Mobile Marketing (along with Social Media Marketing) seems to be one of the buzz terms in the Real Estate industry lately. Because of this interest a number of companies have popped up recently that claim to have a Real Estate Mobile Marketing solution. Invariably, many of them  have a similar concept; text in a keyword to a number and get back information on the property via a text message. And that is where most of them stop.

Many of these new companies leave out the essential features, options and controls necessary to help REALTORS generate qualify leads via mobile marketing. We have compiled a list of features (and why they are important) that you should look for in your Real Estate Mobile Marketing solution.

  • Instant Notifications- These notify you as soon as an inquiry comes in. The notification should provide both the number of the person inquiring and the basic information about the property.  You should have an option of receiving notifications via text (SMS), email or both.
  • Link to Mobile Optimized Website or Virtual Tour- Many services claim to be a complete mobile package.  They include a link to the property’s virtual tour in the text message but they leave it up to the real estate agent to make sure the virtual tour is mobile optimized. By having a mobile optimized virtual tour you ensure that the prospective buyer can get the information they want without having to decipher a web site that shows up poorly on their phone.
  • Email Package- Text Messaging by its nature is limited to 160 characters.  While you can pack a lot of information into that 160 characters you can’t get it all in there.  Make sure that your Real Estate Text Message provider has an email option.  This will provide you with a way to capture a leads email address and provide the lead with more information on demand.
  • Call Me Now Option- I know, the lead is texting because they don’t want to call.  But, once they have the information they requested and have been able to qualify the home as one they want to see more of they are more likely to want to speak to an agent.  Why not make it easy on them and have the agent call?  It is also a way of qualifying very interested leads.
  • Reporting- no program, no matter how inexpensive or simple to use is worthwhile unless it provides reporting. All reporting should include date and time of day, property information, phone number and type of inquiry (text, email package, call me, etc…).  In addition to online reporting a weekly or monthly summary that is automatically emailed to you should be part of the package because, let’s face it, you are busy and the last thing you need to do is log in to yet another web site just to run activity reports.

Another concern is that many of these Mobile Marketing for Real Estate providers are ignoring best practices and laws specific to mobile marketing that could have serious consequences for any agent using them. We have seen where many of these companies offer a “Text-Blast” feature, while this is a great idea many are not following TCPA laws that could lead to ~$1500 per message fine to the agent. (This is in no way meant to be legal advice, please consult an attorney for complete clarification on how to be compliant with TCPA.) Below is one of our podcasts where we discuss this and other Real Estate Mobile Marketing concerns.