Text Message Communication: 5 Tips for Realtors

Published November 19, 2019 by Real Estate Leads

Smartphones have certainly revolutionized the lives of pretty much all of us, and there was no avoiding the way they were going to spin the business world too. One of the more ordinary but profound differences they’ve introduced for us all is that nowadays it’s often considered poor form to actually call someone, and instead it’s best to send a text message. The reason for this is not too difficult to understand; it gives the recipient the freedom to receive your communication and respond to it on a timeline that works for them, rather than having that decided arbitrarily for them when the phone rings.

Real estate is no exception in this regard, and once you’re in possession of a client’s phone number it’s good advice to be very judicious about how you contact them. As is the case all across the board these days, sending a text message is a better choice than calling nine times out of 10. You likely won’t be stepping on toes if you do call, but surely we can agree that client prospecting isn’t easy and when you do manage to make one you will do everything to keep their provider / client relationship at its best.

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But back to our topic here for now. With our understanding that text messages (along with emails) are often a better means of informal communications with clients, what we’re going to do here today is share 5 solid tips for text message communications.

1: Use Texts for Short, Less Urgent / Important Conversations

Real estate texts work well for timely information exchanges, like determining a showing time and place or confirming the due date for paperwork. They are also ideal for brief updates, such as sharing a new listing with a prospective homebuyer (pasting link) or letting them know anything from why you’re going to be 5 minutes late to why it might be a good idea to put awning out over the patio because it’s supposed to rain during today’s open house.

You get the idea. Oppositely, if it’s ‘big news’ or something especially important, that’s when you make the call. But keep in mind here that sometimes sending a text message in advance inquiring ‘is now a good time to call?’ is good practice too these days, whether for business or personal interests.

The last piece of advice here is you’ll want to avoid texting anything confidential, proprietary, or private to your clients. Texts can be forwarded and recorded, so be sure to relay sensitive information over the phone only.

2: Be Courteous

Most often clients will have already agreed to receive real estate SMS messages as per their entry into an agreement with you as their realtor. So even thought they will know who you are, the first tip here is to still begin the first few texts with them by sharing your name – ‘Hi, this is (Name)..’ before continuing with your message. This establishes your professionalism and reminds your homebuyer who they are communicating with at the same time.

From there, always be especially polite and courteous with everything you say in your texts. It’s entirely accurate to say that you really can’t go ‘overboard’ when it comes to this.

Next tip is to not make assumptions. Just because you are happy to receive text messages from seven in the morning to ten at night, doesn’t mean your homebuyer is. Keep all communications to traditional business hours, unless the client has clearly informed you that ones outside of this time frame are acceptable for them.

Constant consideration of your homebuyer’s preferences is key to maintaining a professional relationship.

3: Be Polite & Professional

Unless you’re a human interaction and communication expert it can be difficult to determine the exact tone of a text. There’s not getting around the fac that many are often misconstrued by recipients. When this is your client, the risks are of course that much higher.

  • To avoid any such miscommunications and promote a positive tone when texting with clients, you should:
  • Avoid one-word responses. Even if you can’t think of what else to say, try something like ‘I think this will be best’
  • Always include a greeting, and ‘Hi’ is of course most natural
  • Include proper punctuation, especially exclamation points
  • Never use shorthand, newspeak, or pop culture abbreviations or slang in your texts – it’s unprofessional
  • Polite phrases like ‘my pleasure’ and ‘thank you’ are as advisable today as they were long before phones and text messaging even existed

4: Always Provide Value

Generally speaking, the key to text message marketing for real estate agents is establishing trust with the homebuyer or home seller. Having them continue to open and reply to your messages is dependent on each text being distinctly valuable. Include information related only to the project you are working on. Market updates, showing scheduling, and quick notifications are among the best examples for this.

As a rule, until the house is sold or your clients buy a home, stick to pertinent discussions within your text messages.

5: Review Every Message Before Sending It

This tip may be the last on our list, but it may be the most important when it comes the working realities of what you should do when texting with a client. Even though it should not be this way, some clients will even see spelling errors or a lack of proper punctuation as a sign that you’re not as professional as you should be.

More importantly, however, just be looking over what you’ve written and correct it as necessary based on the preceding points here.

Before you send an SMS message, ensure that:

  • The message is entirely positive and professional
  • There is nothing in your text that is of a level of importance that makes is something that should be discussed in a phone call or face-to-face meeting
  • Dates and times are accurate
  • Words are spelled correctly and sentences are grammatically correct

As a last consideration here, it may be useful to create templates (available in some business text messaging platforms) for you to have and then edit as necessary for certain often-occurring communications between you and clients.

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