Don’t Gamble with your Mobile Strategy

Last week I had the pleasure of being on a panel at the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Conference in Las Vegas.  Though we were in Vegas, my theme was simple.  It does not pay to roll the dice on a “WOW” mobile strategy.

Here are some key takeaways from our discussion:

  1. Mobile should be integrated into each office’s overall marketing strategies and digital communications channels
  2. Brokers should empower each and every one of their agents with their own branded mobile apps to drive downloads, giving agents control over their own leads
  3. Mobile solutions should include native apps and mobile web to capture all users not one or the other
  4. Only broker and agent apps can be truly accurate because of the MLS data that powers them in addition to being truly local

The “WOW” Mobile Strategy

“Wow” means, for franchises and brokers alike, mobile is most effective when integrated into a comprehensive marketing and engagement program.  It can be a great tool in fact for leads to be harnessed and managed.  We were all in agreement that ultimately, mobile, like many marketing tools, should not be viewed in isolation.

Successful real estate professionals also agreed that it was better to have their own mobile solution than to simply rely on 3rd party aggregators. The inaccurate data from 3rd party resources simply do not compare to MLS supported real estate search that we at Smarter Agent provide.  In addition, only brokers and agents can truly be the hyper-local experts in their coverage area.  A branded mobile app works in a dual manner as a branding tool as well as validation of their expertise, enhancing credence with their home buying clients.

The panel also focused on the best practices for creating and building a mobile suite of applications and mobile web sites.  In fact, we focused a bit on the difference between mobile apps, mobile web and the impact of responsive design.  During the course of the discussion we realized that in many ways real estate professionals need both a mobile web and apps to be competitive and reach the fast growing mobile real estate market.  Choosing one over another will be too big a gamble with variety of phones and operating systems in the mobile eco system.

Ultimately, the gamble with mobile comes in not taking the leap to integrating a branded mobile app into an all-inclusive, responsive web marketing plan.  The fact is for real estate professionals to garner the true “Wow” of mobile for their brands, there needs to be a full-integration of current web and mobile best practices within their digital and marketing strategies to effectively reach and assist their home intending client base.

The gamble, in this case, is not taking their brand mobile at all.

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