Cold calling is on the way out. How many calls do we all get on a daily basis and how many do we actually answer? Clearly, it’s a lot less than we answered years ago. Remember when Realtors had no choice but to “dial for dollars?” Well, that doesn’t necessarily work anymore.
The future of real estate lead conversion involves effective text message marketing. This will boost your sales like crazy. The lead conversion game is quickly changing, and this is how you’ll not only keep up but set yourself up for huge success!
Millennials Text Message
It’s not surprising that millennials are starting to buy and sell homes. In fact, the National Association of Realtors claims that they now represent the majority of home buyers and sellers. This is significant because millennials grew up during the social media revolution. They routinely reach out to friends and family via text, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook. Calling by phone rarely occurs to them at all.
Some of you are probably still thinking that it’s unprofessional to send text messages to clients and leads. Well, times have changed, and I honestly think it’s unprofessional NOT to text them. Texting is fast becoming the preferred method of communication for most people today. In fact, TextRequest says that 95% of text messages are at least noticed if not read within 3 seconds. And most get a response within 90 seconds.
If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to start adding text messages to your real estate lead nurturing and follow up, otherwise, you just can’t compete.
Qualify Leads & Set Appointments via Text
In years past, you had to contact a lead by phone to qualify them and set appointments. Now, you can handle the entire lead qualification process via text messages. People today are happy to exchange 25-30 texts back and forth instead of speaking by phone. This can be used to your advantage.
Your initial conversation by text can help you engage your lead while qualifying them before setting a phone appointment. I’m not saying phone calls are dead, it’s just that consumers today are reluctant to answer if they don’t recognize the phone number. So, just qualify your lead through a text conversation then you can arrange a phone appointment. This way there is a 90%+ chance they’ll answer your phone call. It’s miles ahead of doing it the old way with cold calls.
Text Message Marketing Has Replaced Cold Calling
I wouldn’t be surprised if you had upwards of 10,000 leads in your database, just sitting there. Do you agree? You could have your Inside Sales Agent making hundreds of outgoing calls every day, but how effective would that be?
Because people hardly ever answer their phones these days, you’ll likely get very few leads to answer. However, you can certainly deploy a text message to “resurrect” your dead leads. This would be an extremely powerful way to re-engage with those dormant leads.
This is so effective that many Structurely users claim they have more than a 50% engagement rate by uploading their old leads to this system. Whether you have a booming business or not, you very likely have a database full of leads you can use to prospect with. Rather than constantly working the leads at the top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) you can start using text message marketing on your middle-of-the-funnel leads (MoFu). This way you can convert more of the leads that are already there just sitting in your funnel.
What should the message say?
Agents often think that marketing messages are a ToFu activity. The idea is that this would be an attempt to engage more leads among people who don’t know you before you can interest them in hearing about your services and the value you bring. This is actually a misconception.
Truthfully, the best real estate text messages should go to your existing warm leads. Why? The most effective messages are personalized, short and to the point. The goal is to get them to respond, so you can qualify them and ultimately speak to them by phone to establish a relationship.
What’s the message? The best text message templates start out empathizing with the lead, offer value to the lead, and always end by asking a question.
Here are some examples:
“Hi [name]! I haven’t heard from you lately but wanted to tell you about some homes that recently came on the market in your price range. Can I send them off to you?”
“Hey [name]! Our team just finished searching the MLS for homes much like the ones you were initially interested in. Would you like for us to set up some showings for you this week or over the weekend?”
“Hey [name], Just making sure I haven’t dropped the ball on you. Are you still interested in seeing some homes this month?”
MAJOR TIP: Our best performing text messages use these words, “Just making sure I haven’t dropped the ball….” These almost always get a reply that says, “You haven’t dropped the ball, I’m still trying to figure out which way to go.” It’s clear that they appreciate the agent having reached out.
Each one of these examples offers a specific value proposition as well as a specific call to action. This is in contrast to so many other real estate drip messages that offer no value to the lead and no call to action. This just leaves them annoyed and wondering what the point was in contacting them.
How to Begin Texting Your Leads
Now that you’re convinced of the effectiveness of text messaging your leads, there’s no time to waste getting started.
What’s so great about using texts to convert more leads is that it’s easy. As we said, you need to work in the middle of your funnel, which is your existing warm leads. The goal is to set up a phone call or a face-to-face meeting.
Here’s how to start:
Carefully analyze your CRM, looking for leads who know you. They’ve either registered on your website, Facebook page, portal etc. or you’ve met them at an open house. These leads have not yet responded to any of your attempts (unresponsive leads). Make a list of all the unresponsive leads of the last 30 days.
Stepping back a bit, before actually getting started you need to determine how ready you are to scale.
Once you’ve engaged your list of targeted real estate leads with your text message, there is no doubt that you’ll be flooded with responses. Some responses will say, “Not interested” and of course you’ll get the occasional “F*** off!” But this is good information to have. Leads who effectively opt-out give you more time to spend on the leads who are ready for the help an agent can offer.
Is there a way to sort through the bad leads so you can focus on the best ones? Advanced technology like artificial intelligence can be applied to real estate leads to help you scale like you never imagined.
Your lead list can be automatically categorized based on each lead’s response and level of interest, as follows:
• No response
• Not interested
• Agent should follow-up
When you combine real estate text message marketing with a myriad of advanced technology like artificial intelligence, you can utilize your time wisely by making the most of your existing warm leads without spending your time and money trying to generate more leads.