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2007-06-26 15:51:00

Focus on Technology to Reach Today's 'On-the-Go' Buyers

If you follow the real estate statistics and trends regarding today's buyers you know that they are using technology more and more to find their "Dream Homes."  So it shouldn't surprise you when I suggest that Text Messaging is the up-and-coming way to reach these young, technology-savvy buyers.

As we all know, over 80% of our buyers are searching on the Internet up to two years prior to purchasing.  They are finding the perfect community, investigating schools, recreational opportunities, transportation, convenience to shopping, places of worship, etc. etc. etc.  Once these buyers isolate the communities they want to live in, they will be riding around to get a real look at the towns they have chosen, but they still may not be ready to purchase or contact an agent until they get even more data and info. 

What better way to reach these young, internet empowered consumers than to offer them information on your listing via text messaging.  When they ride by the home with a rider on it that says "TEXT VILLAGE1 TO 30364," it will surely peak their curiosity. It will also put up a flag to this consumer that you are on the same page regarding the technology that they are so comfortable with Text Messaging.           

For those of you who haven't tried the text messaging feature on your phone, I know the process sounds very complicated, but actually it is not.  Here's how it works.

  • First you enter your listings on the text-messaging web site and upload photos, descriptions and a copy of your marketing flyer.  
  • Each home is assigned a code of your choice (for our company, Long Island Village Realty, Inc. we chose VILLAGE1, VILLAGE2, etc..)  
  • You then hang a sign rider on the corresponding property that says "Text (Your Code) to 30364" and use that phrase in all your print advertising also.
  •  When the consumer enters the info in their phone and presses send, the text message goes directly to the website which automatically responds with seven text messages back to the consumer.  
  • The responses include two messages with the details (up to 250 characters) and three photo messages.  
  • The next message is an offer of the flyer if the consumer provides a fax number or an email address which is also automatically generated by the website to either the fax or the email if the consumer replies, "Yes".  
  • The final message is an offer to opt-in to future text message blasts with info on this or other properties in the area.  
  • While all these messages are being generated by the website to the consumer, you are also notified that someone has used the text message feature and you can retrieve the cell phone number to contact them to see if they want to see the property. 

Text messaging is definitely the preferred method of communication for today's Gen-X and Gen-Y buyers. They appreciate a company that is capable of communicating with them in this way. In the past e-mail was the media of choice, but with the younger generation, text messaging rules!  And the best part of this service is that you can do it with an ordinary cell phone and a standard text messaging plan.  There are no added costs.

There are several companies that offer this service to REALTORS. The service that we are using is House4Cell.com. As they say on their site, entering the data for your listings is easy enough for the computer novice.  Pricing packages vary based on how many homes you want to use it for and the length of time you want to run.  Visit the web site for a free demo and pricing information.  If you visit the site and decide to try it out, please use the Discount Code of LIVR when you place your order.  

If you follow the real estate statistics and trends regarding today's buyers you know that they are using technology more and more to find their "Dream Homes."  So it shouldn't surprise you when I suggest that Text Messaging is the up-and-coming way to reach these young, technology-savvy buyers.

As we all know, over 80% of our buyers are searching on the Internet up to two years prior to purchasing.  They are finding the perfect community, investigating schools, recreational opportunities, transportation, convenience to shopping, places of worship, etc. etc. etc.  Once these buyers isolate the communities they want to live in, they will be riding around to get a real look at the towns they have chosen, but they still may not be ready to purchase or contact an agent until they get even more data and info. 

What better way to reach these young, internet empowered consumers than to offer them information on your listing via text messaging.  When they ride by the home with a rider on it that says "TEXT VILLAGE1 TO 30364," it will surely peak their curiosity. It will also put up a flag to this consumer that you are on the same page regarding the technology that they are so comfortable with Text Messaging.           

For those of you who haven't tried the text messaging feature on your phone, I know the process sounds very complicated, but actually it is not.  Here's how it works.

  • First you enter your listings on the text-messaging web site and upload photos, descriptions and a copy of your marketing flyer.  
  • Each home is assigned a code of your choice (for our company, Long Island Village Realty, Inc. we chose VILLAGE1, VILLAGE2, etc..)  
  • You then hang a sign rider on the corresponding property that says "Text (Your Code) to 30364" and use that phrase in all your print advertising also.
  •  When the consumer enters the info in their phone and presses send, the text message goes directly to the website which automatically responds with seven text messages back to the consumer.  
  • The responses include two messages with the details (up to 250 characters) and three photo messages.  
  • The next message is an offer of the flyer if the consumer provides a fax number or an email address which is also automatically generated by the website to either the fax or the email if the consumer replies, "Yes".  
  • The final message is an offer to opt-in to future text message blasts with info on this or other properties in the area.  
  • While all these messages are being generated by the website to the consumer, you are also notified that someone has used the text message feature and you can retrieve the cell phone number to contact them to see if they want to see the property. 

Text messaging is definitely the preferred method of communication for today's Gen-X and Gen-Y buyers. They appreciate a company that is capable of communicating with them in this way. In the past e-mail was the media of choice, but with the younger generation, text messaging rules!  And the best part of this service is that you can do it with an ordinary cell phone and a standard text messaging plan.  There are no added costs.

There are several companies that offer this service to REALTORS. The service that we are using is House4Cell.com. As they say on their site, entering the data for your listings is easy enough for the computer novice.  Pricing packages vary based on how many homes you want to use it for and the length of time you want to run.  Visit the web site for a free demo and pricing information.  If you visit the site and decide to try it out, please use the Discount Code of LIVR when you place your order.  

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