Real Estate

Text For Info On Houses

Virtual Business Cards

Text communication in the Real Estate World starts and stops with our environmentally refreshing option of a Virtual Business Card (V-Card).  Today when we are at a business luncheon, an open house, or even bump into someone at the grocery store we hopefully hand them a business card.  We tell them what we are doing, and hope they call us when they go to list their home in the future.

The reality of where that card we handed them ends up doesn’t require much imagination.   The landfills are full of realtors, insurance salesmen, bankers, and you.

Imagine an interaction where you said, “I actually use a Virtual Business card, it is my own personal green initiative.  Just call this phone number.  You will get an immediate text message back from me with all of my contact info, title, fax, e-mail, website, skype, twitter, etc.”

By simply calling a phone number to request your business card they have entered into your client database. Now you can communicate and touch this potential customer right on their cell-phone from now into the future.

We simply go to your computer, create a message, schedule delivery, and hit send.  Within seconds you can send a message about a new listing, about interest rate updates, or new government incentives to everyone in your database all at once.  These messages are delivered in the form of a text-message and read 97% of the time.

Compare that with direct mail read rates below 1%, or e-mail read rates that hover around 5%.  Mobile communication reaches your potential clients more than 19x as often and with more effect.   This type of delivery method is also much more cost-effective for a business because the cost per message pales in comparison with other methods.

With this technology the client can opt-out of the mobile database at any time by replying STOP to the text communication.  However, opt-out rates are less than 1% across the industry meaning that once you have someone in your database, they rarely leave.

Types of communications that are effective in building rapport, gaining referrals, and staying top-of-mind with your clients are:

  • New Listing Information
  • Updates about Government grant programs
  • Housing valuations across the region
  • Data on foreclosures
  • Home maintenance tips to maintain value
  • Real-Estate Investing News and valued info

Consumers that are entertained, educated, or otherwise given valued information will see this communication as relevant.  Thus potentially referring business, and keeping you and your brand top-of-mind with them as real estate experts and professionals.

The smartest marketing people today are implementing a mobile call-to-action like the one above in every customer engagement from traditional advertising to e-mail.

  • The 6 calls a day plan – V-Cards can be exchanged over the phone.
  • Social Networks
  • Text a friend campaign
  • E-mail Signature
  • Traditional Advertising
  • Sign on the back window of the car

The most important Transaction Generator for any Real Estate Agent has been their Circle of Influence.  Staying in contact with an agent’s friends, family, previous business associates, etc, maintaining top-of-mind awareness, and reminding them to refer business is most agents main revenue source.

The ability to add SMS communication (a text message) to the bag of communication touch points for an agent is game changing for any one of them.  If a brokerage were able to harness this power by urging their agents to utilize a technology which has hit critical mass (SMS is the most widely used technology worldwide), they could gain market share as quickly as their mobile databases increased in size.

Mobile communication that is systemized, tracked, and can be managed from a brokerage level provides tools that far exceed the old systems of touching the COI, (e-mail, direct mail, etc).

Text For Info On Houses

Brokerage Centric Model

Broker provides Virtual Business Cards for all agents and encourages them to build their mobile database on a daily basis. Broker blasts come out 12 times a year to everyone in every database and are personalized as if they were coming directly from the agent.

These blasts would include seasonal greetings, home value updates, general housing information and more. Realtors could blast to their personal database too. Updates that Realtors could send out to their personal database would be “Just Listed”, Price reductions, requests for referrals and more.

Realtors would pay a monthly fee into the brokerage for the V-Card service.  $10 a month to be enrolled, and $.09 per message sent.  (Keep in mind 12 messages per year would be sent regardless of whether or not that  Realtor ever remembered to send a message at all)

Traditional Advertising Lead Generation

New data is reported every day on the increased effectiveness of traditional media when combined with the mobile “call-to-action”.  Adding a Mobile Call-to-action gives every traditional advertising and marketing channel the chance to be a lead generator.

Marketers have been preaching for decades that it takes 6 touches to gain top-of-mind awareness with potential customers. Use enticing “mobile only” offers to grab them in 1 touch and then use Mobile to turn them into Loyal customers.

