben Curry. I'm a Realtor here in Jacksonville, and I saw you had your home in Orange Park for sale with another Realtor, and it didn't sell. I've got a couple different ideas on some things that could be done differently to get more buyers interested in your home and get it sold."
Five minutes later, he got a response!
He managed to conduct a phone appointment a few days later and was able to list the house.
What's the moral here? Clearly, calling the seller wasn’t yielding Ben any results. Yes, he sent her his marketing materials. Yes, he did a phone follow-up soon enough. But still, nothing happened! What really got through to her was sending the text message.
Here’s the thing. People don’t like talking with random people, and when they fear it’s a sales call, they would rather ignore it.
However, a text message that offers value will take just a few seconds to read and elicit a response. A text message is a great way to engage a client, and then you can transition the conversation into a phone call.
Ben’s seller happened to be a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy. That means she's likely a busy person with no time to jump on a call with a stranger. Sending the text broke through all the clutter and got her to respond and give Ben the listing.
A text will either get the conversation started or end it. But you will have closure either way.
So, what do you say when you text a customer?
Here’s a sample text message that you can use:
First text: Hey, is this (Customer’s First Name)?
They usually reply “Yes” or “Who is this?”
Second text: My name is (Your First Name). I’m a Realtor. I saw you had your home for sale, and it didn’t sell. I have a couple of different ideas on some things that can be done differently with the marketing to get more buyers interested in your home and get it sold. Are you still interested in selling your home?
They usually reply “Can you send me more info?” or “I’m not interested” or “I’m not selling anymore.”
Depending on the answer you get, you can carry on with the conversation and request an appointment or end the conversation.
How to Use Text To Follow Up
Here are all the ways you can use text to follow up.
1. Lead generation
Ben’s success story is a great example of how text messages can get you new real estate leads. Whether you’re targeting new leads, referrals or even old clients, touching base with a customer using a quick professional text message is an opportunity to get more customers.
2. Boost open house attendance
Sending a quick “Come see the house this Friday!” text message to your leads can be a fun way to entice clients to attend your open house. You could even attach photos or a link to your web photos along with the text to get them more excited and boost attendance.
3. Send instant price change alerts
Buyers are always looking for a chance to buy a house at the lowest price possible, so nothing will make them happier than to know a house they were interested in has had a price drop. Sending a text message alerting buyers to a price drop will give them a chance to act quickly and give them the nudge they need to close the deal as soon as possible.
4. Send property listing updates
Some clients may want to know every time you have a new listing that meets their needs. Save yourself money and time by using text messages to update them about new listings. However, make sure you first get their approval to be sending them updates because you don’t want to be a nuisance.
Use Your Books to Your Advantage.
Your books will get your foot in the door. Texting your customers will get you a listing appointment, but you're still going to have to show them why you're different — why you're better than your competition.
A really good way to do this is by sending them your books, if you haven’t already. Books have a huge perceived value. They may not read the book immediately, but they will rarely throw it away.