Darren Krakowiak: the power of text messages in commercial real estate

If you don’t think it’s professional to text your prospects and clients in commercial real estate, let me try and change your mind.

Last year I ran a LinkedIn poll to ask my network if they felt it was ok to text clients in a business-to-business context.

The results were conclusive:

  • 68 per cent – Sure it’s another channel 
  • 27 per cent – Maybe, if you know them well
  • 5 per cent – No, texts are unprofessional

In commercial real estate, text messages are an underutilised communication channel. 

If you’re not using them, you’re neglecting one of the most efficient and personalised communication channels you have at your disposal.

Think about it.

People are bombarded with emails, so they don’t read all of them. Many just get deleted. This leads to delays and information gaps.

If you want a quick answer, you can call somebody. However, screening incoming calls is the norm nowadays, and people spend a lot of time in meetings, which means you often don’t get through.

Text messages, on the other hand, are almost always opened and read instantaneously

Once you have established texting rapport, you have near-instantaneous access to that person. 

If you’re ready to leverage the power of text messages to create more efficiency and effectiveness in your day, while also upgrading your relationship status with prospects and clients, here are five texts I recommend:

  • Send meeting confirmation texts at the start of every day. These remind people that you have an appointment which minimises no-shows or last-minute cancellations. Better yet, it gets you and them thinking about the agenda so you can have a more focused and productive meeting.
  • Text people after you’ve sent them an important email that needs their attention. This increases the likelihood that they will prioritise the email as they’re working their way through their inbox – even if it’s just subconsciously at their end.
  • When you miss a call from somebody, or receive an email that requires a long response, send them a placeholder text. This is a great strategy for when you don’t have time to get into a conversation with them or to send them a detailed reply; it buys you time to provide a more detailed response. 
  • Let people know when you’ll be “in the area” and available to see them. It’s a great way to fill in some extra time, and even if the meeting doesn’t happen, it’s still a nice touch point to keep you top-of-mind. 
  • Send a non-text text, like a video message or a voice recording. These are irresistible – most people can’t help but watch or listen to them immediately – and also they’re a great pattern interrupt compared with a typical text message. 

On the other hand, here are a couple of things to avoid when texting clients and prospects:

  • Don’t use texts to open conversations with cold leads. A prospect should be warmed up before you open the texting lines of communication. If the relationship is too cold before you start texting, you may be marked as spam and have your number blocked, which means you can never text the person again. You could also receive that awkward reply: “Who’s this?”.
  • Avoid using abbreviations and emojis the recipient may not understand. If someone has to Google IMHO (in my humble opinion) to understand your message, you’re negating the benefit of speed, which is one of the points of texting in the first place. Similarly, if you make someone feel stupid or frustrated because they don’t understand what you’re saying, that’s unlikely to improve the relationship.

There’s a lot more to gain than lose from texting. Yes, there will be a small number of people who don’t like it. Some people won’t reply. However, how many emails don’t get replied to? Tons, of course…but that doesn’t stop us from sending emails!

Texting will elevate relationships and accelerate deal flow, so, to build stronger connections with your clients and warm prospects, and to get deals done faster, it’s time to start texting!

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Darren Krakowiak

Darren Krakowiak is the Founder of CRE Success. He helps commercial real estate leaders to get their businesses growing faster and is the host of Commercial Real Estate Leadership, available as a podcast and on YouTube.