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Real Estate SMS Marketing: How to Get Started on the Right Foot

Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Drive 20-40% of your revenue with Avada
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A realtor’s life is always on the go, meaning that you can’t be there to respond to every single thing, control every single campaign, or handle marketing while you are also handling an open house.

Enter: SMS marketing.

The world of real estate businesses, after all, is a personal world. You have direct relationships with clients. That’s why using SMS as a marketing tool can be a powerful way to manage your real estate business.

Instead of relying on marketing campaigns with questionable open rates, SMS marketing allows you to create a “personal” feel with your clients while sending out bulk messages.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything about SMS marketing for your real estate business, including importance, examples, ideas, templates, and best practices. Let’s get going!

What is real estate SMS marketing?

Generally, SMS marketing involves all promotional and advertising actions carried out through text messages sent to mobile devices.

In the real estate sector, SMS marketing translates into the action of sending constant updates, offers, news, and reminders to clients and potential buyers via mobile devices. Without a doubt, it’s to be considered as one of the main real estate marketing strategies that an agency should implement.

What is real estate SMS marketing?
What is real estate SMS marketing?

In detail, below is what you can communicate in real-time with SMS marketing:

  • Acquisitions of new properties
  • Discounts on old properties
  • Appointment reminder
  • Updates and news
  • Events promoted by your real estate agency

Of course, there are just some ideas of using real estate SMS marketing. The possibilities are many and they can include everything you deem necessary to promote and grow your business.

Benefits of SMS marketing for your real estate business

In the digital age, direct marketing channels are the best way to stay ahead of the competition and approach qualified customers. For highly competitive sectors like real estate, SMS marketing provides agents with a robust platform to promote their listings.

SMS marketing has actually proven to be an effective tool in the last half-decade, especially for realtors. With a remarkable open rate of 98%, it’s little wonder that major brands like Coca-Cola are reaching customers by text.

Given 95% of the American population own a mobile phone, SMS marketing is a sensible choice. With SMS marketing, real estate businesses can:

  • Attract more buyers instantly
  • Connect clients easily
  • Reach all clients at once
  • Improve personalized services
  • Send appointment reminders and reminders quickly
  • Save time & money
  • Convert more leads

3 real estate SMS marketing examples

Not yet convinced about the benefits of real estate SMS marketing? Below are some successful SMS marketing campaigns that you want to read. These real estate businesses have applied SMS marketing effectively and achieved impressive results.

1. Trulia

Trulia is an online residential real estate website, which connects home sellers, buyers, renters, and real estate professionals.

Its SMS marketing campaigns let real estate agents quickly connect with new leads. The company found that if a real estate agent responds to an inquiry call within the first five minutes, the probability of lead conversion can increase 100 times.

That’s why Trulia adopted SMS marketing into its communications program to notify agents whenever a new lead comes in. Even when agents are busy on calls or assisting other clients, they can still immediately receive leads through text messages. This enables them to respond to new clients in need of assistance promptly.

With SMS marketing, the company converted 60% of its online leads into customers.

2. Metrolina Realty Holdings LLC

Metrolina Realty Holdings LLC provides real estate solutions to home buyers, sellers, and investors. The company specializes in seller finance and real estate lease-purchase transactions. As SMS marketing has the highest conversion rate, Metrolina decided to implement text marketing.

With SMS marketing, the company was able to reach new customers and provide greater assistance to existing ones. The biggest benefit of real estate advertising through text alerts is the fact that up to 99% of messages get through to recipients.

3. Fylde Property

As a real estate investment and development business, Fylde Property assists customers who want to sell or buy properties on the Fylde Coast, UK. The company’s agents had to cover a wide area to attend meetings or viewings. Sometimes, clients were late or even didn’t show up.

By using SMS marketing, the company sent automated text reminders and appointment confirmations to clients. The results? Fewer hours spent on attending meetings, fewer cancelled appointments, reduced costs, and better overall service.

5 real estate SMS marketing ideas

The ability to maintain long-term relationships is one of the essential qualities of a good real estate agent. Prompt offers, sincere communication, as well as problem-solving skills all come down to trust between a realtor and clients.

Nevertheless, texting each client individually is not necessary to achieve this. It can also be implemented by sending automated text messages or text blasts to investors and clients looking for their future homes or wanting to buy/sell their property at the best possible rates - says Cameron Jones, founder of Sell My House Fast NTX.

Below are 5 ideas to use real estate SMS marketing that can lead to many win-win situations.

1. Share new property listings

This is perhaps one of the most popular use cases of real estate SMS marketing. Everyone who is actively looking for a new place to live knows how fast it can become unavailable. Additionally, you are simply not able to be on top of property listings 24/7.

