RISMEDIA, February 15, 2010—At dinner recently with two colleagues, the debate between which had a better and brighter future, the app (application aka “there’s an app for that”) or the WAP (wireless application protocol aka Mobile Website) raged on. Compelling arguments were made from both sides of the table. Since both of these technologies are fairly new and developing rapidly, they both have and deserve a seat at the table. However, what became clear during this debate is not only how mainstream mobile technology has become, but how quickly the demand for mobile solutions is growing. Staying ahead of the mobile learning curve will ensure that you benefit from the advantages mobile technology has to offer. From a sales perspective, these are things such as lead generation, real-time alerts and brand awareness (all of which we touched on last week). But just as important, having this mobile tool in your toolbox allows you to walk into a listing presentation and speak to a potential seller about how you are going to use mobile technology—the medium of the moment—to help you effectively market their home.
As a result of economic conditions and tightening of credit markets, there is currently an abundance of inventory in the housing market. As a homeowner, if I were to want/need to sell my house right now, I would be facing increased competition from other homes on the market. Furthermore, today’s real estate buyers and sellers are armed with an overwhelming amount of information; both the ability to find it and distribute it via the Internet. Most brokers and MLS’ have now adopted technology to syndicate listings throughout the Internet to hundreds of different real estate websites each night. This is great for home buyers, the majority of whom start their home search online. However, the problem for sellers is they all syndicate to the same sites, so while my home is being marketed to the masses, so are all my competitors. Some might argue that technology has leveled the playing field and to some degree it has…but only if you use the same technology as everyone else!
In order to differentiate yourself and your brand, you could highlight the fact that in addition to providing your sellers with the tools that are standard in the industry, you go above and beyond to incorporate a mobile solution that supplements your efforts in effectively marketing their home. It would be foolish to think that sellers are not also seeing and hearing about the trends taking place in the way we communicate and the overwhelming shift to mobile devices. They see it every day when they turn on their TV’s and see Verizon and AT&T battle one another with their “app for that”, “map for that” campaigns. Your sellers have advanced mobile devices, send text messages (probably to you, their Realtor), are on Facebook and follow people on twitter just like you.
In a recent conversation with Margaret Thall, Associate Broker at Charles Rutenberg Realty, Long Island, she explained that she has incorporated the mobile solution she uses into every listing presentation she does. She uses a system that allows buyers to text in for property information and captures their information at that same time. She told me, “I bring the rider to all my listing appointments and explain how wonderful this is to capture the potential buyer right on the spot. The sellers love it and I love it because it helps me get their listings.”
In closing, don’t let technology level the playing field. Show sellers how you can communicate and market their home through the most popular medium of the moment and use this pertinent technology to put their home on a playing field of its own.
Seth Kaplan is the president of Mobile Real Estate ID. For more information, visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.