Homebuyers want to text their realtors; these emojis can help

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Let’s talk texting

It seems real estate agents should get to work on their texting skills. According to a recent survey from Ellie Mae, homebuyers are increasingly expecting to text with their realtors – as well as other industry pros – throughout the buying process. Fortunately, a new emoji app can help.

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Turning to texting

Ellie Mae recently launched its newest survey, “Great TEXTpectations,” to gauge interest in texting. And overwhelmingly, both buyers and housing pros alike want to text – particularly to speed up the process.

According to Nick Hedges, an Ellie Mae senior vice president, texting’s simply a good fit for their fast-paced lifestyles.

“Consumers have been telling us that text messaging is well suited for their on-the-go, digital lives,” Hedges said. “This detailed feedback can be invaluable for sales professionals looking to make smarter decisions about integrating text messaging into their digital lead generation and sales workflows.”

Still, consumers don’t want texts about everything.

According to the survey, “both consumers and sales professionals voiced confidence in text’s potential to improve the buying experience by speeding up key processes. But consumer responses also show that text messaging can hurt sales efforts if not used in an appropriate fashion.”

What do today’s homebuyers want in their real estate agents?

Specifically, most don’t feel promotions, happy birthday wishes or simple hellos are appropriate texts from their pros. They prefer texts about appointment reminders, deadlines and other purchase-related items.

“Though it has a long way to go, the widespread upward trend of preference for text raises the possibility that text might someday become the preferred method of communication,” Hedges said. “But for the foreseeable future, consumers prefer text on a situational basis, and there is no contact strategy that is one-size-fits-all.”

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Emojis for realtors

It looks like texting may get easier for agents, thanks to the release of a new mobile app. Released by HomeSmart earlier this week, the app lets users add real estate-themed stickers and emojis to their keyboard, which they can then use in text message conversations.

Stickers included in the keyboard are images of an open house, a set of keys and an “offer accepted” sign.

“HomeSmart has been tech-forward since its founding in 2000,” said  Todd Sumney, HomeSmart’s chief industry officer. “The technology and tools we build are focused on increasing agent productivity. These text messaging stickers provide a fun way for agents to connect with homebuyers and sellers throughout the transaction so that those interactions become more engaging.”

The keyboard app is free for download on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

No realtor? No problem. Let these robots take the wheel.

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