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Automated SMS Responders and text messaging is one of the best ways to turn real estate internet leads into hot appointments and convert them into sales. Watch the short video below to see how having an SMS strategy can help you stand out… and get higher engagement with your prospects to set more hot appointments so you can close more deals!
If you're ready to get started with our Real Geeks texting feature, here is a short checklist you can follow:
Step 1 Enable the Feature
Step 2 Add a Company Texting Number
Step 3 Add Agent Routing Numbers
Step 4 Configure Sign up Auto Responder Texts
Step 5 Turn on Email and Text Notifications for “Incoming Text Messages from Leads”
Step 6 Configure Template Texts
Step 7 Learn How to Initiate Texts
Step 8 Learn How to Track All Past Texts
Before you and your agents can use the texting system an admin must enable the feature. This can be accomplished from the Text Messaging Settings Page Please carefully review our Terms of Service. This feature is included with your subscription.
Please also be aware that this feature only activates if the user has not already been contacted.
Before you can send/receive texts to leads, you must choose at least one texting number from the Text Messaging Settings Page. Only one number is required but you may purchase more if you choose. We recommend at least one number for every 200 outgoing messages you plan to send each day.
From here you can search for a new number to add. You have the choice between a local or a toll-free number. Sometimes there may not be any numbers available in your desired area code, in that case you can choose one that is near by or search again for a toll-free. Currently we only have numbers available in the US and Canada.
What happens when you've been texting a lead and they decide to try and call the number you are texting them from? That's where the agent call routing numbers come in.
When a lead makes that call, they will be connected to the call routing number of the assigned agent. If the agent doesn't have a CRN or the lead is unassigned the call will be connected to the CRN of the site owner (as specified in the LeadManager). If neither the assigned agent or the admin have a CRN entered the lead will hear a message along the lines of “call could not be completed”.
Ask your agents what number they would like to use as their call routing number. The CRN will be saved automatically as soon as you enter a ten digit number. Conversely their CRN will be deleted as soon as their field is empty.
Each of your agents must set this up individually. New with this texting system, we added a feature that automatically texts a lead when they get added to the Lead Manager. What message is sent to them depends on what source they came in from. You can manage these from the sign up responder texts settings page.
If the lead is un assigned the lead manager will send the sign up auto texts from the first admin. Also, if the auto text for that lead's source is not enabled it will not send.
The Auto Responder text will NOT be sent to leads that have been manually added to the Lead Manager
To Create, Enable, and Share Sign Up Auto Responder Texts follow this path: CRM > Settings > Templates > Sign Up Responder Texts > Create New
AUTO RESPONDER DELAY: You have the option to delay the sign up auto responder texts a certain number of minutes. This makes the texts feel less automated.
To Set a Delay for Auto Responder Texts follow this path: CRM > Settings > Text Messaging > Immediately (in dropdown)
AUTO RESPONDER SET HOURS OF OPERATION: In addition to delay you have the option to set the hours of the day when you would like these automatic texts to go out. Again making it feel less automated or if you don't want to send texts out in the middle of the night.
This delays any texts made outside of business hours until your specified opening time. If a lead has been otherwise communicated with before that time then the text will not be sent out.
These settings will apply to every lead and agent in the lead manager.
The Lead Manager features several different types of notifications that agents can receive based on the activities of the leads in their system.
You'll want to make sure you enable the text notification for “Incoming text messages from leads”. This notification will be sent when an assigned lead sends a text message to the system text messaging number.
To Turn on Text Notifications for Incoming Text Messages from Leads follow this path: CRM > Settings > Notifications > Incoming Text Messages from leads > Email/Text
Each of your agents must set this up individually, but Admins and Team Leaders can share their autoresponder templates with other users in the system. Just like with emails, we allow you and each of your agents to save some preformatted templates of text messages you can send to leads. You can manage these in the Template Texts tab of the “Templates” settings section.
To Set Template Texts for efficiency when conversing follow this path: CRM > Settings > Templates > Template Texts > Create New
At any time you can add more or edit existing templates.
Merge Fields may be added to automatically insert Lead or Agent information, such as first_name to insert the Lead's first name. (Note: merge fields are cannot predict character count, as the length of the inserted information may change per Lead or Agent.) Click here for a complete list of available Merge Fields (under CRM Merge Field).
You can start a text message conversation with a lead from the Leads list or the leads detail page. Here is one example.
To Initiate a Text follow this path: CRM > Leads > All > Text (Icon)
Once the chat is open you will see the most recent messages that have been exchanged with this lead. In the text box below you can type a new message or choose from one of your templates.
After a chat has been opened, you can browse around the lead manager. Your open chat window will remain open as you navigate to different pages. If you want to keep the conversation close but need more room on the screen you can minimize the window.
Every time the lead or the agent sends a text message, that will be recorded as a lead activity. These can be reviewed under the “texts” tab in the lead's activity history -or- through the following example.
Calls from the lead to an agent via the texting number and the agent's CRN are recorded as lead activities as well.
The max allowed characters in texts are 1024. We recommend less than 140 as exceeding this limit may result in texts being displayed in multiple segments on the lead's end (breaking URLs, etc.).
When creating template texts, there is a character count below the message field to help you stay within the limit.
In the event you believe someone outside of your company is using your text messaging number to contact people, please notify us immediately and include as much detailed information about the issue as possible including the affected texting number. We will contact our third party texting service to investigate whether or not your number has been compromised. In the meantime, you will also want to replace the texting number to stop the malicious activity. The chances of this happening are very rare.