The Role of Texting for Online Sales Specialists

The Role of Texting for Online Sales Specialists

Jul 21, 2021

It’s no mystery that we’re becoming more and more reliant on our smartphones. Statistics tell us that the average smartphone user checks their phone 63 times a day,*and that 95 percent of text messages are read and responded to within three minutes of being received.**These numbers leave many to ask if homebuilders should implement texting into the standard sales process for online sales consultants. 

In short, the answer is yes…and no. We must balance how we leverage texting to connect with homebuyers without sacrificing a great customer experience or depleting limited resources. When it comes to how online sales specialists can best use texting as a tool in their toolbox, consider the following questions.  

How quickly will the online sales specialist be able to respond? 

If we add texting into the standard process, we must determine whether we, as online sales specialists, have the bandwidth to respond in a reasonable manner.  We must determine what is an acceptable response time between text correspondence, which is likely immediately, just like a chat message. 

As the statistics above show, people are reading text messages quickly, which means they expect someone to read and respond in the same speedy manner. If we can’t meet those expectations, leaving these prospects hanging could decrease the quality of the customer’s experience.

Is texting too personal?

Not necessarily. If a prospect willingly provided their contact information to you, texting is acceptable. However, if you’re going to text someone, you need to be sure you’re addressing their specific interests. 

One example of how you can get the full benefits of texting is by using it to send appointment reminders. This can be a great way to increase your show rate conversion!

Is it the best use of the online sales specialists’ time? 

Probably not. On a quick seven-to-ten-minute phone call, you should be able to provide a homebuyer with a lot of personalized information and ask and answer a lot of questions. A texting conversation covering the same information would likely take much longer. PLUS, texting removes the rapport building achieved when you connect via phone where you can use tone, pitch, speed of conversation, etc. 

Should we replace a phone call with a text message? No. However, we can layer in texts, using it where it’s most beneficial, in addition to the contact points that are already in our current process. 

Should we only text a lead if they text us? 

Not necessarily, but we want to make sure we’re communicating with leads in the manner that works best for them. If texting is not the best way, they will likely just not engage or respond. 

Should marketing prompt an immediate option for texting?

What can we say about lead volume and responsiveness in the first half of 2021 other thanwhew! In many cases, homebuilders have actually scaled back on the avenues in which online sales specialists are receiving additional leads. 

In theDo You Convert 2021 Online Sales Benchmarks, which used data from over 27 states, 126 online sales specialists, and 3.3 million monthly unique website visitors, we saw a 25-65 percent reduction in advertising, yet record numbers of incoming leads were still rolling in. In this market, adding additional sources for leads to contact homebuilders usually isn’t necessary. 

Bottom line

The bottom line is that texting is a great tool we shouldn’t ignore, but we must bestrategic about how we use it. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind. 

  • Only text if you have the bandwidth to text back in a reasonable amount of time. 
  • Add texting as an additional layer–not a replacement for our current process. 
  • Strive to connect with leads in the manner in which they desire.

If we keep the customer experience top-of-mind, texting will simply be another tool we can use to provide great communication and in turn meet, and exceed our goals as online sales specialists. 

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