The 5 Rules of SMS Texting

Business Texting Etiquette for Apartment Professionals
August 7, 2018
Marketing

Over 81% of American adults use their phone to send SMS (Short Message Service) text messages, making it the #1 mobile phone activity. So, why aren’t apartment professionals tapping into this highly-used activity for business? Many property managers and owners assume that renters don’t want to be texted (it’s an intrusion) or the technology simply isn’t available.

Well, we’re here to tell you those two thoughts are flat out false. Here are 5 texting “rules” that every apartment leasing professional can use to start texting prospects and residents.

Rule #1: Have Awesome Texting Technology

Having a tool that was uniquely designed to communicate with prospects and residents via text message is important. Luckily, there are many Real Estate CRM software platforms that were developed with this in mind. When choosing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, be sure to ask if it can:

  • Capture a communication log of all inbound and outbound SMS text messages, as well as emails and phone calls.
  • Receive real-time alerts on both desktop and mobile for fast responses to inbound prospect or resident communications.
  • Can be intuitively learned by leasing staff without causing tension in day-to-day processes.
  • Easily integrates with your existing PMS (Property Management System).

Rule #2: Text Those Who Want To Be Texted

Text is the fastest growing medium over direct mail, email, voicemail and live calls. But, there are still the few that prefer more traditional forms of communication. Sometimes it’s easy to spot traditionalists, like when a landline is shared as their main contact phone number. Other times, it’s not so easy.

It’s best practice to make at least 1 touch over email or a live call before texting. It can sometimes feel like junk mail if you don’t make contact at least once before texting. Also, ask permission! Getting simple permission is great practice, “Would you mind if I sent you text reminders in the future?”

Business Texting Etiquette

Rule #3: Be Fast, Really Fast

Renters have low patience for slow response times.

72% of renters expect a response to their initial inquiry within a day or less.

29% expect a faster response—within a few hours.

9% expect a response in less than one hour.

Be sure to have a tool that has the option for both desktop and mobile alerts so you’re immediately prompted when a communication is received. These notifications should be front-and-center so you can reply quickly when a prospect or resident needs attention.

Rule #4: Don’t Treat Text Like Email

The standard length of a text message is 160 characters; however, today most smartphones can link and rebuild text messages up to 1600 characters. Be warned: just because you can send an essay through a text message does not mean you should!

Keeping texts short-and-sweet with concise, dense information is considered super-efficient for the person receiving it. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is treating a text message like an email.

Forget formal greetings, paragraphs, and closing signatures. Use proper texting etiquette with the key information that you need to get across to a recipient.

Texting Tips for Business

Rule #5: Be Multimodal

Texting is a powerful tool, but not your only one. Still use email and phone calls as a variety of outreach methods and add text messaging for those moments that need quick, attention-grabbing notification. Interspersing your phone calls and attempts with a text is a great way to be keep engagement high with your prospects and residents.

SMS Texting for Apartment Professionals

Opening your property to text messaging can open new opportunity. Take the fear out of implementation by following the 5 rules: get the tech, text the right people, reply fast, respect texting etiquette, and be multimodal. Residents and prospects want to be texted and the technology is here!

Is it okay to text a prospect or resident? Our answer: Absolutely.

References

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