US research has shown that texting between real estate agents and clients is increasing in popularity, with it becoming a more and more acceptable means of communication. In some situations, it’s even been shown that the right text at the right time could have a positive effect on the sales process.
One study of over 500 consumers and 350 real estate agents found that over 75% of clients thought that texting had the ability to boost the selling process, with 87% of real estate professionals planning to factor texting into their communication strategy over the next 5 years.
However, the report does warn that while texting has its benefits, it shouldn’t be used constantly. It’s about sending the right message at the right time.
The report showed that roughly 45% of property buyers thought texting was an appropriate means of communications in the following situations:
- When connecting through other channels isn’t working
- Time-sensitive notifications
- Status updates
- Crucial deadline reminders
- Appointment reminders
- Notifications on any missing documentation
However, the report also showed that texting could damage sales relationships if not used appropriately. Under 30% of buyers and sellers believed texting to be appropriate in the following circumstances:
- Saying hello (19%)
- Happy birthday greetings (26%)
- Sales promotions (29%)
There’s growing evidence that text messaging fits in well with Australian clients’ busy, on-the-go digital lives, with the research above proving to be an invaluable tool for real estate agents looking to take their communications online.
Despite this, many real estate agents have spoken out about concerns regarding texting, with several difficulties coming to the surface:
- Reluctant to use personal phone (34%)
- No phone available for communication (50%)
- Concerns about industry compliance and data security (56%)
This presents a huge opportunity for real estate agents to engage with their clients by mapping texting with other channels, as it can help them to improve the user experience and deliver a more personalised selling process. Research backs this up, showing that regardless of age, clients prefer online communication.
The survey also produced another interesting statistic that shows, whilst texting is gaining popularity, email is starting to drop off. Many consumers have expressed that emails can be intrusive, with the number holding this opinion growing over the last 10 years. In fact, for urgent reasons, text is already the preferred means of communication.
Texting has a long way to go before it can be considered a bona fide means of communication in the real estate industry, but some day, it could become the industry standard.