It’s no secret that keeping real estate leads alive largely comes down to engaging with consumers in a way that keeps your listing — and unparalleled service — top-of-mind.

For many of us, that means constantly sending a large number of emails. Well-intentioned though this digital persistence may be, the impact of an inbox barrage can be questionable; according to a recent Dynmark marketing report, the standard email open rate hovers around an unremarkable 20 percent to 30 percent.

Text messaging, by contrast, is a much stronger way of reaching people. Per that same Dynmark report, SMS has a 98 percent open rate. It’s a speedy medium as well — of those opened messages, a whopping 90 percent are read within three seconds of receipt!

The act of simply typing and hitting send isn’t enough to lift wilting leads, however. SMS is still a more indirect, impersonal medium than a telephone call or face-to-face conversation, and making up for that gap and actually gaining someone’s trust via SMS takes careful thought.

At best, you have only a handful of seconds to set yourself apart from the competition. The consumer also knows that in this day and age, a computer is as likely to be the sender as a human, and so coming across as real, relevant and empathetic takes careful planning.

Below is the trusty list of text message templates that my team currently uses in several of our automated systems to revive leads that have gone inactive.

We have also found that using an emoji in the text message increases the response rate significantly, so don’t be afraid to use a bit of creative flavor!

Here are seven text messages my team uses to increase engagement as well as the response rate that we’ve experienced using them. (Before you start putting thumbs to screen, though, make sure you are following the laws surrounding this form of marketing communication).

New search signup: 65% reply rate

Hi John, sending some handpicked listings your way. Good, bad or ugly: What stands out most about these homes? Happy to keep ‘em coming — let me know what you think! 🤔🎯🏘👌

Everyone wants a deal: 66% reply rate

Hope you’re doing well John! You contacted me recently about a home. There are a few available foreclosures in your market available if you’re looking for a great deal — can send them to you, just let me know! -Barry Jenkins w/ BHGRE

Mentioning the specific day of the week: 52% reply rate

Happy Friday, John! We haven’t spoken recently, but wanted to let you know there are a few houses in your target area that caught my eye. If you’d like some info, just let me know! 😀 Barry Jenkins w/ BHGRE

Connecting to current activity: 44% reply rate

Hi, John! Noticed you were saving a few homes on my website — did you want to see the inside of any? There’s a few others in that area we could look at too, just let me know! -Barry Jenkins w/ BHGRE

List of open houses: 24% reply rate for cold/dead leads

I have a list of open houses I can send your way. Would you like me to text that to you? -Barry Jenkins w/ BHGRE

Market update text: 35% sign up rate

Morning! Sorry we haven’t connected. I have put together a market report with helpful intel that my clients LOVE — check it out: 

The apologetic attempt: 20% reply rate

Morning! Are you still interested in searching for a home? I wanted to make sure you are being taken care of, so let me know if I can help. -Barry Jenkins with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

At the end of the day, the personal touch that comes with a text message is an impactful way of engaging with customers — and breathing life back into sales leads that have gone quiet.

With a bit of creativity and targeted messaging, you can enable homebuyers to feel more engaged and enthusiastic about the unique expertise that you bring to their search for the perfect place to live.

Barry Jenkins is the Friends in Real Estate Team owner with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. Follow him on Facebook or connect on LinkedIn.

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