Text Messaging / SMS Alerts have arrived!
According to a recent article produced by TNW News, approximately 90% of SMS messages are read within the first three minutes of delivery. This data has been supported in numerous other articles for some time now. SMS is a great tool to get business-critical information out quickly. With the busy work lives of appraisers, and the growing reliance on mobile devices, we felt that providing additional options to respond quickly to orders and messages from your clients would be beneficial.
What is an SMS Alert?
SMS, or Short Message Service, is commonly referred to as a “Text Message” and is supported by most mobile and smart phones. Now an SMS Alert can be generated from your portal account and delivered to a designated mobile phone number. Configuration of your account to receive SMS is very straightforward.
To set up your account to receive SMS, go into your portal profile and select “Account Settings”. Once there, you will note a section labeled “Mobile Phone”. You may activate your mobile phone and subscribe to alerts there. Authorizing your number to received sms notifications is required before receiving alerts.
To do this, select the link “Send SMS Activation Code”. You will then receive a small pop-up screen asking for an activation code. This code will be sent to your phone via SMS / Text Message. Once received, enter that code here for activation.
What SMS alerts can I receive?
Just as with email alerts, you will be given the option to choose from 9 SMS alerts. (Note: You should be cautious in making the decision of which to receive, as text messages can become intrusive if you receive too many. Also note: If you are on an SMS/ text messaging plan that you pay for outside of your standard phone agreement, then your costs could increase.)
The following message options are available:
- New Messages – Alert me when I receive a new message.
- New Orders – Alert me when a new order is assigned to me.
- Auto-Accepted / Auto-Declined Orders – Alert me when an order has been auto-accepted / auto-declined.
- Reports Returned ‘Draft Not Acceptable’ – Alert me when a report is returned ‘Draft Not Acceptable’.
- Orders On/Off Hold – Alert me when an order is put on hold or has hold removed.
- Cancelled Orders – Alert me when an order is cancelled by one of my clients.
- Removed Orders – Alert me when an order is removed from my account.
- Closed / Completed Orders – Alert me when an order is marked as closed / complete by one of my clients.
- Order Actions On My Behalf – Alert me when an Office Manager takes order actions on my behalf.
Is there a charge for SMS Alerts?
The SMS Alerts are part of the portal feature set and are part of the services you receive. There is no additional portal cost for utilizing the service. Although, as noted, you should check with your carrier to insure the increase message load does not impact your bill negatively.
Do I have to activate this service?
SMS is in no way required. Just like email notifications they are configured by you. You determine what messages to receive.
We are excited to bring this new feature to the portals and hope that you will see a lift in your business from utilizing it. Should you be unsure about using the alerts, start small with “New Orders” or “New Messages”; each of which should help your response time with your clients. See how it works for you for a few weeks. If effective, you might then add a few more alerts. However, if you don’t like it, you can always deactive the service. For instructions on taking this step, just visit the FAQ section after you log into the portal after September 12th.
As always, thank you for your partnership. Let us know how SMS Alerts work for you.
One final note; please don’t text and drive. Respond to your SMS messages when it is safe to do so.
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