In today’s quick-paced, digital age, home buyers have less time – and less patience. When they see a house they are interested in, they are no longer satisfied with driving home, contacting the listing agent, and waiting for a response. In fact, 49% of buyers expect an instant response from the agent. Today’s home buyer wants information now, and if the listing agent isn’t available to deliver it, that potential real estate lead has likely moved on to an agent who is.
There are 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions in the world, and 81% of cell phone owners use their phone to send or receive text messages, according to Pew Research Center. We use them because they’re fast, convenient, and more likely than not, always within arm’s reach. In fact, almost half of cell owners have slept with their phones next to their bed, not wanting to miss any calls, text messages, or other updates during the night.
Text messaging is the most popular application on smart phones, and 40% of home buyers prefer communicating with an agent by text over phone calls. Additionally, text messages have an open rate of 98%. Nearly every single text message sent is opened and read.
How can real estate agents harness this opportunity and use text messaging to capture leads? Here are some best practices for when and what to text your real estate leads.
When Do I Text?
Even though almost half of home buyers prefer texting to phone calls, only around 15% of agents actually communicate this way. However, sending unexpected text messages at the wrong time can have an adverse effect, leading to irritated clients or missed messages.
– The best time to contact a potential real estate lead is late afternoon, between 4-5:00 p.m. There is a 164% difference in qualifying leads at this time compared to early afternoon, right after lunch.
– Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to make contact with real estate leads, Thursday being the best day to qualify a lead.
– Response time to an interested lead should be within 5 minutes of first contact. There is a 900% increase in contact compared to waiting 10 minutes.
– Always make at least 6 attempts to call. At this level, there is a 90% success rate.
– Over 30% of leads are never contacted at all. By making a few more call attempts, you could experience 70% more contacts.
*According to Real Estate Agent U
What Do I Text?
When texting a real estate lead, you should generally include one or more of the following components. Always prompt a response by texting something of interest to them, such as a new listing with unique features, or a price drop on a property they were previously interested
– Offer valuable information – simple, yet significant. “This property was just listed in the MLS. It has a pool, and I know that was something you were looking for.”
– Instill a sense of obligation by indicating what you will do for them. Use the word “going.” “I’m going to do some research for you and find properties in the same area that might be better options.”
– Confirm your services – prompt them to tell you when they want to receive information. “Would you like me to send that information to you by Wednesday?”
– Don’t ask yes or no questions. Ask what they like/don’t like about the property, or when they would like to set up a showing. “I have a new home that’s priced to sell in one of your preferred neighborhoods. When would you like to set up a time to go see it?”
– Follow up with a personalized message. “What kind of questions can I answer for you about (listing/market/financing)?”
Home buyers and sellers today have their smartphones nearby, ready for communication at all times. Texting is one of the most powerful tools for capturing real estate leads and potential clients, and one of the most effective ways to utilize mobile marketing. It is the fastest way for buyers to reach you, and the fastest way for you to respond. Give your agents the edge they need to succeed with a solution that will maximize response rates and capture more leads.