dAs with every aspect of digital life, consumers’ transition from PC screen to smartphone or tablet continues at high speed. When people see a property they like, they will go to their phone first, rather than waiting to get home and look up the estate agent. The millennial and their successor generations live by their mobile phones, therefore opening the door for great mobile marketing opportunities.
The digital world is a mobile one
Key to the success of any real estate agent is appearing in the right places for their market. With younger families and professionals climbing the property ladder. Being visible to them via social media, online advertising and mobile app is a critical part of the marketing and sales process.
The industry regularly highlights the benefits of mobile, the benefits of virtual tours, sharing and the ability to develop trust are all highlighted as key reasons to go mobile. When people seek properties, they are more likely to visit an app recommended by friends or family, use a site they recognize in a TV ad, or run a quick search rather than plodding through the yellow pages to find an estate agent operating in their target area. Yet, remarkably few for-sale signs mention apps or social media.
All of this transitional activity by your customer means estate agents need to be focused on mobile-first marketing and promotion.
Websites need to look good on phones
At the minimum, ensuring your estate agent property website is designed in a responsive manner. That means it will look at its best on any size of device, be it phone, tablet or PC. Even better, get your react team or developer to produce an adaptive or fluid design that produces better-looking results.
Whatever choice you make, the mobile version needs to look good and function properly on a smaller screen. The focus on images over text and accessibility of features are key traits of a good site, when the user has a typical smartphone screen. While a mobile website makes your business more in tune with customers, having an app offers further advantages when it comes to moving and shaking in the real estate business.
Benefits of an app-based approach to real estate
With the rise of app-based research and buying, customers like to be able to see homes, flats and apartments first via an app. Apps help them find properties faster via alerts, it can show them the detailed and wider location on maps.
Via an app, customers can make, adapt and store their searches to find their ideal range, either for buying or rental is essential. Advanced features like being within a school catchment area or particular district, bus or tube line are also considerations for many.
Apps can also add extra features like video, augmented reality tours of the area,some apps even allow customers to sign paperwork digitally, something that can help speed the process up for those who are far from their estate agent.
Making your app stand out is also essential, becoming an expert in your local areas and spreading that information and knowledge can help define your branches as truly useful. Apps also need to feature content that meets the needs of the modern buyer, by keeping it up to date and engaging for those looking in specific areas, you add value and engage with customers.
A mobile app focus is essential
Using an app also integrate the communications process, allowing people to set up appointments to view, or to arrange callbacks at their convenience. They can also be used to provide information that helps explain the buying process, field frequently asked questions and provide updated information as a sale goes through.Being on the customer's phone makes it easier for you to stay in touch. When going through a home search or buying process, texts and MMS messages can play a key point in keeping the buyer or seller informed and interested.
When it comes to building an app, most estate agents will look to a local developer, or ask their web developer to take on the task. These are possibilities, but a more hands-on solution would be to look at a provider that can help you develop your own app tailored to the real estate market.
When it comes to choosing app features, there are plenty of examples to look at for research and inspiration. American app Realtor has over 150,000 positive reviews, so can serve as a good benchmark and template for your app.
Mobile advertising brings benefits
Estate agents can also use mobile advertising, ideal in situations when large numbers of people are on the move, including students, for company relocations or new businesses starting up. Tying campaigns to keywords like the local university name, any relocating business or other activity will help get the app or agents seen. By being top of a mobile Google or other search, your agents can ensure their app is the first thing they use to help with their move.
Whatever your current focus, the world is going mobile at a great rate of knots and any business that ignores this fact is going to lose out by increasing amounts as customers become more used to using a device as their primary communications point. Even if your market is largely an older one, all generations are picking up the mobile and using it for all sorts of new tasks, and there’s nothing special about estate agency that will make it any different.