Mortgage text messaging, as in any industry, can garner stunning results. Not only is SMS text messaging easy for loan officers to implement, but it’s also easy for recipients to view and respond.
Of course, successfully incorporating SMS text messaging into your marketing strategy runs deeper than sitting down and sending a string of texts from your phone while you’re binging Netflix. You’ll want some strategies, some ways to avoid typing out a lot of messages on your phone, and some tips to help with text messaging compliance.
Read on for a few do’s and don’ts. It’s not a complete list, but it will get you started.
DO Automate Your Mortgage Text Messaging
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Text messaging has become the cornerstone of direct phone communication and borrowers expect you to respond- and FAST.
Let’s talk automation first because no loan officer wants to be stuck on their phone all day sending and responding to text messages.
You can use a mortgage CRM system like Surefire CRM to send a timely message to a large audience, though you’ll want to be careful about sending mass texts. You can also include SMS text messaging as part of automated workflows that reach your contacts at different points in their customer journeys. Using rules in a mortgage CRM system, you can schedule text messages on dynamic dates, such as birthdays, holidays or loan anniversaries. You can set up recurring deployments for holiday greetings, too.
DON’T Start From Scratch
Augment your existing email and/or print workflows by adding SMS messaging at key touchpoints. For shorter workflows, add a personal “checking in” text message at the mid-point, and for longer ones, schedule several similar texts at regular intervals.
You can also add an automated text message at the end of a workflow to let the recipient know they’ve recently received the last email or postcard in the series you’ve been sending them, and you would be happy to answer any follow up questions or help with next steps.
DO Create Autoresponders
One of the most important things you can do is to set up SMS text autoresponders for new leads. A strong mortgage CRM will allow you to create a rule so that when a lead comes in through a form, your website, or another avenue, a text is automatically sent. Because the prospect most often goes with the first person to respond, and especially to those who respond promptly, SMS text autoresponders can help you win deals.
DON’T Forget Your Partners
Like you, your real estate agent partners are busy. Keeping them up to date on in-process files with automated text messages will be effortless for you and convenient for them. Even if you choose to email or text more detail about each milestone to your in-process borrowers to help them anticipate next steps, you can deploy simple, straightforward texts to your partners who already understand the process.
DO Address the Complete Customer Journey
Mortgage SMS messages are often considered the fastest response when a lead comes in, and they can be equally effective post-close.
Text messaging is a convenient way for borrowers to receive and respond to a congratulations and thank you after closing, a request for an online review or a link to a quick customer survey. In fact, occasional text messages congratulating borrowers on their loan anniversary, inviting them to make referrals or giving quick industry and rate updates can be an important part of building client-for-life relationships.
DON’T Hit Send Without Permission
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) requires businesses to get permission to engage in SMS text messaging with consumers. Permission is given when the consumer opts in through a form or in writing, or when the consumer initiates the text conversation, inquires about your business, or conducts business with you.
A smart mortgage CRM like Surefire CRM will help you manage opt-out and do-not-call lists so that LOs do not text someone who should not be contacted.
DO Track Mortgage Text Messaging for Auditing Purposes
You’re in the mortgage business, so you already know the auditors will stop by at some point. When your loan officers use your mortgage CRM for SMS text messaging, you will have the records you need. This applies for all texts from SMS auto responders and automated workflow texts, to large text message blasts and individual responses.
DON’T Make a Move Without Talking to Your Compliance Department
Speaking of compliance, be sure to check with your officers for any special mortgage text messaging rules that apply to your company. Interpretations vary, so make sure you know what’s allowed or disallowed in your organization.
DO Include Video in Your Mortgage Text Messaging
Video text messages grab attention and help recipients get to know you better. Don’t be put off by video. After years of pandemic-era Zoom meetings, we all know that you don’t have to look perfect on screen to be effective.
A text is not the place to include a long educational or explanatory video though. Keep your video text messages to 20 seconds or less. That’s plenty of time to send a quick birthday greeting, a “checking in on your progress” message or a congratulations.
DON’T Forget Your Manners
In your mortgage text messaging, it’s important to be personable, even if you’re just writing an SMS text auto responder. You should clearly identify yourself, including your NMLS number as appropriate.
It’s especially important to have a conversational tone in the occasional message you blast to large groups. You don’t want recipients to feel like they’re getting spammed and opt out.
And when someone texts you, don’t just leave them on read. Be responsive and be timely in your reply.
Finally, remember the “safe send” window: no text messages before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
DO Check out Surefire Power Messaging