Why “STOP”? The New Normal of Text Messaging Deliverability.

Why “STOP”? The New Normal of Text Messaging Deliverability.

Fresh off the heels of an election season, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, you’ve likely received at least a few marketing text messages lately.

SMS ads such as these are the new direction for companies to get themselves out in front of potential customers, with more and more brands jumping on the bandwagon every day.

Mobile carriers are therefore fighting a massive influx of spam consumers are receiving in their text inboxes.

As part of their efforts to address this major concern, carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon have begun outlining policies for how text distributors interact with their customers. For those interested, examples of these policies are available to reference through these links:

Responding to these regulations, our SMS provider, Twilio, has asked us to make a few updates to our text messaging in order to comply with the carriers’ policies. In short, the changes we’ve made are meant to address two key sets of requirements (per Twilio’s Message Policy and guidance for preventing message filtering):

  • Sender identification
  • Every message you send must clearly identify you (the party that obtained the opt-in from the recipient) as the sender, except in follow-up messages of an ongoing conversation.
  • Opt-out language
  • The initial message that you send to an individual needs to include the following language: "Reply STOP to unsubscribe," or the equivalent using another standard opt-out keyword, such as STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, and QUIT.
  • If you are contacting the same recipients multiple times per month, you do not need to provide opt-out instructions in every message, but you must do it at least once per month.

At about this point, you may be saying, “Yikes! I’m not sure I like the sound of that. Do I have to accept these updates? What happens if I don’t use this type of messaging? Other services I’m using don’t require us to do this, why does Real Geeks?”

These Policies aren’t necessarily new, but messaging providers have recently been drawing hard lines and enforcing policies in an unprecedented way. Unfortunately, toward the start of November, ~200 Real Geeks customers had their texting stopped by our SMS provider overnight.

Not only did this affect our automated services like GeekAI (Robin) and Reactive Responses, Drip/workflows and direct agent-to-client messages were also being filtered. If other services you have that use SMS don’t have any of these rules in place today, you should expect changes like this in the near future. Our prediction is that this will be the new normal. 

We know how critical it is for you to be able to text with their leads. As such, we have put together a team of people focused on ensuring that messages of all types continue to be delivered. This team will also be responsible for any future updates to our messaging systems, monitoring performance of changes, and gathering feedback from our community. The goal is to strike the right balance between complying with policies and maintaining natural conversations with leads.

Here are the changes you can expect to start seeing:

For Geek AI (Robin) and Reactive Responses

  • The very first message sent to a lead will include “Reply STOP to unsubscribe.”
  • For any lead that has yet to respond, we will:
    • Append a signature to every message: “- [First Name] from [site name/url]”; and
    • Append “Reply STOP to unsubscribe” every 30 days

For now, we only updated Geek AI (Robin) and Reactive Responses. That said, if we continue to see aggressive filtering on other types of messages, like Drip, then we’ll make changes as needed. 

While these updates might seem like a hassle at first glance, they’re actually pretty positive. First, when sending a text message from an unknown number, telling the person who you are isn’t just a policy requirement, it is perfectly aligns with our coach’s recommended best practices. Second, we actually already implemented “STOP” language in our GeekAI messages last quarter, monitoring thousands of conversations. The numbers showed that the “STOP” language did not materially impact lead response rates. Alleviating one of our largest concerns. In particular, this change only increased opt-out rates by about 2% and that even then, those were leads who would have otherwise simply been non-responsive anyway. 

While we can’t guarantee that only unengaged leads will reply “STOP”, we are confident that giving people a convenient way to say “No Thanks” won’t “kill your conversion rates”. After all, converting leads is about building relationships and helping people, and if you are doing that, no “good lead” will ever reply “STOP”. As digital communications and the policies surrounding them continue to evolve, rest assured that Real Geeks is committed to your success and we’ll always make the updates needed to support that.




Published on Dec 20, 2022 under ,

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One of the best lead generation and management systems available. A fully integrated custom IDX and marketing solution to drive traffic, capture leads, manage-cultivate them and close more transactions.

