What is TCPA?TCPA is the Telephone Communications Protection Act, a part of the U.S. Code, title 47 section 227 (47 U.S.C. 227 – Restrictions on use of telephone equipment). Initially drafted in 1991, the code protects consumers from telemarketing calls and established the national do not call registry (DNC). It also covers text messaging, voicemails and the restrictions on each media.
Why is it Important for Real Estate Investors?In real estate, one of the key tools of the trade is a phone, so let’s cover the basics and dive into the most important areas. TCPA covers business communications, but focuses on autodialers in particular. For text message marketing, it’s not so black and white.
Weeding Out SpammersWhile TCPA’s main goal is to prevent telemarketing spammers, it has evolved into texting territory. For many in the REI space, communicating en masse helps find the low hanging fruit of potential deals. This may have begun as “text blasting”–a term we despise here at Launch Control. Text blasting is sending out redundant, “spammy” messages through text, not engaging in conversations through strategic, personalized SMS engagement messages. While there may be SMS platforms out there that allow their users to get away with this, it will ultimately hurt your business reputation, in addition to potential for TCPA lawsuits, which can cost anywhere from $500 – $1500 per violation.
50 Shades of Gray vs. White BoxWhile you’re not out here trying to talk to people about their car’s extended warranty, there’s a few clear things that would trigger TCPA non-compliance or lawsuits. You cannot explicitly sell a product or service, use scrambled messages, request payments or credit card info, or spam your list. So where do you start to get yourself out of the gray area and into the white space where deals are waiting for you? Let’s take a look.
Marketing-first MentalityIt may help to establish a mentality of being a marketer before an investor when it comes to prospecting through text messages. Your goal is to close deals and generate revenue, in order to do so, you’ll need a steady stream of leads. Consumers are getting wiser every day and becoming increasingly desensitized to marketing messages and advertisements. You can use all the tools of the trade: direct mail, cold calls, emails, but none has the effect of SMS marketing. In fact, according to research 98% of texts are opened whereas, at best, you might see up to a 20.94% email open rate (if you’re lucky and have a great list).
Focus on the Message and Your IntentIn marketing, it’s all about the message and making it resonate with your audience. The third ingredient is timing and hopefully catching them at the right time to solve their problem. Keep your messages informational, varied, and geared toward opening a conversation, and pay attention to your sending times. The right SMS platform will be designed to help you with this and minimize risk or any issues.
The Bottom Line for Real Estate InvestorsWhile TCPA compliance does extend to texting and SMS, if you’re using the right platform for SMS messaging, your provider will be TCPA compliant, keeping you from worrying about spam and compliance. BUT. . . to reiterate, there are three important things you should do to keep your messages in check.
- Message: You cannot sell a product or a service.
In real estate you could be driving by collecting numbers from properties, or using publicly available data. Either way, you never want to solicit to sell anything. You’re looking to purchase a property.
- Method: Use best practices. Sending the same message to multiple people is never a great idea. Do you enjoy generic “happy holidays” group messages, with multiple people you don’t know copied and sending replies? Probably not. The same applies to texting for your REI business. Personalized, varied messages work best.
- Audience: Stop messaging people who do not want to interact with you. As soon as someone indicates they no longer wish to hear from you, mark them as DNC (do not call) in your system. It’s the same principle as having an unsubscribe option in every email.
SMS Engagement for REIWhat do you do when your key targets are actively tuning out solicitations and marketing messaging? The answer is engagement. SMS engagement leads to conversations. Throw out worrying about compliance and spam, and trust that your focus should always be on hooking your clients into a conversation. Launchers trust that our team stays ahead of any changing regulations or requirements, ensuring they have the tools and strategy with Launch Control to close more deals through SMS engagement.
The Launch Control DifferenceLaunch Control is built on best practices. When you work with Launch, there’s no reason to worry about TCPA compliance or how to work with text marketing. Best practices fill our coffee cups, and we’re pouring it out for our Launch crew. We give all Launchers the Launch Difference:
- Content to help you engage with your prospects so you can close deals
- Lifetime SMS engagement support with a success team on your side
- Unrivaled deliverability and response rates in the industry
- The best TCPA compliant REI SMS engagement platform
- Built-in litigator scrub to remove any number that could be litigious