Here is where bulk SMS for real estate comes into handy. You can reach many people with a single click and let thousands of potential buyers know about new property listings. Some ideas include:

  • Send your clients a link to a short video tour around the property
  • Take advantage of MMS messages and include an image of the property
  • Inform about open house dates
  • Book time for viewing appointments

2. Stay in touch with former clients

Remember that real estate is not only a simple business; it is an ongoing conversation. This conversation requires trust and needs to be nurtured to “survive.”

But actually, there are no “former clients” per se. You never know when your clients (or someone they know) will need your help again. Drop a simple message with helpful, relevant information once in a while to remind them about yourself and be the first one that they think of when the time comes.

3. Capture emails

Which marketing channel is more effective also depends on your content a lot, and sometimes it only makes sense to combine your marketing efforts. As great as text marketing is for short-form content, it is not the best channel for presenting more detailed information.

For this, you can deliver email newsletters. If you already have a high-quality SMS subscriber list, you can use it to collect emails for future communication. This will enable you to share more information, create listicles, send tips to your clients, if you are up for it, and build their interest and trust.

4. Send SMS reminders and updates

SMS marketing is a convenient way to spread the news and keep in touch with your clients.

Like in any other business, you can take advantage of SMS messages to remind your clients about the latest updates, upcoming appointments, and community events in the common areas.

If you’re about to send reminders of upcoming events or appointments, keep this in mind: booking time and experiencing no-shows cost you time & money, so send reminders to your clients at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that doesn’t happen.

5. Re-engage cold leads

Cold leads are people at the beginning of your sales cycle who have subscribed but never engaged with your brand. Or, they interacted with your company in the past but dropped for one reason or another.

So, it’s a great idea to start warming those leads up with text messages. Ask if they are still looking for a place, offer to show some properties in the area of their interest, as well as send a link to your calendar so you can arrange an appointment at the best time for both parties. In the process of nurturing these leads and streamlining property interactions, considering the assistance of professional property management services at the end of your research can further optimize your efforts.

7 practical real estate SMS marketing templates

Here they are - the templates. Use these real estate text templates word for word, or tweak them to fit your personal style. After all, every customer and every deal is unique.

1. New sign-up

Hi {first_name}, thank you for signing up to receive updates from {business_name}! Are you looking to sell or buy a home?

Pro tip: Use your client responses to segment your SMS list to reach your audience more quickly.

2. Information request

Hi {first_name}, this is {your_name} from {business_name}. Thank you for filling out a form to request more information about our available listings! Below are some listings that might interest you:




Pro tip: Include the recipient’s first name to personalize your messages.

3. Open house announcement

Hi {first_name}, I hope you are enjoying a great week! We have got some exciting open houses for you this week:

{Open_house_#1_address} on {date} @ {time}

{Open_house_#2_address} on {date} @ {time}

{Open_house_#3_address} on {date} @ {time}

Let me know if you will be stopping by!

Pro tip: Space out essential information like address, date, and time, so your clients don’t miss anything.

4. Follow-up

Hi {first_name}, it’s {your_name} from {business_name}. Last week you reached out to me about the listing at {listing_address}. It is still on the market - do you want to schedule a showing? Let me know if you would like to see it this week!

5. Upcoming event

Hi {first_name}, I just want to let you know we’re hosting an event for first-time homebuyers on {date} at {time}. Our office is located at {business_address}. Let me know if you plan to stop by!

6. Listing price alert

Hi {first_name}, the home you loved at {listing_address} just dropped from $350k to $320k. Would you like to make an offer?

7. Referral

Hi {first_name}, thank you for reaching out to {business_name}. Our partner {partner_business_name} specializes in listings in {neighborhood_name} and would love to help you with your home search! You can text or call them at {partner_phone_number} to set up an appointment. 

9 best practices to leverage your real estate SMS marketing

It can sometimes be difficult to feel comfortable navigating the world of SMS marketing for real estate agents. In the last section of this complete guide, you will learn how to keep your texts professional yet personable, right from initial property showings until closing day.

1. Make sure that you have permission before sending

The first and foremost thing you should know before sending is that recipients must opt-in to receive texts from you. If you send messages without their consent, you may face hefty penalties.

Just because people have signed up for your email list or have transactions with you doesn’t mean you have permission to send SMS messages to their phone. Therefore, to air on the side of caution, you need to keep your email and SMS signup methods separate.

Typically, people will subscribe to your SMS list by texting an SMS keyword to a short-code or long-code number. For example, on your website or print ad, you can guide people to text a keyword like JOIN, YES, or Y to your business number to join your list. It is recommended to go with double opt-in when using SMS marketing.

