With the fourth quarter of 2012 in full swing and 2013 looming just around the corner, many businesses find themselves knee deep in business planning for the year to come. A big part of that conversation, regardless of what business you’re in, is how to make sense of and subsequently harness the power of mobile technology?
It’s not as simple as it may seem; even technology giants such as Intel, Microsoft and Google are forced to rethink their business models to accommodate for the shift towards mobile. Recently, all three released disappointing earnings reports which analysts credit in large part to the revenue from mobile devices. Intel’s chips for computers are far more profitable than those in mobile devices, but mobile devices sales are increasing and PC sales are decreasing. Microsoft is in the same boat, as PC sales continue to decline, they have looked to introduce their own tablet to stay relevant. Google pay per click advertising prices declined this year and even as mobile ads continue to grow, they are less expensive and not yet as effective. On the contrary, Facebook, announced better than expected third quarter earnings in large part due to growth in mobile ad revenue which totaled $150 million for the quarter up from zero earlier in the year.
If technology giants such as the names mentioned above are still figuring out how to shift their business models to accommodate for the massive shift towards mobile computing, how can we as real estate businesses begin to make sense of this shift? My advice is to keep it simple. For better or worse, the fundamental principle of the real estate business is not technology, its listing and selling homes. However, in order to engage and create opportunities for those transactions we have to communicate with people the way they want to communicate. Today that means through mobile devices.
In order to compete with the national portals a broker at the local level must ensure that they provide an experience which is comparable to those on mobile devices; phones and tablets. In addition, by integrating additional mobile tools such as text messaging and QR codes, brokers have the opportunity to win more leads at the local level than ever before.
It may seem like a lot to undertake, but there are mobile technology firms that specialize in working directly with real estate companies to ensure that their mobile products and strategies are state-of-the-art. Regardless of whether or not you have an IT professional at your firm, it is more than worthwhile to consult a mobile technology expert in developing your solution and strategy.
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