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RISMEDIA, November 4, 2010—While I spend a lot of time in this column talking about technology and how it can be used to benefit real estate agents and agencies, rarely have we looked at how to take the concept and turn it into practice. This month, let’s look at some quick ways you can begin implementing a mobile marketing strategy into your practice today.

The most common and affordable mobile marketing solution available is text messaging lead generation services. All of the premier providers of this technology within the real estate industry allow you to send a demo listing to your phone so you can see what your potential home buyers will see. Once you have tried a couple of demos and found the one that provides the best consumer experience, you can normally sign up right there online.

When signing up online, you will have to pick a subscription. Most companies will have a couple of monthly subscription options to choose from, based on the number of listings you have. Some will even offer a flat fee for a yearly subscription to the service. Beware of companies that try and charge you message fees or fees per lead; whether monthly or annual, you should pay a flat rate for the service. If you are comfortable with having your messages ad-supported, the subscription fee you pay will be much lower.

After finding a company and a subscription that suits your needs, the hard part is done. Upon enrollment into your particular subscription, you should receive a welcome e-mail with a username and password that will allow you to get started.

All you need to do now is create a simple text message that a buyer will receive when they text in for one of your listings. Often, there is a concern about creating the message. While it can be cumbersome if you have a lot of listings, remember, there is limited space in a text message so the message is short and to the point.

Include the pertinent information, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet and price. Once your messages are created, the last thing left to do is hang the sign riders (which are normally ordered during the sign-up process) and begin including the text code in all of your marketing materials. Remember, text codes are a great way to enhance any form of traditional advertisement that you are already doing, such as print advertisements, or to add a “wow” factor to your listing presentations.

As an individual agent, implementing a text-messaging lead generation solution for your own practice should not be a daunting task. It does get a bit more complicated for brokers who want to provide this service to an entire firm or office, but it is not as complex as it may seem on the surface. The biggest hurdle a broker must face is determining whether or not they want to purchase sign riders for all of their listings or not.

Once they make that decision, the rest of the logistics regarding how a text messaging lead generation program should be implemented will fall into place. Brokers’ needs will vary based on the size of their firm and the number of offices, so I would recommend consulting with an expert during the decision-making process. They can help you determine the best and most practical way to implement a solution.

The time is now to begin taking advantage of the vast benefits that a mobile marketing solution can offer. It is not as complex as it may seem at first and there are a number of professionals in the field who are happy to help guide you through the process. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate ID.

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