Whether it is Outdoor, Radio, Newspaper, Direct Mail, or some other type of traditional media, an interested “potential” customer must only be exposed once if it has the power of a Mobile “Call-to-Action” centered in the ad.

An ad might read, “For a Free, incredible Home buying seminar, Call (234) 345-4567 now “Enter for a chance to Win one of 50 free in-home staging orientations to increase the value of your home, Call (345) 456-5678 now”.

“Wondering about the Value of your home in today’s market?  Simply Call (456) 567-6789 now for more info”

Call (567) 678-7890 now to be entered for a chance to win a FREE Listing”

Call (678) 789-8901 now to get new foreclosure listings right to your phone weekly.  Don’t want to miss out on the best deals, Text now”

Any traditional campaign grows exponentially with the Power of Mobile.  Your marketing now offers an immediate engagement that a potential client can interact with no matter where they are or what they are doing at the time.  Regardless of whether or not the person that “texts” in when they see or hear the promotion actually calls or walks into the office doesn’t matter!

They have been entered into our lead database, and now we will market directly to their cell-phone two weeks from now, then a month later, then right before Labor Day.  One of those touches will result in a call, a consultation, a listing, or a buyer. Touch your potential leads once, get them to engage, and your company will grow exponentially over time.

Recruiting

Building up a database of Realtors active in the marketplace in an effort to connect with them over the course the next couple of years will keep your brokerage top-of-mind.  More aggressive in your connection points with consumers and the Realtor population can only make your company stronger and add growth.

Some Real Estate company’s business plans includes aggressive recruitment of “first timers”.  These Realtors that are new to the profession can be marketed to in classified ads, Craigslist and more.  Using mobile to touch these potential first time Realtors, and then later continuing to market to them to attend the job fair, or the Realtor education seminar, etc will be effective in recruiting more agents.

Call (234) 345-4567 for more information on a 6 figure income.”

Listing Leads – Virtual Flyers

A sign rider or free standing sign is placed in the yard of each listing.  A unique phone number is assigned to the property. It reads; Call (708) 345-4567 for pictures and more information”

An immediate text message is sent back to the potential buyer that reads, “4 bed, 3 bath, 3 car garage. Immaculate, priced below appraisal. Call John Realtor  (878)555-1212  click www.picsofhouse.mobi to see pics”, for example.

 

Text For Info On Houses

That potential Buyer’s phone number is locked into the database and can be blasted with additional information on this listing in the future.  Reporting shows who texted in and they can be followed up with by phone. One Realtor in our case study was following up with potential consumers daily using a script like this.

“Hello, this is John Doe from XYZ realty.  I noticed you had called in to receive information on the home at 123 south street, and I am just calling to see if the technology worked Ok for you.  Did you get the information you desired?  Did you see the pictures?  Do you have any other questions?”

This has been a good lead generation tool for this Realtor. Additional benefits to this system include:

  • Adds power to your listing presentations by showing your clients how you can capture more leads, deliver information like price reductions direct if necessary, and are at the cutting edge of technology.
  • No need for costly flyer boxes and flyers
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Save time and money by never having to drive new flyers to your properties again.  With Virtual Flyers, they are always available.
  • Happier seller clients that don’t complain that their flyer box is empty
  • Lead Capture means more opportunities to communicate with potential buyers which equates to more transactions.

Pricing for Virtual Flyers

Listings can be set-up for $2.99 each per month with a $.05 per text-message or Virtual Flyer delivered. (Far less than the cost of paper flyers). Realtor notification of New Listings/ Price Reductions A brokerage could build a database of Realtors from their own brokerage to alert them of inter-company information in a more timely fashion.

A brokerage could build a database of other Realtors through e-mail and while working co-ops.  When this database is built up, they could then alert other agents of new listings that need additional attention, price reductions, etc.

Real-Time Management System for In-Process transactions Title, Mortgage, and Real Estate companies are moving towards a CRM tool to speed up communication of in-process accounts.  Once a contract is signed, a client can be entered into the User-Interface (UI) and be updated and reminded in a timely fashion of the process.

When additional documents are needed for the underwriters, an inspection needs scheduled, a check is ready, the office can simply click the client, type in the desired message on the computer, hit send, and it is delivered instantly. This process creates happier customers and increases the efficiency of an office.