7 Ways to Use Text Messaging for Innovative Buyer Representation
Attitudes of first time home buyers have changed. A higher level of service is demanded because consumers are raising the bar for what is expected from their real estate professional without additional compensation. Regular, authentic, and innovative communication such as text messaging will sustain the attention of new prospects and make them spread the word about the services you offer.
According to the National Assn. of REALTORS® "Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers," 39% of home sales are first time home buyers and 65% of first-time home buyers are between the ages of 18-35 representing the Gen X and Gen Y groups. These busy professionals are happier with sending one or two lines via text messaging rather than spend several minutes on the phone.
Here are seven ways to use text messaging for innovative buyer representation:
- e-mail to text messaging. Just about every wireless phone today has a text messaging feature available. If you are at your office you can send an e-mail to the wireless phone number’s text messaging service. For example e-mail to email@example.com and it will go to my wireless phone with the message intact. If you are using Outlook for your contact manager I recommend saving the text messaging e-mail address as an additional e-mail address. Also, be sure to keep these messages short as most phones cannot retrieve more than a 100 characters. This way you can e-mail vital real estate information to a client’s cell phone without having to pick up your phone. Please click on this link to find the e-mail address that corresponds with your wireless service provider: http://www.livejournal.com/tools/textmessage.bml?mode=details.
- Immediate response to lead generation. Web sites generate leads by asking for consumer contact information which will be e-mailed to the agents’ inboxes. With the time delay of checking e-mail regularly leads may be lost by not being the first to respond. Ask your web site provider or host if you can add an extra e-mail to be notified of new leads. Give the e-mail address that corresponds to your wireless service provider in order to be notified. This way you will be the first to respond to online leads since your cell phone is on you where ever you go already.
- Quick text. In a given month how many times do you ask or are asked the same question? What is your e-mail address? What is your fax number? What is your address? Where are you? Common responses to frequently asked questions or answers can be stored automatically in “quick text” (text messaging template). Add new templates for the following:
a. Can you talk now?
b. e-mail me at Speaking@DougDevitre.com
c. Please fax the documents to 314.754.8302
d. Please visit my web site at www.ReTechTraining.com
e. In a meeting. I will call you back as soon as I can.
This way you save time and respond quickly by not retyping the same answers or questions repeatedly.
- Text message directions. New clients or prospects will always ask where your office is located. Here are two ways to send directions to your client by text messaging. First, save the office address and directions from major interstate as “quick text” on your phone. Second, www.mapquest.com has a new feature that will allow you to send directions directly to the mobile phone via text messaging. This will save you and the client time by explaining how to get to your office.
- Text message new listings. Almost every multiple listing service gives agents the ability to e-mail clients with new listings that hit the market, have price reductions, or a change of status. These reports are e-mailed as soon as the changes occur whether the agent knows or not. Here is something better. Since every mobile phone has text messaging capabilities adding text to e-mail address to the auto-prospecting service so that all new listings go to both the client's cell phone and e-mail address. The links from the e-mail to text can open up pictures and additional property information if the client has a web enabled phone.
- Virtual phone duty. Have questions while online? We’ve got immediate answers. A prospect may need immediate questions answered even though they do not want to pick up the phone and dial. A free service, Plugoo, will allow you to add a widget to your web site so that consumers can ask questions without having to call or e-mail. This will help generate rapport early on with potential buyers while protecting their identity.
- Add media to text messages. Pictures are worth 1,000 words. No matter if you are previewing property, on a building inspection, or on a walkthrough, photos will clarify circumstances to provide a higher level of service. Mobile phones that have cameras can also send text messages to include either photos or videos. This will help save time when discussing options and provide evidence for ambiguous items.
History of communication has lead us from face to face, to mail, to fax, to e-mail, to text messaging. Each one of these forms saves more time than the other. There is no replacement for face to face communication when selling a product or service. Text messaging should be used to either get the appointment for the sale or service the sale after it has occurred. Social online networking sites such as FaceBook, MySpace, and Twitter are using text messaging as the primary way to communicate. Learning how to better serve the text messaging crowd will help generate rapport faster and provide a higher level of service overall.