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Coaching Greg Harrelson Abe Safa

2023 Business Planning: What Must Be Considered

2023 Business Planning: What Must Be Considered

2023 business planning

Greg Harrelson & Abe Safa discuss business planning for 2023 and what you should be considering when making your plan.

Most people in the real estate industry don’t lay out their business plan until December, but you’ll be three months behind if you do that.

In real estate, you don’t just take a listing today and then sell it to a lead right away. It can take months to post a listing, market it, screen interested buyers, and close deals, especially when you’re also busy gathering and warming leads.

That means it’s time to start your 2023 business planning. Read on for our breakdown of everything you need to keep in mind while nailing down your business plan.

 

Form Plans for Different Trends in the Market

This isn’t about predicting the ups and downs in market prices; this is about preparing for those ups and downs so you’re ready if and when they happen. How will you adapt to the changes that happen in the market next year?

You can’t just go with the flow of the market. If you do this and the market goes down, you risk going down with it also. That’s why effort and planning is so important.

 

Scale up Your Effort

If the market goes down by 40 – 50%, you’ll be at half of what you earn this year. You can’t control that — but you can control how you respond to it.

Making half as much for your effort? Well, put in twice or three times as much effort, then. Double down on calling and take charge of your success.

Be Consistent

While working on phone calls and lead generation for three hours a day for 100 days is the same time commitment as doing this for an hour and a half for 200 days, consistency is king. Putting in an hour and a half each day for 200 days will have a far larger impact.

Refuse to Be Passive

Don’t just accept the loss that the market brought to you — fight it instead. Continue being an active participant in your own life and learn how to adapt and problem-solve if things get tough.

 

Track Your Numbers Closely

Your future depends on your numbers. Tracking your sales and losses is extremely important, as it gives you an overview of your business so you can make informed decisions.

Eliminate Distractions

One thing that keeps us from moving forward is distractions. If we’re constantly distracted, we can never get properly focused to do our best work. Shut your personal phone off and ignore any notifications that aren’t related to real estate; 2023 is the time to buckle down and get serious.

Keep Generating Leads

Your hot leads were probably only hot because they were excited about low-interest rates and swept up in the excitement of selling and buying properties. However, negative sentiment about real estate has seriously impacted almost every lead, meaning that your hot leads have probably cooled off a bit.

People who were motivated to buy six months ago are not nearly as motivated now. This means you need to focus on warming your leads back up and generating new leads to keep things moving.

The game has changed, but guess what?

We all have the tools and knowledge to win at this new game — we just have to change along with it.

Coaching Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real: The Resources To Equip Your Real Estate Team for Success with Sascha Chatman

Keeping It Real: The Resources To Equip Your Real Estate Team for Success

 

 

In this episode of Keeping it Real, Sascha Chatman and  Frank Klesitz, CEO of Vyral Marketing, break down how you can equip your real estate team for success.

Learn more about the resources needed to manage your own team of real estate agents. Of course, a capable workforce is one thing for generating leads and obtaining success in the real estate world. However, having the right resources available is one of the critical factors needed to equip your real estate team for success.

Recruiting Presentation 

Transforming Your Success into Their Success

Creating a Schedule

Buying this Year vs Next Year

Discovery Phase

The discovery phase is meant to determine whether or not the agents being recruited are the right fit for their real estate team while providing the necessary details for the agents to know what their team is about. Sascha first discusses their team goals and strategies to ensure agents know exactly what they're walking into. He also discusses other matters, such as expectations from the agents themselves and their commissions.

The discovery phase may be one of the most important parts of knowing how to equip your real estate team for success. In order to succeed, you need to have a reliable workforce on your side that shares the same goals and is willing to cooperate with the rest of the team to move forward. Having a compatible and efficient team is one of the best resources you can have in real estate, as it can significantly affect your business' productivity.

Ad Educated Buyer is Easier to Work with!

Agent Utility Belt

This is the highlight of the entire video. Sascha compares his utility belt of resources to Batman's belt of tools and trinkets. This belt essentially exists to store all resources and keep them within reach. Don't get the wrong idea, though. It's not an actual belt. Instead, it is usually a cloud or a compilation of all your valuable resources, such as videos, links, and other agent tools. Having a utility belt that is curated specifically for your team and your needs could help increase the productivity of your workflow because you won't have to scavenge for resources when you need them.

