How To Compete In The New Mobile Marketplace
Can individual real estate investors and smaller real estate firms still compete in the “mobile” property industry?
Nearly 100% of home buyers are using the Internet for their home searches. Over half are already preferring mobile devices to desktops. By 2015, the overwhelming majority of home searches will likely be performed on mobile devices. Meanwhile, Inman News has reported that the role of yard signs and open houses continues to shrink. They can still be invaluable in the long run, and are definitely stronger tools in some areas than others. However, there is no question that mobile, in its various forms, is a big part of the future. This can be a major issue for private homeowners who have considered selling on their own. In general, these home marketing strategies will take them longer and cost them more.
Fortunately, it gets a little easier for real estate investors and even small real estate companies.
Many real estate professionals, new and veteran, get scared off and intimidated by advancements in technology and mobile internet marketing. In reality, it really doesn’t have to be that complicated. While it can get flashy and technical, it is really all about finding ways to meet people where they are in their preferred medium. There are plenty of relatively low tech ways to reach home buyers and sellers on their smartphones and tablets. How about text messages, bulk SMS, phone calls, email, mobile responsive real estate websites, and social media like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. These are mediums being embraced by all age groups.
Mobile offers and mobile apps are what most instinctively think of when mobile marketing is mentioned. Fortunately, they have become far less expensive and more straightforward to roll out than they used to be. There are even do-it-yourself app builders out there. They may be very rudimentary and amateur, but they might work for some.
For those on tighter marketing budgets, and that don’t have many extra hours to try and learn new technologies, there are also ways to leverage third party mobile marketing platforms. This is especially true for Realtors and real estate brokerages, which can choose from an array of online real estate portals like Zillow.
Realtors, brokerages, boutique investment firms, and individual real estate investors can also leverage an even larger menu of online portals and websites to market through. Many of them will make a whole lot more sense than the likes of Zillow and Trulia. Considder tapping their social media followings and relationships, email lists, and websites with image, text and banner ads. By honing in on smaller, yet targeted sites, with less industry competition, these parties may well be able to substantially up their ROI and conversion ratios.
Other alternatives for getting into mobile consumers’ hands and devices might include digital business cards or leveraging interactive print, which may be more cost effective, but can still have a huge impact, and help professionals stand out.
Still, circling back, while there can be a necessity to do outreach in the beginning, real estate investors and boutique brokerages cannot afford to neglect building up their own online assets. It is crucial to build your own presence and value versus other peoples’ listing sites, social media networks and, even third party sales centers. Balance on and off page internet marketing. For all types of real estate marketing, make sure you own the content, customer, and data whenever possible.
Finally, it is essential to be looking ahead. What’s trending today will be old news tomorrow. So what’s in the works to be hot in 12 months from now?
In summary; even solo real estate investors and independent real estate agents tasked with their own marketing and lead generation can not only compete, but also out maneuver their competition if they just learn how to.