Texas REALTORĀ® - Going Mobile Article

 Texas REALTOR(R) Magazine
DriveBuy is featured in the June 2008 issue of Texas REALTOR®.
Access the article at TexasRealtors.com here:
June 2008

Going Mobile - new technology and mobile marketing tools to help your business.

By Dee Copeland 

Think back over the last 20 years or so. Personal computers and the Internet have revolutionized the way the world interacts. It’s difficult to imagine doing business without e-mail anymore. The widespread availability of high-speed Internet access, online document sharing and file management, Web applications, and video conferencing has further changed both the industry and our means of communication.

Now, mobile technology applications are poised to again change our methods of interaction with clients and the way businesses market themselves. The real estate industry is not excused from this movement; client demand has forced our hand.

Mobile what?

In the simplest terms, mobile marketing refers to interacting with consumers on their mobile phones. This could include sending content to or from a mobile device or using a mobile phone on both sides of the interaction.

This content can range from a simple text message sent to standard cell phones to complex virtual-tour images and clips sent to the most advanced smartphones.

Why you should care

Some agents think having a “sticky” Web site or blog will put them ahead of the curve, and I am certainly not going to downplay the importance of a strong Web presence. However, having the capacity to effectively communicate with current and potential clients via a cell phone or PDA is becoming increasingly important.

Consider that there are 120 million Generation X and Generation Y mobile subscribers. These are our clients today and for many years to come—and they have a great deal of buying power. Many of them quite simply prefer this type of communication. It’s instant, it’s easy, and it doesn’t require them to run to a computer or take notes—all the information is on the pocket-size devices that they carry with them at all times.

Some of the phones on the market today are fairly advanced machines, and their hardware and software are improving all the time. These devices are not only a primary communication device, but also highly portable personal computers. As their popularity increases and prices drop, it’s not difficult to foresee considerable market saturation. The time to get comfortable with this platform and the associated technologies is now.

Text this house

In today’s world of online shopping and instant gratification, buyers are accustomed to getting product information immediately. Real estate is no different. If a buyer is driving around and sees an available property, he’ll want the information now, when in front of the home.

Give him what he wants—an opportunity to send a request via text message and get an instant reply on his cell phone.

[Read the entire article here]