The Power of Texting for Real Estate Brokers

Using the right tools, at the right time, to get buyers the right place.

Despite the global pandemic, the housing market is booming. Fueled by low supply and even lower interest rates, 2020 saw national home prices increased 9.5% from the previous year. This is welcome news for homeowners. But it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for real estate agents.

In fact, apocalyptic snowstorms and social distancing measures have real estate brokers wrestling with the same question: How do I sell homes without physically showing them?

3D photography helps. Virtual tours are nice. For real estate veteran Mark Karten, the answer is a combination of new technology and more effective communication.

“Sideline makes my business so efficient in so many different ways.” – Mark Karten

When Mark gets a call, he won’t answer. Instead, he uses Auto-Reply to send a text with his logo. He explains, “It’s not because I don’t want to have a conversation, but because I want everything I do to have a paper trail.” Moving the conversation to text makes communication faster and more personal. It also keeps Mark’s clients from confusing addresses, showings, and things they hear from other brokers.

Number ID tells Mark the name of the caller. And if they’ve left a voicemail, it’s transcribed right in the conversation so he knows what they called about at a glance. As Mark puts it, “Once they see my text response, they open up and actually give me more information than they would if I had answered their phone call. That’s a great start. From there, they’ve already disclosed everything I need to know, so my response can pinpoint exactly what they’re looking for.”

During the pandemic, Mark changed his for sale signs to read, “Call or text for a virtual tour.” When people inquired about a property, Mark would simply text them a link to his 3D walkthrough and a more detailed video of him giving a tour.

Now whenever buyers initially connect with Mark, texting is at the center of his success. He told us recently, “Someone drove by my sign and contacted me. I sent them the links and got the offer. Signage and technology are great, but for Sideline to be able to do that over text. That’s amazing.”