2. Use texts for short, mundane conversations

Real estate SMS marketing works well for timely information exchanges, such as determining a showing place and time or confirming the due date for paperwork. They’re also great for short updates, such as sending a new listing.

Share negative news, such as a rejected offer, over the phone so that your client cannot possibly misinterpret your sincere apologies and can quickly start working with you to find a solution.

In addition, you will want to avoid texting anything proprietary, private, or confidential to your clients. Texts can be recorded and forwarded, so make sure to relay sensitive information over the phone.

3. Always provide value

98% of texts are opened. This statistic can be tempting - after all, what is stopping you from asking your clients to promote your services to their friends while you’re working together?

However, the key to SMS marketing for real estate agents is establishing trust with clients. If you want clients to keep opening and replying to your messages, make sure that each text is distinctly valuable. Include only information related to the project you’re working on. Updates, showing schedule, and quick notifications are acceptable.

Of course, once the deal is closed, you can reach out for feedback and let your clients know about additional services you offer. But while you’re working on a specific project with your clients, stick to pertinent discussions.

4. Be courteous

Your first few texts should include your name. This can establish your professionalism and remind your clients who they are communicating with.

Don’t make assumptions even if you provide a consistent real estate SMS marketing service and have a friendly relationship with your client. For instance:

  • A client who has permitted you to text hasn’t given you permission to call. Ask them before you make a call.

  • Before adding anyone to a reply or creating a group conversation, ensure that works for your clients. They may feel comfortable texting only you.

  • Just because you’re happy to receive text messages from 7 in the morning to 10 at night doesn’t mean your clients are. Keep all of your communications to traditional business hours unless they have given you express permission otherwise.

Constant consideration of your clients’ preferences is key to maintaining a healthy, long-lasting relationship.

5. Stay positive

As you’re probably well aware, it can be tough to determine the exact tone of your text. Actually, text meanings are often misconstrued by recipients. That’s bad enough when your friend interprets a message the wrong way, but it can be disastrous when a client does.

In order to promote a positive tone and avoid miscommunications when providing your real estate SMS marketing service, you should:

  • Always include a greeting, such as “Hi, {customer_name}” in an initial text
  • Avoid one-word responses
  • Use polite phrases, such as “thank you,” and “my pleasure”
  • Insert positive emojis (or even GIFs if you feel comfortable) in delicate conversations

These tactics should make sure that your texts are viewed as positive, but it’s best if you use the mobile phone to relay any information that isn’t neutral or positive in nature, like a missed opportunity or rejected offer.

6. Follow SMS marketing best practices

Staying compliant with SMS marketing laws/rules is vital. Below are a few best practices to heed:

  • Define what your SMS marketing campaign promises at opt-in
  • Give a clear, straightforward, and thoughtful purpose to each message with an engaging CTA (call to action)
  • Make it simple for recipients to opt-out of your messages
  • Enable two-way texting
  • Measure your efforts for continuous improvement

Be aware that each country requires different rules for text marketing activities. You should read and understand everything in relevant SMS marketing laws/rules. By doing so, you can avoid hefty fines and penalties.

7. Double check everything before sending

When we say double-check everything, we really mean everything. You cannot take back anything you text, so you will need to perfect your real estate text messages the first time around.

Before sending an SMS message, make sure that:

  • Your message sounds positive
  • You’re not texting anything that should be relayed in a call
  • Words are correctly spelled and sentences are sounded grammatically
  • Dates and times are correct

8. Pay attention to your sending frequency

Ensure that your SMS frequency matches client preferences. Texting daily might lead to a significant number of opt-outs, but texting rarely might make recipients forget you.

Opt for 2-4 messages each month at the most, and deliver at consistent times when you see the most engagement. You should also talk with your own clients or send feedback surveys and ask them to decide the communication frequency they prefer.

9. Combine SMS marketing with other marketing channels

It is a good idea to combine your SMS marketing with other marketing channels. This creates more chances of moving clients through the leads or sales funnel if they see your messages on different platforms.

For example, you can set up automation workflows, including both email and SMS marketing, in order to optimize your sales.

Give AVADA Commerce a nice try! The platform can help you create easy, straightforward, and efficient SMS & email automation workflows with little or even no cost.


The bottom line

As you can see, SMS marketing is a powerful tool for real estate agents to reach clients. When implemented as a part of a multi-channel marketing strategy, text marketing can help real estate agents establish and strengthen client relationships and build loyalty.

We hope you have learned helpful things from this ultimate SMS marketing guide for real estate agents. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about this blog post. Thanks for reading!

Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.