Easing Frustration in a Seller’s Market by Text Home Buyers
While buying a new house is exciting, it was also one of the most stressful home purchases I’ve ever made. It was by far a sellers’ market in the hot town of Austin, Texas. It seemed that every night I was looking at MLS for new listings , somehow thinking I had missed something or my real estate agent missed it. I was constantly receiving email notifications of new listings, but it seemed that every time I tried to setup an appointment it was too late. This missed connection puzzled me. I kept thinking to myself, “do these people ever work? Would I need to take vacation time to actually see the house and not be the 3rd offer these folks are getting on the first day? How can I complete in this market?”
It wasn’t a matter of needing vacation time to view a listing, rather it was the rate at which I was receiving the listing. Email is too slow! I receive upwards of 300 emails a day and open roughly 25% of those in the same day – these new listings were getting lost in my inbox. Nearly 97% of text messages are opened in the first three minutes. If my realtor would text home buyers with notifications or used any text marketing , then I would have received listings much faster. My generation wants to receive information immediately, especially the most vital information. Therefore, providing us the ability to send a text message to get more information about a current listing – price, square footage, neighborhood – immediately is what we need and are looking for. Instant gratification is what your buyer under age 45 demands.
After the first two flops, I finally got an accepted offer on my 3rd house. I found an unlisted house that I liked, found out who owned the house and reached out to the owner. After numerous text messages back and forth, the offer was accepted. I wonder how many other buyers in this market are resorting to mobile technology to make deals happen.
Creating Agent-Buyer Relationship
Good real estate industry professionals want to learn everything they can about the buyer. Determining the long-term goals, finances, and property needs early on ensures a seamless process for both buyer and agent, while also building that agent’s foundation for a loyal client-base for years to come. The agent’s equity as a brand relies in part on the nuances of his or her buyer-agent relationships.
Even the most adept real estate agents know that every listing interview may not lead to a sale. A variety of factors including personality, pricing strategies, experience, and communication speed influence the buyer’s decision-making process. Communicating too slowly with the buyer may leave him or her exposed to the agent’s competition. An agent might go as far as showing numerous properties to a buyer only to learn that the buyer ended up letting another agent write the offer. However, this is not entirely the fault of a good agent, who has many relationships and obligations to juggle with limited time to do so. Nor is it the fault of the buyer, who is not privy to the ins and outs of the real estate business.
Text Message Marketing for Strong Relationships
So, how can a dedicated real estate agent keep leads hot and relationships secure without exhausting time constraints? How about text message marketing for strong relationships?
Mobile phones are in the hands of nearly every 18-30 year old in this country. The ease and speed of communication through text messaging makes the mobile phone an extension of this group’s relational capabilities. This is also the demographic that will be entering the property buying market most rapidly over the course of the next decade. This group is used to hassle-free information with a swipe and a send. They are less likely to dial a number, leave a message, and wait for an answer.
With text marketing, a buyer who sees a “for sale” sign can send a message to an associated number and receive property information immediately. By taking this technology one step further and allowing for a two-way dialog, the buyer can obtain specific information and answers to key questions. This saves the agent valuable time by pre-qualifying the prospects efficiently. The buyer will be impressed by the convenience of this service, and the first steps to a strong relationship have been forged.
Client Communications Have Changed
How has communication with your clients and prospects changed over the past few years? You may have noticed that your clients carry a mobile phone with them 24/7. Most people (you know who you are) even sleep next to their phone! Over 50% of web searches now happen on a mobile phone, and that number continues to grow month after month. From the Boomers to Millennials, today’s communication channel of choice is the mobile phone.
Mobile Marketing for Real Estate
So how can you, as a real estate professional, maximize your clients’ time while continuing to provide them with great value for the service you provide them? Mobile marketing has quickly become a regular practice for agents and brokers, but not everyone in the industry has jumped in yet. Text messaging and mobile websites help you generate leads, save time & money, and win new listings.
Refilling flyer boxes is tedious and often money spent with little or no ROI. Trying to chase down your prospects from missed calls is a poor use of your time too. Replacing the sign out front with one that reads “Text In” will make a world of difference. You can qualify prospects, reduce the wasted cost of flyers, build a database, and deliver real-time information to those truly interested in the property. In the long-run, mobile marketing is more cost effective and easy to maintain. You will see more people texting-in than calling some 800 number, and you will have more time for selling homes.
An effective mobile website must include:
- Detailed property information organized into menus
- Photos of properties & links to YouTube videos (if you have videos)
- List upcoming open house events
- Click-to-call feature
- GPS turn-by-turn directions
A text marketing program empowers you to:
- Deliver details about each property when someone texts in
- Survey prospects to help them find the best home
- Build a texting database for future messages
- Send reminder texts about appointments
Mobile marketing for real estate agents and brokers is highly effective. We have a webinar today about the real estate industry. Watch it Now