By Peter Charalambos
The Basics of Mobile Marketing for Estate Agents
Did you know more than half of searches are currently performed on a mobile phone? That’s 1 in 3 ! See why mobile marketing for estate agents is crucial for the 21st century?
- Consumer behaviour is experiencing its biggest ever shift – the ‘mobile-first’ world is rapidly taking shape in front of our very eyes.
- But many small businesses, including estate agents, are not adapting to this shift, and consequently missing hundreds of potential leads every week.
- Or worse, losing them to competitors who have modernised their marketing strategy.
- Today’s buying cycle often begins ON MOBILE… ie Mobile-first. More and more we are seeing the under 45 age groups either start their property search, look for contact information or request further sales material on their phone.
- Unless there is a strategy in place to ‘scoop up’ these mobile-first customers, local businesses risk suffering in three ways:
- Miss out on a growing number of qualified leads going to waste
- Fall Behind competitors who have modernised
- Over reliance on traditional sales pipelines becomes unsustainable
What’s all this mobile marketing for estate agents about?
We know the Internet has changed the world forever. But the biggest change is actually starting today. Until now, our user behaviour has been forced to fit into the constraints of the physical Internet (ie a desktop pc connected by wires, or even a laptop at home close to your broadband box).
As technology has moved on, the Internet is now able to come to us wherever we are, thanks to mobile 4G, wi-fi and cloud systems. In other words, it’s finally able to fit into our world, the way we live our lives ie ‘on the go’.
You may have heard the latest buzzword Mobile-First? Although we don’t like buzzwords any more than you, the message is that tomorrow’s commercial world is being shaped, designed and prioritised to put the mobile & tablet before the desktop & laptop, because this is exactly how we live our lives now.
Big business is already putting mobile first in their marketing strategies, smartphone Apps that allow you to watch your favourite Sky Channels on the go, do your personal banking, or even do your supermarket shop if you want to.
These services are not just a normal website shown on your mobile phone. They are built for a smartphone or tablet from the ground up, ie mobile-first, and then your normal website comes second. That says it all, doesn’t it?!
How can Mobile help?
- In the same way that websites fundamentally changed how we approach purchases, today your customers are incorporating their mobile phones into the buying process.
- Why? Because technology is making our lives easier – Instant information, less free time, convenience and modern habits mean we rely heavily on the smartphone to fulfil our needs.
- A mobile marketing strategy can ‘scoop up’ this source of potential new customers who otherwise, may not contact you at all, or worse, be ‘scooped up’ by your competitors.
- These are people actively in buying-mode as they are requesting property information.
- Capturing qualified leads consequently delivers a much higher conversion rate, and lower cost per acquisition.
The Problem is clear
The problem for any estate agent is not the property market, which is thankfully moving again, it is the competition.
“Why should I use you to buy or sell a property over your competitor?”
If you don’t understand and fulfil modern customers’ needs, they will find someone who does.
To ensure your business is ready for this ‘Mobile-first’ world, it is crucial to understand the needs of the modern consumer and take steps to fulfil them.
Modern Consumer Needs
|Instant information||We want to access the relevant information on-demand ie in our pocket|
|Convenience||We want to access the relevant information easily ie wherever we are|
|Limited time||We want to access the relevant information in bite sized pieces, to research a purchase at a time that suits us|
|Relationship||We are sophisticated & capable of making our own decisions. Adding value earns trust, whereas sales pitches do the opposite.|
|Be Present||We want to find you where WE are:ONLINE & ON MOBILE, or we’ll find someone else there|
|Be Relevant||Junk mail is no longer relevant. A text message that contains a weblink that immediately takes you to a property listing IS.|
To stand out from your competitors you need differentiation. Traditionally this may be ‘quality’, ‘value’, ‘reputation’ or ‘relationship’ based. These USP’s are always important, but they are no longer truly ‘Unique’.
The modern customer expects you to be Relevant – To understand their needs. Mobile-first is about making people’s lives EASIER. That is;
– To fit in to his or her life.
The Opportunity to get ahead of the competition is now
- First Mover advantage & differentiation are everything in a saturated or highly competitive market.
- A local business that understands and adapts to changing customers’ needs before the competition will benefit from First Mover Advantage
- You will benefit from the lions share of this new source of leads and prospects
- The leads will be highly qualified as these customers are already in ‘buying mode’
- Allowing your customers to ‘engage’ with you so easily earns trust and builds loyalty
- In return, loyal customers recommend you to their friends (the best kind of marketing!)
- First mover advantage provides secondary benefits such as good PR /Press opportunities and word of mouth ‘talkability’.
So how exactly do you take first mover advantage over your competitors and ensure your business benefits most from this behavioural shift?
Well, the Solution is simple
- We are all ‘on the go’ most of the time, and mobile communication has enhanced our ability to make buying decisions or jump into buying mode at any time.
- We all use our smartphones to request further details about products and services we’re interested in, because its more convenient, instant and it FITS into our lives.
- Adding a QR Code & SMS Number (Shortcode) onto your Sales Boards, print materials & window displays you can offer a convenient way to reach mobile-first customers looking to buy or rent, and immediately turn them into leads.
- By scanning the code or texting the SMS number interested buyers request or ‘opt-in’, to receive sales material or contact information directly into the palm of their hand.
- They will instantly receive an SMS with instructions to click the link included. This link takes them directly to the property listing on your mobile website.
- This meets the needs of the modern buyer, and offers the kind of value your competitors aren’t offering, both of which enhance loyalty to your brand.
- But most significantly, it capture’s mobile phone numbers and provide your sales team with a new stream of qualified, ‘ready to buy’ leads.
- The Return On Investment is measurable. Do you know how many of last months’ leads were down to your newspaper adverts, or direct mail? This service will supply written reports of exactly how many people use the service each month to see if you’re happy with the ROI.
- You can even compare the mobile phone numbers we give you to those customers who convert to successful sales if you wanted to!
A mobile marketing strategy is fast becoming essential in the modern consumer driven world. In summary, mobile-friendly solutions provide the following benefits:
- Capture Mobile Numbers – a stream of qualified, ‘ready to buy’ leads
- First Mover advantage – Gain the lions share of new leads
- Differentiation – Gain that vital edge over your competitors
- Build Relationships – Demonstrates you understand customers’ needs
- Add Value – useful, relevant services will earn trust & build loyalty
- Generate PR – exciting news offers good local press opportunities
Be ready for the future ahead of your competitors
Small and local business will follow, and sooner or later, you will have to decide where you want your business to be in the new landscape.
Offering these kind of modern solutions will establish you as the market leader, by offering the kind of value today’s customer expects. And in turn will reward you with higher lead conversion rates, stronger loyalty and powerful recommendations.
If you want to generate new business through a mobile strategy or create a Mobile Website, contact Peter Charalambos at iMarkets Group here or call 01628 635515.
iMarkets Group – Helping Local Business grow in the 21st Century