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Capturing Customers on the Spot

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By Maria Patterson

RISMEDIA, Dec. 20, 2007-Last May, Summer Greene embarked on a mission. In need of a technology solution that would give her agents a competitive edge in the Southeast Florida marketplace, Greene and her team traveled to the NAR Midyear Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C., determined to find a provider and a product that would successfully do the job.

As the regional manager of Prudential First Realty, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Greene oversees six offices and 250 agents. In order to keep in step with the changing habits of consumers, Greene felt it necessary to start investing more dollars in technology-related marketing programs.

“We had already committed to enhancing all of our listings on Realtor.com and were looking to extract some of our dollars from print media and focus more on technology and the Internet,” explains Greene. At the Midyear Conference, Greene chose Princeton, New Jersey-based CellAHouse and their mobile-listing program from a wide selection of technology service providers and programs.

An easy-to-use, Web-based application, CellAHouse users log in, add property information and upload pictures of a listing. Agents then put the CellAHouse yard sign or rider in front of the property providing the prospective buyer a number to text for more information and photos of the listing. The customer’s phone number is then sent to the agent’s cell phone or e-mail, paving the way for immediate follow up on the warm lead.

“We zeroed in on CellAHouse because we felt it had the best solution,” she explains. “Not only did this program provide textual information to a user’s cell phone, but five photos (of a listing) as well. Then they closed the loop by alerting agents immediately when prospective buyers were downloading the information. Several vendors offered similar solutions, but CellAHouse had the best overall solution.”

Implementing a program like CellAHouse was a critical strategy for Greene and her agents. “Instant gratification is key,” she explains. “Customers are no longer just driving by a house and looking at yard signs, and brochures eventually run out. With this program, people can key in an I.D. number and get all the information on the listing. The agent is also immediately alerted and can follow up to find out how else they can help.”

Critical to the success of the program, says Greene, is rapid follow up on the agent’s part. She strongly advises that agents respond to the alert from CellAHouse within 10 to 15 minutes of a customer downloading a listing’s information.

CellAHouse also emerged as the best choice for Greene and her team based on the ease and effectiveness of its back-end functionality. The CellAHouse program imports listing information and photos directly from the MLS.

Even more significant is the thorough lead reports provided by CellAHouse. “It’s terrific-they provide lead reports that show how many people called, what their phone numbers are, and what they downloaded. The program is an excellent listing tool, as well. When we go to a home seller, we’re the only company in the area that has this solution. It’s a good tool for sellers because the name of the game is getting as much exposure as possible for the property.”

According to Greene, the CellAHouse program stands to have a long-term impact with customers, as well: “It’s all about solutions-as far as our repeat business, if we have a happy seller and service them well, we expect to get their referral business.”

For more information, please visit www.cellahouse.net.

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