March 3, 2021

Realtors, It's 2021, plan to increase and optimize your text communication

Ashley Walsh
Ashley Walsh

Text is the new email in real estate

Text messaging is increasingly popular, especially among younger generations, and real estate communication is no exception. In fact, many clients love it! In a recent report by the NAR, they found that 62% of clients prefer their realtor communicates through text messages. 

Considering that text messages are generally shorter, easier to read, and primarily deliver only necessary information, it makes perfect sense. Everybody loves at good TLDR.

One of the main reasons why people are more inclined to texting is that it gives them a kind of freedom that calling doesn’t. It allows them to answer at the most convenient time for them and gives them time to think about their answers.

While making clients happy seems like reason enough to increase your use of text messaging there are countless reasons why agents should make text messaging mastery a business priority.

Text messages are more effective than emails

From open rates to readability to response rates & response times, text messaging wins every matchup.

  • 82% of people read a text message within the first five minutes upon receiving it compared to only 25% of emails getting opened, meaning text messages reach clients faster.
  • The average response time for a text message is only 90 seconds— compared to 90 minutes for email. Read faster, responded to faster. What’s not to like? (CTIA, HubSpot, GSMA)
  • A client’s text message inbox is more prominent meaning that, when people receive a text message, they will view it almost immediately. 
  • Text message inboxes are also less saturated with marketing noise, whereas emails tend to get lost in a sea of promotions.
  • Text messages don’t get caught in spam filters

Texting feels more personal

Despite being one of the most important means of communication, emails have a tendency to seem impersonal and phone calls have somehow become too personal. Text messaging is, by its very nature, more personal than email, but more passive than a phone call. You need to have the other person’s mobile number to even start a conversation. Apart from that, text messages are much easier to be used as a direct method of communication. People are more open to start a conversation through text because it takes less time. Last, but not least, text messages look more like a natural conversation than emails. 

Given the facts, it’s clear that texting needs to be part of your client communication strategy.  That said, there are times where an email or a phone call is more appropriate. 

  • Texting is best for short messages, calls to action, and immediate engagement. If you have a lengthy message or attachments that aren’t mobile-friendly - opt for email or a call. If it’s an important email, send a quick text to let the client know they have something that needs attention.
  • Some clients will still prefer email or a phone call. It’s important to meet the client where they are and ask them their preferences before assuming they want text communication.
  • Since text messages send a more immediate signal than an email - beware of texting after hours. No one likes to be distracted right after their head hits the pillow or an early morning wake-up call.

How to incorporate text messaging

If you’re still on the fence about texting your real estate clients, perhaps because you’re thinking it may be unwanted communication, or that you are worried you won’t be able to stay organized with texts and emails, here are a few ways to ensure you are meeting the needs, of clients, while still staying organized.

  1. Make communication preferences a standard part of onboarding.  Simply ask clients on the onboarding form how they want to hear from you and store the preferences in your CRM
  2. Adopt a CRM that integrates text and email, allowing you to see all communications in one place. Shaker.io is an option or set up a relay to forward your text messages to email.
  3. Get a google voice number and set it to only deliver messages during certain hours so you aren’t getting woke up from late-night client messages.

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