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2008-10-01 23:00:24

On the Move: Riding the Digital Wave -- Part Three


In Part I and Part 2 of this series of articles on Mobile Real Estate Marketing, we focused on how the mobile market is poised to explode in the United States and why Agents haven’t jumped on the bandwagon with mobile technology quite yet. In this article – Part III – we’re going to look at why the time is right for Realtors to start considering mobile marketing as a part of their business.
Realtors aren’t necessarily early adopters of technology – many still aren’t using the Internet to the fullest – but the time is right for every agent to explore mobile marketing. More and more Americans use mobile technology in more and more ways, and vendors are finally beginning to understand the needs of the real estate market. Here’s why we expect mobile marketing to become the next big thing in real estate marketing within just a few years:
Realtors Will Intuitively Understand Mobile Technology
Many realtors – especially older realtors – had a steep learning curve when it came to the Internet and are still struggling to catch up. That isn’t the case with mobile technology. Realtors have to be considered one of the most enthusiastic users of mobile technology out there today – as we said in part II, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Realtor without a cell phone attached to their ear.
Mobile real estate marketing, then, is just a short jump from what Realtors are already doing every day – texting, calling and using the mobile Internet. These are technologies Agents know well, and vendors who make mobile marketing simple will likely find eager adopters in the real estate market.
Mobile Marketing is Becoming More Affordable
Mobile marketing is becoming more affordable – both from vendors and from the wireless companies themselves. The price of text messaging used to hover around 50 cents a text message – a price barrier tough for anyone to get over. But prices have gone down, encouraging the growth of text messaging in the United States. Now mobile users can get hundreds of text messages for just a few dollars a month, making them more likely to use their phone to respond to mobile marketing.
Concurrent to this, vendors in the real estate industry are beginning to make mobile marketing solutions available for a much cheaper price. Services like text message flyers and mobile Web sites used to cost Agents as much as $30-40 a month per property – a difficult price to swallow on top of all the costs Agents already face. Vendors today face very few costs in delivering content over the mobile platform, which has made it possible for vendors like Single Property Sites to offer mobile marketing solutions as a free value-add included with other services.   Realtors interested in mobile marketing have few startup costs.
Vendors understand the need of Agents better
Early mobile real estate marketing solutions were often cumbersome, but the latest suite of services on the market is designed with a much better understanding of the needs of the modern real estate agent.
First, many vendors are focusing less on cutting-edge technology like the iPhone and more on widely-adopted mobile technologies in use by huge segments of the market – namely SMS text messaging and the mobile Internet. This means a realtor’s mobile marketing efforts are viewable and usable by much more people, rather than just a small segment of the market.
Vendors understand the value of an agent’s time too and have built mobile marketing solutions on top of services Realtors are already using. For example, Single Property Sites is able to take an agent’s listing information and turn it into a Web site, a mobile Web site, a text message flyer and a print flyer in one single step. There’s no need for agents to manage multiple technologies from multiple services – agents can handle it all in one place. 
Finally, vendors are making it easy for agents to put their mobile marketing in front of the eyes of their viewers. Many services include sign riders with mobile web addresses and text message flyer information, making it easy for drive-by traffic to quickly and easily learn more about a property via their cell phones. Many agents are eschewing paper flyers altogether – they find maintenance-free SMS text flyers just as effective.
So what are you waiting for?
Real estate agents have an opportunity to be on the leading edge of a rapidly expanding mobile market. The barriers to entry are lower than ever before – mobile real estate marketing is cost-effective and nearly effortless with the right vendor. With the solutions out there today, there’s no reason mobile marketing should be a large part of an agent’s expenses, but every reason it should generate a large proportion of that agent’s leads. There’s no better way to directly connect and interact with real estate consumers.
SPS recently announced SPS Mobile Marketer, which offers Agents an automated and FREE way to engage mobile consumers with Instant Text Property Flyers, Mobile Web sites and Text Lead Alerts. For more information, check out the SPS website. 

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