SMS: Social, Mobile, Seamless

As a REALTOR® you are inundated with requests to part with your marketing dollars for a plethora of great ideas. Mobile marketing may be on your radar but perhaps are hesitant to jump in, especially in this economic climate. Why should you consider marketing your properties (and yourself) via SMS?

SMS is Social

You've probably seen the numbers - some 3.3 billion subscribers were predicted to be on-line by end of year 2008. Roughly half of the world's population have a cell phone.

Text messaging has been growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S. The fastest growing demographic, as reported by the Washington Post are those aged 45-54. Driven by desires to stay connected to their children, parents and grandparents are learning how to text.

Parents frequently follow their children into technology, setting up pages on MySpace and Facebook social-networking sites, for example, in a bid to become their "friends." Parental text messaging is outstripping the growth rate among younger generations. In the past two years, use of the technology by those ages 45 to 54 increased 130 percent, according to M:Metrics, a market-research firm. By comparison, those ages 13 to 17 increased their text messaging by far less, 41 percent.

The WP article also points out that SMS is not considered "intrusive" by users according to Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility.

Most phones can send and receive text messages and a large number can forward test messages not only to other phones but to email addresses as well. This means that the first contact who receives property information is a potential marketing channel and each of his/her friends are also potential marketing channels.

SMS is Mobile

The traditional flier possesses some of the same social properties as SMS. Prospects can pick up a flier and pass it on to a friend or relative, but the nature of a hard-copy limits the ability of the initial contact to forward it to more than just one person. SMS, by its electronic nature requires nothing special for a message to be duplicated and passed on to others. The time-place relevance of SMS delivery can't be understated.

The flier requires far more resources and time, and there is a delay factor that just isn't present with SMS. Because people carry their phones with them everywhere, the chance that your information will travel with them is far more likely than the flier you spend hours creating and delivering.

SMS is Seamless

A real benefit to the SMS channel for the REALTOR® is its ease of use and seamless integration into mobile devices. It is available wherever there is cell coverage. This is a good opportunity also for us to plug DriveBuy's features. Adding your listings to the DriveBuy service allows you to:

  • Create a mobile-friendly web-site dynamically formatted to the prospect's device

  • Receive notifications on your cell phone and/or email account when prospects request property info.

  • Export your leads in real-time to your Top Producer account or Outlook (vCard)

  • Post listings to Twitter. Listings are formatted to fit and include a link to your mobile-friendly web site.

Marketing properties and your own personal brand is a perfect fit for text messaging. As a REALTOR® you not only have a valuable service and products to offer, you possess information that your prospects seek. SMS provides a perfect delivery vehicle that is Social, Mobile and Seamless.

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