Thursday, May 14, 2009

REALTOR Marketing With Mobile Messaging

I attended an online seminar today the topic of mobile messaging. My purpose for attending was to look for ways to promote our expired listing lead service. The data presented was pretty compelling; especially if you have a list of prospects that you are challenged to stay in contact with. The technology has moved to the point that you can now offer your prospects a way to stay continually in touch with you and the services that you provide. The technology is not completely new. There have been online companies that provide listing data in response to a specific mobile text numbers that you can post on your listing. Unfortunately, these systems usually provide a one-off communication with your prospect, and some rudimentary contact information from which to follow up.

This approach which is well known to most real estate agents is completely different than what was presented. The example that was provided was a communication that was sent out from during a concert to those who had registered to receive mobile updates. The communication included a coupon code and an invitation to forward that coupon on to each of the recipient’s friends which essentially made the message viral. Now I know that you are not putting on large rock concerts, and probably don’t have that big of a budget; also, real estate is a completely different animal. However, the strategy remains the same.

As a marketer, here is how I would recommend real estate agents use this technology:

1) Getting leads: contract with a SMS text service provider so that you can put different text codes on different listing signs and advertisements that you place. There are a number that serve the real estate industry, but make sure that they have an autoresponder system so that after the first text is sent, the textee is sent a follow up requesting permission to provide additional updates. You want your list of leads to opt in to the communication.

2) Sending a list of listings may be trite, let’s face it, we all do it as a standard of practice with little differentiation. Instead, send out data that is both useful to your prospective customer and unique to you. If you tie the text numbers to a specific advertisement, you can at least assume some things about the individual who requested the data. From there, you can create follow-on texts that may suite the prospect’s interest. These may include new listings that are similar to what originally prompted the text. For differentiation and the viral spin, you may want to send local updated on local events. You may also go as far as approaching some of the advertisers in the local clipper magazines and mailers and request permission to forward their offer to your target list. Let’s face it, when was the last time you received a free pizza or 20% off dinner at your local Chinese restaurant from your Realtor?

No comments: