By Seth Kaplan
Last week, a conversation with colleagues became heated when someone challenged the well-known quote from Google’s executive chairman, “If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy,” as outdated. According to my colleague, “If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you won’t have a business.” While it’s a bold assertion, there is a ton of evidence to support this theory.
The first round of supporting arguments proposed during this debate here at the office focused on two of the biggest names in technology; Facebook and Instagram.
Instagram, the ultra-popular, photo-sharing app, which facebook purchased for $1 billion dollars in 2012 didn’t even launch their website until just recently this year. Their business was focused entirely on mobile and it’s made them pretty successful.
Facebook on the other hand, the ultra popular social network, which went public in May of 2012 was getting killed on Wall Street due mainly to analysts’ impression they were “slow to move on mobile.” However, as of their fourth quarter earnings, mobile now accounts for 23 percent of total revenue and their earning per share beat Wall Street predictions. Optimism for the company is back solely on the strength of their opportunity for growth in the mobile space (not traditional web) which includes 680 million monthly active unique viewers.
Facebook and Instragram present two pretty strong arguments that without a mobile strategy you may not be in business any longer, but the buck doesn’t stop there. In the real estate space, Zillow, Trulia and Angie’s List all reported blowout earnings, much of which was attributed to their mobile traffic. On Zillow’s conference call they offered some insight into their traffic, 46 million unique, of which more than half now come from mobile devices. In addition, those users on mobile devices are researching homes on the go, using GPS to identify homes near them, making them a “hot lead” that is ready to buy and thus more valuable purchase for real estate agents. Zillow now has 23 distinct mobile apps in its portfolio.
Yet another good point and supporting argument for the importance of mobile is the viability of the leads from an ROI perspective. In the real estate industry in particular, the viability of conversion for mobile leads is far greater than traditional desktop leads.
Brokers continue to struggle online with “Mickey Mouse” leads, consumers who enter fake names and information to get access to property info. Mobile has inherent ways of scrubbing leads. Text message inquires for example are 100 percent real leads, each consumer who texts in for information is using their personal cell phone number to do so directly linking them to the lead; guaranteeing a real person on the other end.
There is no denying the importance of mobile is greater than it’s ever been and will only continue to grow – the only question that remains is whether you will be in a position to capitalize on it.
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