Text Etiquette: What Is Considered a Faux Pas in Real Estate Text Marketing?
Real estate agents use different means for communicating with their clients and potential leads. One of such means is SMS marketing. But not all of us are familiar with the regulations and the best ethical practices being set and established in SMS marketing.
In this article, we will go through some of these practices.
Is Cold Texting/Bulk Texting Illegal?
Cold texting is indeed illegal if your clients don’t give an explicit consent to be part of your SMS marketing campaigns. There are a couple of organizations you should be aware of that encourage healthy texting practises as well as legally enforce it.
- Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) — It controls wireless communication.
- Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) — Encourages all businesses owners to follow ethical SMS marketing strategies.
- Federal Trade Commision (FTC) — This U.S. government agency has a legal role in consumer protection It handles all complaints that deal with media communication.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — It’s a government agency that regulates different types of media communications.
What Are the Important Legal Considerations?
The FCC has issued rules under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that legally bind you to not send messages unless you have a consent from your clients. Please note that the FCC’s definition of consent includes only written consent. Verbal consent is not enough when it comes to business practices.
In order to create a solid but at the same time legal SMS database, you need to follow these rules. So, how can you do that?
Well, the easiest one is to have a website pop-up. Your customers scroll through your website and enjoy your content, and then they see a pop-up window that explains what will happen if they consent to become part of your subscriber list.
Another one that is close to the concept we discussed above is the online form. As always, your clients should be fully aware of what it entails to be part of your subscriber list.
A written and signed paper, even though it is not a traditional way of things in a modern world, it still is valid in the eyes of FCC.
Legal disclaimer- This content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.
What Should You Text Your Real Estate Leads?
As always, the golden rule of every marketing strategy is to first provide valuable content. To do that you need to know what problems your real estate clients are facing. That’s why we’re encouraging you to take notes during your real estate sales conversations.This will allow you to personalize your texts.
If you want to retain business relationships with your real estate clients, it’s important to send personalized messages. One such message can congratulate your clients for their success and accomplishments. There is a chance you’re following them on social media. It’s also a good source for personalized text messages.
If you want to send bulk messages without personalization, the same rules of sending valuable content first apply here as well.
How Do You Follow Up on Text?
First, you need to identify who you should follow up with. It can be prospects that never answered you, your clients who you didn’t communicate with for quite some time, clients who might be interested in the property that recently became available on the market. The possibilities are endless.
Depending on these types of clients, your follow-up will differ.
We prepared some examples that might help you with following up.
Hello, Your Client’s Name, are you available for a quick call this Wednesday?
Hey, Your Client’s Name, we haven’t chatted in a while. Are you still interested in selling your property?
Hello, Your Client’s Name, I remember you were interested in the property address. There are similar homes available on the market right now. Would you be interested in seeing them?
As you see, the three examples we presented here have something similar:
- They are brief. They have limited amounts of information, which means clients will need to follow up with you to learn more about the prospects.
- They are establishing a clear call to action goal in mind.
What Is Appropriate Texting Time?
Depending on the nature of the message, the appropriate sending time will differ. For example, if you want to set an appointment with your real estate client, it should be at least a week before, so your clients will have time to decide on an appropriate date.
As for the reminder, it will be better to send the text at least one day before the appointment. Generally, it’s recommended to send text messages during the work week, preferably the middle of the week, mid morning or early afternoon.
These are general guidelines that marketers should know, but to truly understand what time works better for your leads, we suggest doing A/B testing. By sending text messages a couple of different times, you will be able to determine what time frame works best for your business model.
P.S. Want to know more about email etiquette? Check out our article What Is Email Etiquette and Why Is It Important in Real Estate?