If you’re an estate agent who isn’t using SMS to increase their database of buyers and sellers, then you’re an estate agent who isn’t maximising their clients’ phone numbers. A mobile number is something your purchasers and sellers are quite happy to share with you, and this voluntary opt-in can be invaluable when it comes to getting an edge in a competitive market. Using this information, you can create effective and affordable marketing campaigns, whether you’re alerting your clients to a change of price or promoting a particular property.
Create an edge with exceptional customer experience
Let’s start with shortcodes, the 5 digit numbers that can be used as a way for potential customers to contact you, particularly when paired with a dedicated keyword. Use your shortcode on all your publicity materials, including property signs and house details, as a way of inducing interested customers to text and opt-in for more details.
Now make sure that all your properties carry a unique keyword and encourage prospective clients to text you for further details. You’ll grow your database whilst also providing customers with details in a quick and convenient manner that they can carry around on their phone for easy access at all times. For example, if a prospective buyer texts DESRES1 to 87007 they’ll receive a link to the details for that property, and you’ll receive a notification of their mobile number allowing you to get proactive and call to arrange a viewing.
For the estate agent, not having to print out details is a real cost saving and for the house hunter it means that automated details are accessible 24/7. Better yet, you could also link to a 360 tour of the property or other additional information like floor plans, EPC details and a push-to-dial number to contact you directly.
You can also use SMS to inform buyers when there are open days that might be of interest, or if a new property comes on the market that suits their requirements. Giving your clients a heads up on the final properties being released in a favoured development, or the availability of a buy to let investment opportunity will quickly earn you a reputation as an agent who goes the extra mile for their clients.
Keeping your mobile buyers better informed
With mobile now the search method of choice, and with 48% of users never turning off their phones, SMS has become the preferred method of communication for the ‘always on’ generation. It’s also the preferred channel for customer support, making it an ideal way for you to communicate with your buyers and keep them informed on the progress of their house hunt or their purchase.
And with 98% of all text messages opened within 5 seconds, SMS is the fast and efficient way to communicate vital information or request information that can speed the buying process along.
Confirm appointments and reduce no-shows
No-shows can annoy your sellers and make you look unprofessional. SMS offers a straightforward way to reduce the possibilities of a no-show by sending a confirmation when a viewing is booked and a reminder on the day of the viewing, both of which can be fully automated with a polite message.
For example, a message like “Viewing arranged at: 20 Amherst Road, Hastings, TN40 1QJ on Friday 12 June at 14:00, please meet John at the front gate” gives your buyer all the information they need to get to the rendezvous, and to store a reminder in their phone. Asking for a simple yes or no confirmation on the morning of the viewing will give the buyer opportunity to confirm or cancel, meaning you can manage the frustrations and annoyance of your vendor and take the opportunity to contact the client regarding another viewing.
Use with care
Because of the nature of the estate agent/client relationship, the normal rules of message frequency – 2-4 text messages a month – do not apply. However, that doesn’t mean you should take the opportunity to bombard your clients with messages, even though SMS gives you unparalleled access to their inbox. Therefore, be wary of message fatigue and overwhelming your buyers with links to suitable properties that may not be as suitable as you think. A message asking your buyer to clarify their requirements will help you to better filter your responses and avoid spam. Annoy your clients, and you’ll lose a potential sale.
The personal connection that SMS encourages needs leveraging properly in order for your SMS marketing campaigns to bear fruit. So keep your messages timely, relevant and with added value for best results. If you wouldn’t like to receive a text message at 2am, then don’t send one.
The anatomy of an SMS
Because you need to use this powerful tool with moderation, you need to make every SMS count and be extremely focused on the way you target your message. Start by creating a valuable offer and put that front and centre in your message – that could be an open day at a show house on a new development, or a price drop in the property particular clients are deciding whether to view. Include a direct call to action and a sense of urgency then hit send. Your message could look something like this:
‘Price drop 20 Amherst Rd. Text 87007 to arrange a viewing as soon as possible’
‘Exclusive! Show house open day 22 May 10-2. Text 87007 to book a viewing but hurry as places are limited’
Why all estate agents need SMS
As an estate agent, the bigger your database of leads the more sales you’re likely to make. Using the powerful marketing tool that is SMS you can:
- Sell property faster
- Generate buyer leads quickly and easily with shortcodes and keywords
- Save money on printing costs by sending digital details and video tours of your properties
- Automate showing appointments and reduce frustrating no-shows
- Interact directly with customers for an exceptional buyer experience that builds your reputation
If you’re interested in leveraging the power of SMS for your estate agency then contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.