AS PUBLISHED IN THE BRAMPTON REAL ESTATE BOARD – REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK
We know Technology and Social Media have changed the way we live and do business. Although the mobile world has evolved exponentially over the past couple of years, many REALTORS® do not yet recognize the importance of engaging the growing numbers of mobile, home buyers.
Now is the time to get your mobile website set up. Facebook’s performance and Google’s recent surveys underscore the importance of a mobile website. Facebook’s share price reaching an all-time high this past August has been attributed primarily to increased mobile advertising revenue and a 50% increase in mobile users since last year. Experts acknowledge that the world’s entire Internet connectivity is now moving mobile. According to Google, 65% of all Internet searches begin on a mobile device and Google projects that by the end of 2013 there will be more internet traffic from mobile devices than from computers. (Google, “The New Multi-screen World”, 2012 & “Mobile Optimization”, 2011)
Few REALTORS® seem to know the advantages of a mobile website over a “mobile friendly” desktop website. There is a noticeable difference in both appearance and functionality between the two. Just try navigating your website from a smartphone and compare that experience with a fully mobile website.
Some REALTORS® think that using a QR code to point to their desktop website provides a mobile web presence. However, in most cases, that just frustrates a mobile user on a smartphone because of the difficulty in navigating the desktop site. When a mobile user scans a QR code he expects a mobile webpage to instantly open. Google’s surveys indicate that 57% of mobile users would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site and 40% have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. (Compuware, “What Users Want from Mobile,” 2011).
Other REALTORS® consider having a mobile app as their mobile marketing strategy. They may not realize that homebuyers do not typically search for REALTORS® or property information in an app store. Although apps are useful for client retention, they are most effective when used in conjunction with an engaging mobile website.
A good mobile web solution should drive mobile traffic to your site, keep visitors there and get them to come back. In choosing a mobile website, features to look for in order to maximize homebuyer engagement include:
- mobile optimized viewing of MLS® listings and content on any smartphone, tablet or E-reader,
- automatic redirect of mobile users from desktop website to mobile website,
- multiple types of property search to accommodate all mobile users – Address, Amenity, Guided, MLS® #, and most important, Search Near Me (GPS),
- integrated Google Maps with Satellite and Street View and integrated directions (all within your site/app),
- Simple lead capture tools that should not force registration for site access (like login with Facebook),
- one click connection to agent/brokerage and to social media sites,
- built-in SEO strategy based on latest search engine criteria per www.Schema.org ,
- local neighbourhoods, attractions and partners,
- custom pages for exclusive /sold listings, blogs, articles and videos,
- integrated language translation,
- mortgage calculator and
- integrated Google Analytics to monitor marketing efforts.
Selecting a mobile solution that can be easily customized, including the “Swiss army knife” suite of features outlined above, should help build effective relationships with mobile clientele (and make you stand out from your competitors). Before signing up with any website provider, check out the web analytics on their client sites to see how well their system actually performs.
To keep informed on the latest developments in the mobile world affecting REALTORS®, please visit our knowledge base at www.barcodepublicity.com.
Barcode Realty offers state-of-the-art mobile websites, applications, marketing tools, content services, education and much more!
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