Posts Tagged as SMS

Promote Yourself by Video to Increase Exposure and Sales

Mobile Technology for Real Estate Agents

Mobile technology is particularly exciting for real estate, because it allows the agent or broker to operate in real time, providing top notch service and response.

Real estate professionals have never been, as a whole, early adopters of technology, despite proven benefits. But falling behind when it comes to applicable technology can cost you money, and a lot of it. Mobile technology for real estate agents is a hot, growing field. What do you know about it?

The average real estate agent is in his or her mid-50s (57, to be exact). This is a contributing factor to the prevalent use of outdated technology in the business. But realtors are adopting mobile technology. Smartphones are commonplace. Tablets and iPads are growing in popularity. These devices enable location aware applications at very reasonable price points, designed for use on systems most people are already familiar with. It’s win-win-win-win!

Mobile technology is particularly exciting for real estate, because it allows the agent or broker to operate in real time, providing top notch service and response.

Handy SMS mobile tools like Smart Lead Capture allow real estate professionals to market their listings and capture leads over mobile devices. With smart lead capture, agents and brokers can capture leads by offering their clients the ability to “text for more information” about a property listed for sale or rent. The system stores and displays all of the property information and displays it to the prospects in a manner that best fits the user’s mobile phone. Information can be sent as a text message or over the internet via a mobile browser.

You can also ensure you never miss a text lead by setting up SMS Auto-Responder technology. Similar to email auto-responders, SMS Auto-Responders allow you to send an automated response via text message as soon as a prospect utilizes your text for information service provided by Smart Lead Capture. You can write custom messages for each of your listings, and they’ll be sent automatically.

Over half of prospects (56%) expect to be contacted within 30 minutes of expressing interest in a property, according to NAR statistics. This kind of high expectation leaves no margin for error. Taking advantage of the many affordable mobile technology tools now available to real estate professionals helps you close the gap, more and more.

Mobile applications like Lead Alert send instant leads via SMS (text) message, so that follow-up can happen in real time. Respond while a prospective buyer’s interest is at its peak – while they’re standing in front of the property or clicking through its individual property website.

We could spend weeks covering mobile technology for real estate professionals (and maybe we will!), but this is a great place to start. There is no shortage of awesome applications and new developments. Just a little investment will take you and your real estate business a long way.

Why You Should Market Your Real Estate Business Online

Greater than 90% of home buyers shop for their new home online. Relying on traditional methods for marketing homes – newspapers, yard signs, bulk mailing – these cannot sustain a real estate business. The fact that the majority of your potential clients are online is only the beginning of why you should market your real estate business online.

1. Online marketing initiatives are easy (or easier, at least) to monitor, track and evaluate.

2. Made an error? No problem. You haven’t just spent hundreds of dollars printing that error. Make changes quickly and respond to issues immediately with online marketing.

3. Make connections. Linking among campaigns or online locations isn’t just easy – it’s good business practice. Your website, blog, social media networks, YouTube channel – they’re all fodder for marketing and linking. Your options are virtually endless.

4. Get real-time performance results. You don’t have to wait until the very end of a campaign or marketing push to know if it is paying off.

5. Be more targeted. You can take one marketing idea and target it to many different client types, simply. Online marketing allows you to narrow or expand your focus easily.

6. Convert faster. Using cool technology like SMS, QR codes and unique property websites means you can combine technologies like mobile and physical advertisements with web technologically to give buyers and sellers instant access to you, your listings and your business.

What has been your biggest benefit to marketing your real estate business online?

SMS Marketing Tool

SMS Marketing is Tops for Real Estate Pros

Real estate agents rely on a lot of traditional marketing tools, such as signage, to promote their properties for rent or sale. The rise of the internet brought email marketing to the fore, but it is being rapidly trumped by SMS (text messaging) marketing. And SMS marketing is a great thing for real estate professionals.

Over 5 million of the world’s 6.8 million people own a cell phone, and Americans send more than 193 billion SMS and MMS messages every month. Morgan Stanley tells us that 91% of all smart phone users keep their phones within arms’ reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

And one of the first rules of marketing is what? That’s right: go where your customers are.

Marketing via text message is one of the smartest, most effective and inexpensive options available. More than 73% of cell phone users already use their phones to send and receive text messages, and the positives only carry on from there.

Text response times trump email response times nearly every time. Take this statistic from CITA.org – It take the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email, but just 90 seconds to respond to a text message.

Too many emails end up unopened and unread, lost to the spam or trash folder – some 88%, in fact. But over 97% of SMS messages are opened, 93% of which are read within 3 minutes of receipt.

Conversion rates and clickthrough rates (CTRs) are also much higher for text than email. The average CTR for text messaging is 14.06%, with an average conversion rate of 8.22%. But email only brings an average CTR of 6.64%, with an average conversion rate of 1.73%.

And research by Search Engine Land reveals that online computer searches typically produce an action (an inquiry, sale, etc.) within a month. However, the same search on a smartphone produces an action within just one hour, says Mobile Marketer.

Handy tools like Smart Lead Capture take all the guesswork out of how to create an effective SMS marketing plan. Smart Lead Capture links mobile friendly property websites with SMS and QR Capture Codes and a backend CMS to provide a comprehensive solution for the smart, busy real estate agent. Prospective buyers gain immediate access to property information while the agent lands a viable lead simultaneously. Text marketing is the easy answer to great leads.

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.