Not only does it make you more productive within your workplace, but it also gives off the sense that you are reliable and organized. When clients ask for something, you will easily have it within reach. 

Clients understandably have many questions before closing the deal, so one of the best ways to answer them is to grab a resource from your utility belt. For example, you're talking to a client about title insurance. Instead of answering their questions yourself, you could take an informative video from your utility belt and ask them to watch it. This makes it easier to understand and relate to.

Having a utility belt is a great way to equip your real estate team for success. It also comes in useful during business transactions. All in all, it's one of the best resources that a real estate team can have.

Having the right resources is essential in equipping your real estate team for success. Create an agent utility belt that caters to your team by signing up for the Real Geeks platform today. We provide valuable resources that you and your team can use to achieve the best possible outcome in every situation. Get started with us today!

Coaching SEO Keeping It Real Real Estate Lead Generation IDX

The Power of SEO and Area Pages w/ Bob McCranie

 

 

The Power of SEO and Area Pages With Bob McCranie

 

Do you want more lead traffic to your website? In this latest episode of Keeping It Real, we explore the latest SEO best practices with Bob McCranie. Bob is the Broker Associate & Team Owner at Texas Pride Realty Group - HomeSmart Stars and an expert on utilizing SEO best practices and Area pages in his strategies.

Join host Frank Klesitz, CEO of Vyral Marketing, in breaking down the strategies and best practices behind a robust, high-conversion online presence in today's evolving digital landscape.

Bob on Why Real Geeks:

Bob on Organic VS Paid Advertising:

If you need some help optimizing your site, tips on how to turn up the volume on your current lead flow, insight into different strategies that have provided wins for agents across various markets, -- Check out Bob's Area Page lead generation strategy!

Bob on Optimizing Your Real Geek's IDX Website:

Bob on Attitude & SEO:

Bob on virtual companies & online work:

Top 3 Ways to Generate Lead Traffic & Boost Your Sale Funnels' Visibility in Your Market

Bob, a Brokerage Associate & Team Owner at Texas Pride Realty Group - HomeSmart Stars, shares the techniques and strategies he deploys to increase overall visibility to prospective clients in his market. 

According to Bob, he deploys three unique strategies to get leads. These strategies roughly refer to attraction marketing, SEO & optimizing his website based on popular search engine optimization guidelines, and demographic farming/cultivating his existing audience. 

Let's dive more into these strategies and find out how Bob executes them to get as many leads as possible.

Bob on Attraction Marketing:

Attraction Marketing

Attraction marketing, also called event marketing, is Bob's number one strategy. This strategy is based on the idea is that you don't have to run Ads all the time or cold calls but have people gravitate towards you because of who you are in the community. In the case of Bob, he's a well-known Broker Associate with long years in the industry. Newer agents can begin working on their community visibility by hosting events. 

Bob on the fun of event marketing:

You can draw people to you by hosting events, posting about them on social media, and generally being a social connector. It doesn't have to be a real estate event, but any event that serves as a lure to connect with people.

Bob on marketing his events:

Some of the events you can host include:

  • Kite Flying, BBQs, & Outdoor Events
  • Theater Events, Movie Nights, DriveIns, Concert in the Parks, etc. 
  • Recycling Events, Food Drives, Community Service Events, etc.

Bob on building collaborative events:

Starting successful community events takes consistency and patience. Make a schedule and stick to it when promoting your events. You can put up physical signs around your area. Put up flyers at your local coffee shops and gyms, and utilize social media ads. These have proven very effective no matter which markets you are located in. 

Bob on using creative postcards for marketing:

Putting in a constant effort will build attendance over time, and before you know it, you will have collected a community of regulars at your events that can also serve as a potential client base. Networking greatly helps get leads, even if not by a massive count at first.

Your Website

Bob on the importance of having your own IDX website: 

Bob on making IDX websites work for you:

The second and perhaps most important is internet marketing, specifically SEO. Your primary medium is your Reel Geeks website, which helps you draw in more organic leads. You still run Google ads, which brings you steady business.

However, you must have a website to lead your potential leads and provide them with the information they need.

