How Agents Can Use SMS Marketing More Effectively

Most CRM systems for the real estate industry now include Bulk SMS functionality and many agents are now using this service quite effectively to keep in touch with their database en masse via bulk text messaging out to their customers’ mobile device.

The number of people who are using their mobile devices for browsing the internet is growing rapidly and it only looks like continuing to increase dramatically into the future.

Most CRM systems for the real estate industry now include Bulk SMS functionality and many agents are now using this service quite effectively to keep in touch with their database en masse via bulk text messaging out to their customers’ mobile device.

However, I’ve also noticed that some of the trainers and/or suppliers of CRM’s don’t seem to embrace the user functionality that now comes as almost a standard within mobile phone technology and embrace the fact that the internet is now accessible via the iPhone, Android, Smart Phones, etc.

One of the reasons why I say this is that so far within the standard SMS templates that I have seen uploaded within these systems, I haven’t come across anyone who has suggested that the SMS message should contain a website URL within the body of the text message.

This seems unusual because when you send an SMS which includes the full URL of a website, the link normally becomes hyperlinked on the mobile device which makes it very easy for people to press their finger onto the hyperlink on their screen and visit the website via the mobile internet browser within their hand-held device.

It helps to build your profile and reinforce your branding.

Doing this could not only help to drive lots more traffic to your website, but it could also help to remind the people of who you are and help keep your company branding message top of mind.

Providing a link also makes it easy for the customer to visit your site and identify who you are and maybe read more about you and your company while they are out and about.

To create a link to a URL within a text message is really easy, you simply include the website address within the body of the text.

But it’s important to note that whenever you insert a URL into an SMS make sure you insert the full website address, including the http:// or www. prefix. If you don’t then the mobile device wont identify it as a website address and won’t hyperlink the URL.

If you don’t include the full website address and the URL doesn’t become hyperlinked, the SMS recipient would then need to write down the URL and type it into their browser, which will then reduce your click-thru rate dramatically.

Use a short URL within your text message.

The only real issue with inserting a URL is the length of the domain name. Most mobile providers only allow 160 characters per SMS and the last thing you want to do is send out 2 separated text messages, because it will increase your unsubscribe rate.

Some agents will want to send people across to one of their latest listings or a property that they have just sold, but normally the website address for these listings can often be coded in such a way that the URL is actually longer than the 160 characters allowed.

So the solution is to either use a URL shortening service like TinyURL.com, bit.ly or alternatively you could insert the website address of an Individual Property Website (eg. www.555AnySt.com).

To demonstrate the difference in the URL’s, here’s a live example of a property.

The URL on ZILLOW is http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2603-Stallions-Ln-Celina-TX-75009/83732918_zpid/

The URL on TRULIA is http://www.trulia.com/property/1047635093-2603-Stallions-Ln-Celina-TX-75009

The URL via ListingDomains.com is 2603Stallions.com

So, for instance in the www.2603Stallions.com example, if the agent wants to send out an SMS about the property, the web address has only 21 characters (just over 10% of the characters allowed within an SMS message) which leaves plenty of room within the SMS for the rest of the message.

Sending out an SMS about your Individual Property Websites will not only help you to drive more visitors to your listings, but it will also show prospective clients the unique way that you can now showcase their home ‘exclusively’ over the internet, which could be just the innovation that helps you to win their listing over the competition.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can easily and affordably create an Individual Property Website for your clients, visit ListingDomains.com – its where a HOME gets a WEBSITE of its own.

Note: I have included the link to the ‘Live’ example listing appearing on Zillow and Trulia only as a reference. I don’t recommend sending links out that direct traffic across to your listings appearing on the major portals because it can lead to sending potential clients across to your competitors listings.

By Amanda CorneliusAmanda Cornelius on FacebookAmanda Cornelius on Google+Amanda Cornelius on Twitter Visit author's website

Amanda is the Co-Founder and CEO of Properties Online, Inc, a website technology company created to help agents and brokers grow their business. Along with her husband Greg, Amanda co-owns a real estate brokerage located in Northern California with 9 offices and over 250 agents. Amanda holds a BA in Film and Electronic Arts from California State University Long Beach, and has worked in the film, internet and print industries for over 25 years designing marketing materials for Dick Clark Productions, John Travolta Productions, Warner Bros., Disney, Bob Hope and more.

Comments (1)

Pingbacks list