Messaging • Last Updated 5/3/2024

Using Real Estate SMS: Templates and Best Practices

In the real estate industry, SMS can help you both improve client communications and gain an advantage over the competition

By Tarek Wiley

Couple being shown a house

If you think that you can get along in the real estate industry without SMS, you may want to reconsider.

Even though there are some who prefer classic phone conversations, text messaging can help you not only improve client communications but also gain an advantage over the competition:

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If you’re adding SMS messaging to your real estate business, the numbers are on your side.

To help you hit the ground running with real estate SMS, here’s what you need to do, with a few templates to get you through your first text interactions.

Real estate SMS best practices

Convenience is one of the biggest benefits of SMS messaging. It’s fast. It’s easy. And it’s personal.

When you communicate via text, follow these simple guidelines to avoid compromising the convenience:

1. Focus on clear communication

Your text messages aren’t the time to get clever. Save that for your face-to-face conversations. Immediately make it clear what the purpose of your message is (use words like, “ALERT,” “update,” and “confirmation” early in the message to communicate the purpose right away), and deliver the information without any confusing frills.

2. Keep it short

This shouldn’t be an issue if you follow the first best practice. But avoid super long text messages. SMS messages are limited to 160 characters. Longer messages will be split into multiple messages, which will blow up your client’s phone. Say everything you need to say in less than 160 characters.

3. Personalize your messages

Use the recipient’s name, location or interests (if you know them) to keep your messages warm and personal, even though they’re short and to the point. Personalizing messages also help you avoid sending irrelevant messages that will cause recipients to ignore your texts.

Follow these tips in all your SMS messages, regardless of the purpose.

How to use real estate SMS

Before you can use SMS in your real estate business, you’ll need two things: a short code number and some keywords.

You can get a short code number from your SMS provider. It’s quick and easy.

Next you need to come up with the keywords that people can text to your short code number to get information. For example, you could use “MAINST” as a keyword to get listing information about a house you have listed on Main Street.

Using keywords to trigger SMS responses also ensures that you always get consent before texting someone. Consider sending a message with opt-out instructions at the end of every conversation to maintain data protection compliance.

With your short code number and keywords, you can set up some very productive automated text communication:

- Instant lead alerts - As soon as a potential buyer texts for more information, you’ll get a message that alerts you of their interest so you can follow up.

- Viewing reminders - Set up an automated text message that reminds buyers of their viewing appointment to reduce no-shows and reschedulings.

- Click-to-call - As we mentioned earlier, some people still like phone calls. Include a clickable link in your text messages that automatically opens the phone app and places a call to your phone number. This makes it easy for buyers to contact you directly.

- Automated feedback surveys - Client feedback is one of your most valuable tools for getting new clients. Send SMS messages with a clickable link to a survey to gather as much client feedback as possible.

There’s no need to worry about inserting clickable links into your messages. When you put a URL in an SMS message, it will appear as clickable on most phones. Just make sure the link is correct, and send a test message to yourself to check that it works.

Phone numbers are also clickable on most smartphones, which offers built-in click-to-call functionality.

SMS templates for each use case:

Here are a few SMS templates to get you started sending text messages to your clients:

Instant Lead Alert

Thank you for your interest in this listing! {INSERT ADDRESS} is a {NUMBER OF BEDROOMS}, {NUMBER OF BATHROOMS}, {SQUARE FOOTAGE} home, built in {YEAR BUILT}. For more information visit {LISTING URL}.

Viewing Reminder

Reminder: Hi {FIRST NAME}! You have a viewing on {APPOINTMENT DAY AND TIME}, at {LISTING ADDRESS}. I look forward to showing you around this lovely home!


Thanks for your interest in homes in {TOWN OR CITY}! I’ll contact you within two business days to discuss potential options. Feel free to call me: {PHONE NUMBER}

Automated Feedback Survey

Thank you so much for your business! Your feedback means a lot to me and helps improve my service. Feel free to tell me about your experience: {SURVEY URL}

Opt-Out Message

To stop receiving these text messages, reply to this message with STOP.

If you follow these best practices and ideal uses for real estate SMS, you’ll be able to engage a lot more potential clients with very little effort. It also gives you automated sales acceleration by helping people through the early phases of the buying cycle.

Now it’s time to start using SMS in your real estate business. The first step is choosing an SMS provider. Start with Telnyx programmable SMS to get a short code number and start sending automated SMS messages fast. Or use our SMS API to integrate text messaging into your real estate CRM system.

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