According to the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent of home shoppers use mobile devices during their homebuying research. And the number is growing daily. The challenge for today’s real estate professional becomes how to create marketing content that can be easily consumed on a mobile device and how to capture the mobile lead.
I’ve already written about mobile local search, mobile website options and what features consumers want on a mobile website. Now, I’d like to share with you three marketing tools that will capture, engage and inform the mobile consumer.
- A responsive property website/virtual tour: In today’s real estate world, property websites and virtual tours are one of the only ways to get your listing promoted on the Internet with your contact information included! Most real estate agents surveyed still feel they are one of the most important tools for marketing a listing. But, is yours mobile-responsive? If you read my post on mobile websites, you know that a responsive site is designed to be fluid, and will automatically fit any screen size. Unfortunately, most property websites and virtual tours are designed with Flash, which does not work on most mobile devices. When visiting one of these tours, the mobile user is redirected to a simple slideshow of images, which does not include all the lead generation features, calculators and add-ons of the Flash site. With a responsively designed property website or virtual tour, the tablet viewer has the same experience as the PC viewer, complete with all the lead generation, the calculators, the floor plans, etc. Make sure you choose a company that offers a mobile-responsive platform!
- Lead-generating text codes: Text codes are a fantastic way to capture the contact information of mobile drive-by consumers. Add a sign rider to your listing with a text code, telling consumers to text for price, details and photos. Many drive-by shoppers may not be ready to call you, but they will send a text for additional information. If you’re using a solid text platform, you will instantly be notified by text or email when a consumer uses the text code. You’re able to reach out and text (or call) the consumer back while the consumer is still sitting in front of the listing! But don’t limit yourself to sign rider leads. Text codes can also be used as lead generators in any advertisement. Instead of giving the price, tell consumers to use the text code for pricing and details.
- A mobile app: If you read my post, “12 features mobile real estate consumers want in a website,” then you know that 53 percent of mobile users want to be able to download a mobile app from your website. If you’re not offering a mobile app download on your site, you may lose mobile consumers to a competitor site that does. Most mobile consumers prefer to use an app to search for listings because it provides an experience that is specifically designed for the mobile user. When these shoppers save search criteria or favorite listings, they have to create an account (register). Not only did you just capture a lead, you know what type of home they are looking for, what their price range is, what neighborhoods they like, and more! In my opinion, mobile apps are no longer an optional marketing tool. They are an essential part of marketing to the mobile consumer.
Marci James is the director of marketing at Obeo, which provides interactive virtual tours, professional photography, virtual redecorating tools and custom real estate marketing solutions.