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RISMEDIA, August 27, 2010—The fact that consumers are going mobile is no secret. In a year (2009) when all other forms of media consumption, as well as media spending, decreased, mobile was the only channel of media that increased dramatically. Mobile media consumption increased 39% over the prior year due to increased talk time, texting and, most importantly, Mobile Web, which according to the Yankee Group, increased 36%.

The question becomes not if consumers are going mobile; they are. Instead, how can we, as real estate firms, leverage this to create a mobile culture within our organization? In order to create a coordinated and integrated approach to mobile marketing, your system must include the “5 Ps of Mobile Real Estate:”

1. Phoning – With over 277 million mobile devices in the U.S. alone, the device itself provides us with the ability to make calls, send text messages, e-mail and search the Internet. These capabilities provide real estate professionals the ability to work across larger geographical territories with greater efficiency.

2. Property Promotion – Assigning a unique Mobile ID 5(or text code) to each property listing allows buyers to access property information, pictures and the listing agent’s contact information directly on their cell phones via text message. They would simply send a text message with the property’s Mobile ID to a specific short code (i.e., text 123 to 88500). Mobile IDs can be used across all forms of property advertisements, for example, on a for sale sign, in online advertisements, print advertisements, brochures and direct mail pieces. When a real estate consumer clicks on the link for pictures within the text message, they are taken to a mobile webpage that not only allows them to see property photos, but also search for other listings through the mobile website.

3. Personal Branding – Firm (or agent) branding should appear in all text messages sent to consumers. In addition, all text responses back to consumers should include links to fully branded mobile websites. Mobile websites can range in functionality from a single property mobile website with photos, property description and maps to full mobile sites, mimicking a firm’s traditional website, which includes property searches, mortgage calculators, “About Us” and social media links (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). All mobile sites should be interconnected in order to best drive traffic.

4. Prospecting – A true mobile marketing system allows firms and agents to reach potential clients in ways that have never before been possible. Each time a potential customer texts in for property information, their cell phone number should be captured and simultaneously sent directly to the listing agent. This allows agents to follow up with that prospect in real time. Furthermore, a firm or agent-specific Mobile ID would allow you to build a mobile database of prospects as well as give existing and former clients a simple and efficient way to refer you; they can simply tell others to text the Mobile ID to the specified short code.

5. Platform – A simple and efficient online platform to manage your entire mobile marketing solution is crucial to building a successful initiative. Firms should have the ability to track and manage all leads, generate reports and send mass text and e-mail communications to all their agents. Agents within the firm should be able to track and manage all leads for their listings, generate reports and customize messages. The platform should also provide detailed analytics with regard to mobile websites.

Implementing a system that incorporates multiple facets of mobile technology as opposed to purchasing a single mobile marketing product will allow your firm to maximize its exposure through the mobile media channel.

Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate ID.

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