Apple Valley Ohio Lake Community by Sam Miller

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Listing Website with Text Message Feature

At CRS Sellabration this year I attended a session by Gee Dunsten that focused on generation marketing.  Gee talked about the younger generation and how they embrace technology differently.  This brings me to an idea or a concept I have been thinking alot about lately which involves text messaging.  It seems that text messaging may have surpassed talking on the phone for the younger generations.  I am certain that agents who embrace this technology will have a greater chance of "connecting" with the younger generation and with more connections comes more sales.

For many years on my website www.KnoxCountyOhio.com I have utilized a button that allowed the visitor to "Click Here" for more information.  About a year ago we updated all of our listings with an online form and if you click here you can view the form at the bottom of the page.  I believe the future might be a combination of this type of form with an option for the consumer who is visiting our listings to click on a button and send a text message to me instantly requesting more information or to schedule a showing.  Our younger generations want instant responses to their inquires and by offering a text messaging option we will be notified of the consumers interest instantly and we can respond to their needs the way THEY want to be contacted...via text messaging.   

  

 

Comment balloon 19 commentsSam Miller • June 26 2008 09:18AM

Comments

You are right, alot of younger clients prefer text messaging.  I've been trying to embrace it a bit more (I have a 12,14,16 year old kids).  I'm doing a deal with a 20 something agent right now, and most of our communication has been text.  I'm getting hooked - I prefer communicating with him in this manner. 

Posted by Hope Goss, Ventura Real Estate (Ventura Property Shoppe) about 12 years ago

Hope - You are right...Text messaging is quick, easy, it limits doesn't require playing voice mail or phone tag for hours.  The agents who utilize the TREO, Blackberry, Q, iPhone or any other phone with the qwerty keyboard also tend to love texting even more because it is SO much easier to type on these type of devices. 

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 12 years ago

Sam I checked out your website- looks good. But it wasnt immediately evident to me to find out how to text you? You could of course be more evident on your home page about offering text services to your clients from your website. I also use Instant messaging on my website with the ability for visitors to instant message me while Im online.

Posted by Stephen D White, E-Pro, ABR Cape Cod Real Estate (SDW Realty of Cape Cod) about 12 years ago

Stephen - Glad you checked out the site.  The text messaging feature is not currently built into the page and the electronic contact form comes via e-mail with a unique identifier so that I know which home the consumer is interested in.  We are going to tweak each of our web pages and add the text feature.  The biggest challenge is setting it up so that we don't get spammed messages to our cell phones.  Thanks for commenting and for visiting our site.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 12 years ago

Hi Sam -- I couldn't agree more.  I work with a lot of first-time home buyers and I am not quite "hooked" on texting, but it has been really helpful when you just want to send someone a quick update (and not talk on the phone for 10 minutes).

As for your website, if you have leads coming in, you should be able to receive a text update from your site so that you can email (or text) the lead back almost instantly.  I'm not sure who hosts your site, but you may want to check with them.

Thanks again for the post!

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group) about 12 years ago

Sam, we just added a similar feature to what you describe to our site. It's a live chat button in the upper left corner. While it's not text messaging, it's an instant messenger type thing that does not require the visitor to download any software etc. They can simply click on the button to chat with one of the Realtors or I can message them if I see they are on the site. ( I can see who is on and what page they are viewing). The button is visible from every page of our site and has really proven to be a great addition to the site. You can check it out on our website http://www.TSBRealEstate.com

Have a Great Weekend!

Posted by Sandy Blanton, Pensacola Real Estate- #1 in 07null- 09null (Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Team Sandy - That sounds like another excellent spin on customer service and if I understand your comments correctly...it would allow you to respond immediately. 

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 12 years ago

Sam- that's correct..instant response (provided that one of the agent is online). If we aren't online the chat button reads something like "chat is offline, leave a message". Any messages then go to my blackberry email for a quick response.

Posted by Sandy Blanton, Pensacola Real Estate- #1 in 07null- 09null (Pensacola Real Estate - Team Sandy Blanton Realty, Inc.) about 12 years ago

Sam,

Interesting post, but I checked your site and didn't see a chat window. Have you stopped using it?

Thanks,

Jon

Posted by Jon Boyd, Ann Arbor Real Estate Buyers Agent (Home Buyer's Agent of Ann Arbor) about 12 years ago

Sam I have a Instant Message feature on my website that visitors can use for instant feedback and to talk instantly with me when Im online. Have you implemented your text messaging feature on your website yet?

Posted by Stephen D White, E-Pro, ABR Cape Cod Real Estate (SDW Realty of Cape Cod) about 12 years ago

I have a text message link on my email signature, but I have not done so on my web pages yet. Knowing that SPAM bots harvest "mailto" links on web sites, how do you protect yourself against an army of SPAMmers who would love to sell you ED pills, advanced degrees, etc? Do you use a javascript routine to encrypt it?

Posted by Doug Patterson (Keller Williams - Upstate Realty) about 12 years ago

I also saw a service at a convention where you can have sign riders, onlookers dial the number and punch in a house code and information about the listing is sent to them by text message.  Have you tried this?

Posted by Tamara Inzunza, Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living (RE/MAX Executives) about 12 years ago

There's always something new to learns, but this sounds like a great idea.  Thanks for Sharing

Have A Great Day

Posted by Doris Freeman, Broker/Agent, Realtor, Madison-Gibson-Crockett (RE/MAX REALTY SOURCE) about 12 years ago

Thanks for the post . I have learned from some of the comments as well.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 12 years ago

Thanks for the post . I have learned from some of the comments as well.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 12 years ago

Jon - I haven't added it yet because we did an unlinked test page on our website (one that can't be found from the main page) and within a week we got picked up by spam to my cell phone.  We are working on a code that will need to be entered to cut down on the spam.

Stephen - The instant message idea is a good one.  My primary goal is to be able to respond from anywhere with my cell phone and I am thinking the instant messaging with the cell phone might be more of a challenge for me.

Doug - Your concern about the spam bots is real.  We are working on a way around this but it has been slightly more challenging than I expected.  Many of the services that use the "type this code into the box" are somewhat difficult to read which is something I want to avoid.  I will post an update once it is up and running WITHOUT isses.

Tamara - What you described is partially what I am working towards.  I would also like to be able to convert website visitors to text directly from my website also.

Doris - I agree about there always being something to learn.  The good news is that we are interested in learning because I have found so many real estate agents have essentially given up due to the shift in the housing market.

Gita - Happy I have created this post and I appreciate all  the comments.  Hopefully I will be able to contribute more tips and my learning experience once we have this concept working flawlessly.

Posted by Sam Miller, Knox County Ohio Real Estate Specialist (RE/MAX Stars Realty) about 12 years ago

Hey Sam- I am still posting stuff from CRS Sell-A-Bration. It's a great event stuffed full of usuful tips, scripts and skills. I just got the notice I will moderate a technology panel in the 2009 Sell-A-Bration in San Francisco in February. Thanks as always for such great content. Regards from Naples Florida.

Naples Florida Realtor Greg Gorman's Team Paradise Logo 

Posted by Greg Gorman, Naples Florida Real Estate (John R Wood Properties) about 12 years ago

your right -- I never thought to put it on the website --- thanks for the post

Posted by Scott Hoen, COO, Hollywood Title Company 714-270-9607 (HollywoodTitleCompany.com) almost 12 years ago

Texting is the way of the future for the new generation of buyers. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Team Honeycutt (Allen Tate) almost 12 years ago

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