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Speaking with over 200 Agents and Brokers per week has clarified one thing; among the Real Estate industry there is a very fragmented understanding of what Mobile Marketing (MM) means. Some agents believe they are firmly established in their MM efforts if they use a QR Code (you know, those bar codes that look like square boxes with scribble in the middle). Others believe that their Mobile App or Mobile Website qualifies as a full frontal mobile assault.
To be sure, each of these elements serve a valuable role within the spectrum of MM, however, in and of themselves they are incapable of producing a result that is equal to the hype. Let’s establish some essential points of clarification on this matter in an attempt to make sense of the whole subject as it bears particularly upon the Real Estate Industry as a whole. By the end of this article, the concept and application of Mobile Marketing for the Real Estate agent should be clear as a cloudless moon.
First. Mobile Marketing works. Fortune 500 companies have well established this point from quantifiable studies executed over the past seven years. As a result of those studies we are going to start seeing more and more Calls To Action using SMS Text messaging on Television, in print, etc. Get use to it…it’s coming…fast.
Second. The Crown Jewel of the MM effort is the SMS Text Message. These large corporations use all of the avenues of Mobile Marketing–Mobile Optimized Websites, QR Codes, Social Media and Web Apps. But it all starts with an Opt-in Text Message Call To Action. Without this, you’re trying to win the Super Bowl without a Quarterback!
So, let’s see how this fleshes out in practical terms for Joe Real Estate Agent. What does a complete and well executed Mobile Marketing strategy really look like?
The Players. Joe’s going to employ the use of SMS Text Messaging, A Mobile Website, Mobile App, QR Codes and a Vcard, or Virtual Business Card. That’s the team; 5 players. Now, how does it play out, how does it function, how does Joe put it into action so that his Mobile Marketing machine is firing on all cylinders?
First. Joe sets up his SMS Text Responder. He assigns a KeyWord to each of his listings. He orders Sign Riders that read, “For Info, Text KEYWORD to 72727”. This is his Call To Action, and it’s what drives traffic to all of those other elements of Mobile Marketing. Joe places these riders on each of his respective listings. When a potential buyer texts in, they receive the listing info and Joe is immediately notified of that activity and receives their cell number on his own phone! Nothing else is capable of this fabulous tracking action, nothing. The lines of communication have been opened.
Second, he creates a QR Code designed to point people to his website where they can view all of his listings along with his contact information. He places this QR Code in all of his printed materials. People see his ad, scan the QR Code with their phone…Viola! They are now connected to all of his promotional materials. But, unlike SMS Text, he’s not notified of the activity.
Third. He creates a Mobile Website that hosts all of his updated listings. This is just like a normal Website except it’s been optimized for viewing on a Smart Phone. When people text in for information, they receive the requested data, along with a link sending them to Joes’ Website. Once they’re there, they can download Joes Web App and place it on the desktop of their phone for quick access to his site in the future. Once again, activity was activated via SMS Text, collected their information and then sent them along to Joes’ other materials, and notified Joe of the activity.
Fourth. Joe sets up his Virtual Business Card that is connected to another KeyWord. So whenever he’s out and people ask for his card, he simply says “text JoeM to 72727”. The requested info is sent to their cell phone, and Joe is sent their cell number. Again, collecting a database of contacts. Joe can also include this Call To Action in all of his collateral materials and in the signature of all his emails, and once again, he’s notified of any activity.
Fifth. Finally, having started building a vast database of active and interested buyers, Joe can now push out text messages to them at-will. He can notify of price changes, specials, he can even push out Virtual birthday cards, holiday cards, etc to their cell phones. This is an invaluable, unique and inexpensive way to stay in front of that data base all year long. What’s more, all of this can be scheduled ahead of time (birthdays, holidays) to be automatically sent at the required time.
Do you see how this works?! The SMS Text calls the client to action. That action then exposes them to all of the other forms of information that have been put into place. Websites, QR Codes, Vcards, Web Apps, all of those are just hanging in thin air until you employ a Call To Action using the SMS Text message. That is the missing link that brings it all together to work properly.
When it comes to choosing a company to provide these services, the field is wide and deep, and growing constantly. Chose wisely. But that is the subject of another article: How To Choose A Mobile Marketing Partner.
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write by Meredith