A commercial property owner’s email inbox is a lot like New York City… Extremely noisy, impersonal, fast-moving, and over-saturated with marketing messages.

From the perspective of those filling that inbox (a.k.a. investors, brokers, and building service providers), within all of that noise and chaos lies a world of opportunity.

The fact is, though, catching the eye of a property owner through email, online ads, or with a cold call can be tough. The more owners you’re trying to get responses from at once, the tougher it gets.

Unless you have a team of Sales Development Reps like Reonomy pumping out 300+ calls a day.


Reonomy’s own SDR, Jordan… Setting records, NBD.

Enter, SMS

The form of outreach that goes most underused by investors, brokers, and service providers is SMS.

80% of the U.S. population uses texting in some capacity on a regular basis. That’s 261 million people. Need I say more?

When you want to say something quickly, or make it easy to respond, why wouldn’t you use the messaging platform your customers are already using every day? 
(Source: VoiceSage)


According to the Data & Marketing Association’s 2018 Response Rate Report, response rates across all industries in 2018 for email, social, and paid search averaged roughly 1%. Direct mail saw a 4.9% response rate.

The average response rate for SMS across all industries, on the other hand, is 45%.

While you’ll likely never close a deal solely through text, SMS can be the so-called “caulk” that takes your outreach from spotty and uneven to flawless.

SMS is best used to:

  • Prompt owners to hop on a call with you.
  • Re-engage busy owners you’ve lost touch with.
  • Send reminders and schedule meetings.

When used effectively, SMS can increase your property owner response rates 10x compared to a strategy that only includes email, paid ads, and cold calling. The path to effective use lies below.

The Path to 10x Response Rates from Property Owners

Reonomy Property Owner SMS Outreach

Reonomy’s Four-Step Path to Effective SMS Outreach:

  1. Have a go-to resource for accurate mobile phone numbers.

  2. Include dollar amounts, addresses, and specific identifiers in messages.

  3. Leverage your successes.

  4. Don’t be annoying. Be reasonable.

1. Have a go-to resource for mobile numbers.

Without the right mobile numbers for your target property owners, your response rates are going to suffer from square one.

Use Reonomy to search for your ideal properties, see the name of the property owner, and get the mobile phone number of that owner. Or, search for owners you’re familiar with but don’t have the mobile number for.

For example, let’s say that you know a “John Smith,” who owns land on E Connecticut Dr in Salt Lake City, Utah. You can use Reonomy to either search “John Smith,” or search his property or mailing address (if known).

Reonomy Property Owner Search on Mobile

In another scenario, you might search for residential vacant lots in Salt Lake City, Utah in between 0.5 and 1 acres in lot area, that haven’t sold in the last 10 years—you do so, but only find one property of interest.

In either case, simply copy the mobile number of the owner and drop it right into your messaging app.

Property Owner Mobile Number Phone Screenshot
Reonomy Property Owner SMS messaging

For messaging owners in bulk, whether it’s two or two thousand, you can export a full list of search results garnered in any Reonomy property or owner search (easier done on a laptop or desktop).

By clicking the Export button, then selecting, “break out contacts into a separate list,” you’ll have a fully refined, hyper-targeted list of property owners along with their mobile numbers.

Reonomy Export List of Property Owners for SMS

2. Use dollar amounts, addresses, and specific identifiers in messages.

So, now that you have your audience, it’s time to make it about them.

Work your way through the building and lot, sales, debt, tenant, and tax information of each of your target owner’s properties, then take hyper-specific tidbits and include them in your message to make sure it’s personalized for them, and only them.

Reonomy Salt Lake City Vacant Land Parcel

Use your access to information to catch their eye. Reference their properties, their portfolio, and the events associated with them as an owner. And do so very specifically.

Include exact addresses, dollar amounts of property sales and mortgages, the neighborhood their property is in, and recent events near their property.

Instead of sending a vague text about your investment company “providing great deals to owners,” you can send something like:

“Hi John, I see you bought 1580 E Connecticut in 2007 for $627k. 1648 E New Belford Dr, also in The Avenues, just sold for $2.1m—I’d be happy to be a resource to get you a similar deal. Would you have a few mins for a call this week?”

SMS Property Owner Outreach

3. Leverage your successes.

Another way to utilize SMS is to promote your recent successes, as specifically as we suggest above.

Let’s say you just brokered a huge sale in The Avenues (a neighborhood in Salt Lake City). In many cases, especially multifamily, nearby properties will be of similar build and sizing to that of what was sold.

Use SMS to promote your success to nearby owners.

Search Reonomy for properties in The Avenues, export the mobile numbers of nearby property owners, and reach out to them in bulk.

And again, be specific, and use numbers and dollar amounts. Your text might read something like:

“Hi John, I just sold a property in The Avenues—1648 E New Belford Dr—for $2.1m, and think I can help you get a similar value for your lot at 1580 E Connecticut Dr. Would you have a few minutes to talk on the phone this week about some potential moves?”

SMS Property Owner Outreach

You can send this message to every owner in the area, changing the name of the owner and their specific property address to make sure each text is personalized.

Services like EZTexting, SlickTextTextedly, SimpleTexting, and VoiceSage can be helpful when sending messages in bulk.

4. Don’t be annoying. Be reasonable.

This sounds simple, but can be difficult at times if you’re being ghosted by a property owner that seems perfect for your business. Keep your reputation in mind, and don’t overload an owner with text messages.

Just because texting is easy doesn’t mean you should fire off multiple texts in a row. Stick to sending one text every few days.

If they don’t respond after 2 or 3 messages, it’s unlikely that they will at all—hedge your bets, and move on.

The Future of Marketing?

SMS is an existing and absolutely massive worldwide trend that simply hasn’t caught on across all-fronts, notably in marketing.

Yet, that is.

There is no reason to sit back and wait in CRE. Texting owners is cheap, easy, and convenient for everyone involved.

If you want to boost your response rates from property owners, we suggest you start taking advantage of SMS today.

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