Of course, just having a website is not enough – you need area pages. Bob stresses the importance of area pages and being specific about where you want your leads to go. He combines social media and SEO, focusing locally on his pages.

No one looks for real estate in the main city. People always look for the suburb or neighborhood they are looking into.

You create business pages for each suburb of the city you're covering. Each page must have a call to action that takes the reader to the actual area page on your website. It has to lead to the direct page for the city or suburb, not the homepage. It helps to pre-fine all searches as much as possible, directing leads where they want and giving them satisfaction.

 

Bob's Take on Ads & Real Leads

 

How Bob Determines His Area Pages

 

Building a Backlink Strategy

 

Backlinks & Area Pages

 

 

Demographic Farming

Bob's last strategy has to do with demographic farming, which is about cultivating or nurturing your lists.

Using Funny Postcards in Demographic Farming:

In this example, he developed his holiday list using postcards sent creatively and in good fun. For instance, he would send a holiday postcard in June or Valentine's Card with a humorous caption. Of the many postcards he sent, the most creative and successful is the tagline, "No, I don't want to buy your house." Bob doesn't want to buy your house, but he can sell it at a 30 to 40% better price than others in the market. The idea is to keep it fun, so people will look at the cards or mail and know what Bob has to offer.

Per Bob's experience, the strategies that can help you bring in leads are – attraction marketing/events marketing, SEO and area pages, and demographic farming. Add them to your process, and you can turn up your current lead flow to the highest volume.

 

Real Geeks' Real Estate Cost Per Lead Breakdown

Throughout our masterminds, exchanges with real estate industry professionals on The Keeping it Real podcast, and our every day, — a metric that everyone agrees is key to formulating your route to success as a real estate professional is the cost per lead metric.

Understanding your cost per lead metric will help you assess the amount of inventory in your market, understand your clients’ and prospective clients’ needs, assess where clients fall in their buying or selling cycle, and better understand your market. With your cost per lead metric, you can create a budget and a plan for any market or season you find yourself in.

Fill out the form below to receive an instant download of The Real Geek’s 2022 CPL Report that breaks down the cost per lead in the top 10 most prominent markets of the last year, the top 10 lowest cost-per-lead markets of the previous year, and the cost per lead breakdown of the 50 largest markets of the previous year.

Through our work managing Google and Facebook ad accounts for hundreds of real estate teams across the USA and Canada, Real Geeks can get a unique perspective of the market as a whole. Based on what we’ve seen, now is the best time in history to start investing in PPC leads.

Once you have assessed the cost per lead in your market, there are many ways to apply this metric to your strategy. Last week's Keeping it Real: How to Generate Seller Leads in Low Inventory Market w/ Lisa Chinatti & Jason Posnick, Lisa and Jason address the current issue of low inventory markets. As well as, break down the most effective approaches to 5 different lead sources and how to create a plan that meets your needs regardless of which market you are in.

 

 

In addition to constructing a strategy in response to low inventory markets and examining different lead sources, lead flow is also a factor to consider. If you have a small real estate team or have become overwhelmed with the number of incoming leads, you can deploy a texting assistant like Real Geek's Robin Geek AI to your workflow. Also, check out Keeping it Real's: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant to Cold Call Homeowners for Seller Leads w/JP Wells.

 

 

If you are getting started with building a workflow, check out: 4 Drip Campaigns You Can Activate Today and Get Huge Response, where Greg Harrelson & Abe Safa break down their favorite drip campaigns you can activate today using your Real Geeks workflow library, as well as a drip campaign of their own. 

There are plenty of ways to take your cost-per-lead metric and create a bulletproof lead workflow that works for you or your team. Check out our Keeping it Real: Bulletproof Real Estate Lead Follow-Up Plan w/ Brendan Bartic. We sat down with Brendan to discuss how his Denver real estate team sold 230 homes last year. He broke down his "bulletproof" real estate internet lead follow-up system.

 

 

If you’re spending money to generate online buyer and seller leads and are not happy with how many people respond to you or book an appointment, you’ll learn how to improve your results with our Keeping it Real: How to Convert More Online Buyer and Seller Leads to Appointments w/ Anna Krueger.

 

 

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