Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Over the past decade, automation software and mobile technology have given rise to a whole new approach to realtor marketing. Innovative marketing ideas for realtors -  ideas that would have been impossible to realize even a few years ago - are bearing fruit.


Front and center of the modern real estate marketing strategy is SMS messaging. It works like the thin end of the wedge, starting the B2C conversation on a platform available to everyone with a phone, before dangling the carrot of the richer content - photo galleries, virtual tours etc - contained on the website. SMS real estate marketing practices also act like a filter, providing realtors with invaluable data on who their most promising leads are, and tells them which recipients simply aren’t looking to buy right now.


So how does text marketing for realtors work? Let’s break it down.


The Sign

Technological advancements or no, some things never change. The ‘for sale’ sign is one of them. Physically passing a property in the street will always make it a more attractive proposition for house-hunters than viewing pictures online; it’s the first thing people expect to see on a property that’s going the market. 


It’s also your first port of call when devising a real estate marketing strategy for a particular house. In order to engage passers-by with your SMS program, keep the sign light on information. It’s enough to emblazon nothing but ‘for sale’ followed by the keyword and shortcode ‘for details and pics.’ The less information you have, the likelier people are to opt in to your SMS list.


The Text

Your signs are up and the texts are flooding in (hopefully!). What now? Before you plaster your shortcode all over town you must set up the automated response they’ll receive. It needs to outline the important details about the house: price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, power source etc. You’ll want to include some photographs and a link to your site. Remember, not everyone with SMS capabilities has a smartphone, so be sure to include your contact info with office address and phone number.


The Follow-Up

The beauty of text marketing for realtors - and indeed any industry - lies in the consensual nature of the texter-recipient relationship. Because SMS marketing messages require opt-in consent, once contact has been established you’re within your rights to send more messages. 


However, because it’s just as easy for contacts to opt out, great care needs to be taken with this element of the real estate marketing strategy. By all means follow up with a message along the lines of: “We couldn’t help noticing you checked out the house at 66 Devil Gate Drive. What did you think of it?” 


If they’re no longer looking for a house they will probably opt out right there and then, but a significant portion of people will still be searching and will appreciate your follow-up. They may then schedule a viewing, or peruse the other properties on your books.


As marketing ideas for realtors go, SMS is an affordable, convenient way to reach a wide audience. If you’ve yet to adopt mobile tactics as part of your real estate marketing strategy, try using SMS messaging during your next campaign.