Journey to Marketing’s Next Frontier: Mobile

Consumers and businesses are always looking for the next big thing, especially when it comes to technology. Real estate brokers and agents are no different. 

iPhone app, blackberry app, android app, mobile app, IOS app, real estate appWith a focus on mobile technology, Business2Community reports an estimated 100 million people in the US will own a smart phone by the end of 2012. That’s roughly one-third of the nation’s total population. In addition to smart phones, tablets are used by 40 million US consumers, giving brands leveraging mobile tools the focus of an incredibly large audience.  The next big thing is here. 

To take advantage of this mobile proliferation, many businesses are looking to optimize their websites to become more mobile friendly or even look for a separate mobile solution for their clients to use. Many big names in real estate such as CENTURY 21, Sotheby’s International Realty, and ERA have fully downloadable mobile real estate apps that allow homebuyers to search for homes via complete MLS’ listings.

What’s more is that these apps also take advantage of MLS Internet Data Exchange, where one broker or agent can give out their own branded real estate application and leads go back to them for any listing in the app. If you are a real estate agent or broker looking to see how you can get your own branded real estate app, consider attending an introductory webinar.

So how should you begin tackling the mobile frontier? There are a number of different avenues that you can take: Mobile Web, Text Messaging, Mobile Ads, QR codes, and check-in apps. All of these options are also outlined in the Business to Community piece and apply to many of the tools that Smarter Agent provides.

In addition to having a fully downloadable app, it is also advantageous to have a mobile web version of your website or even a mobile IDX search if you are a real estate professional. Many people are shifting more towards using smart phones, but some still have the standard feature phones which do not have the fully downloadable app capability. For example, Smarter Agent creates not only fully downloadable apps for searching all MLS listings, but if someone is to try to download the app on a standard feature phone, the prompts will direct them to the mobile web version.

SMS text messaging is great when a customer opts-in to receive updates, deals, discounts, contests, and news from your company. You can also use this as a powerful channel to download apps. For example, a realtor can give out their own unique text code to their clients which enable them to install their own branded app. QR codes are just as versatile as text codes in terms of displaying them on your marketing materials. Smarter Agent provides a landing page URL as part of the service package and a lot of their members transform that URL into a QR code. Voila! You have another channel to install an app.

If you are a real estate professional, consider conquering the next marketing frontier with a clear mobile strategy: Use Smarter Agent’s location based mobile apps for searching complete MLS listings in the palm of your hand. Imagine having them branded to you and working on any mobile device with a data plan.

Are you ready?

~ Michael Mercer, Account Manager