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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Your Mobile Real Estate Website Just Got a Lot More Important...

Perhaps this past July Fourth weekend can serve as an example.

We live and function in a busy society that’s always on the go, and that lifestyle parlays into the absolute necessity to grab information through the most accessible mobile means.

As stated in a recent article by 1000Watt’s Jessica Swesey, “The mobile call to action has reached maximum urgency for brokers.”

We’ve been saying as much for the past few years, but there’s no more time to keep talking without action.

Google has made this official. Last month they announced that its new mobile search engine ranking changes will negatively affect those websites that have a poor presence on smartphone searches.

Translation: If you don’t have a great mobile real estate website, or mobile website at all, you might start seeing a negative impact on your website SEO, equating to less visitors, leads and sales.

As Swesey notes, much of the real estate industry still struggles to understand mobile functionalities, responsive web design, and apps vs. mobile real estate websites. Those are all key fundamentals when there’s simply no time left to “figure mobile out” without the possibility of watching your business suffer as you do.

A great deal of smartphone users likely turned to their mobile devices this weekend to find when the local fireworks would be held. A great deal more turn to their mobile devices each day to browse real estate listings while waiting in line at the bank, in the coffee shop, during a break at work, or in a moment of boredom during the Fourth of July family cookout. In fact, consumer data shows that more and more people are starting their home search on their mobile device, and this trend will only continue upward.


The above graphic generated from Delta Media Group customer data illustrates rapid upward trending in mobile traffic



Some mobile users might open an email from you, follow the link to a listing, and be turned off by the website they find. Others might turn to a search engine to look for a nearby listing and use the website that ranks highly and provides the best mobile experience. The website without a mobile experience will get overlooked by the consumer, if it hasn’t already been overlooked by the search engine the consumer used.

A great deal of mobile traffic now enters the brokerage website through a listing detail page rather than the home page, as Swesey notes. We’ve seen the same, as have eCommerce websites.

This is due, in part, to search engines indexing those pages, consumers using long-tail search to find a specific property while on the go, and email marketing pushing consumers to specific listing detail pages rather than the home page. Consumers—particularly those on the go—want to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible and judge whether it warrants any more of their time. The listing detail page brings them there, while a multi-step process starting at the home page does not.

While the mobile home page needs to have a simplistic, one-step property search, listing detail pages require easy call-to-action buttons that allow consumers to quickly submit a request before a distant cousin might engage them in a conversation at that cookout. The listing detail page must have an image, first and foremost, surrounded by just enough property information, the ability to easily scan through additional images, and the ability to schedule a showing, save the listing, email it to a friend, or find driving directions through their smartphone’s map feature.

Property listing detail page designed and optimized for mobile usage

That functionality promises an interactive experience that will leave the consumer asking for more information if the listing fits the bill. If it doesn’t, the consumer will use the mobile site to find another.

The mobile website can no longer be viewed as a less important marketing opportunity for a tiny portion of your audience. It can’t be viewed as the inflatable gorilla that gets a customer in the door, where the real sales happen.

The mobile real estate website has to be viewed as just as important of an entry point to your customers as any other.  Perhaps even more important now as trending shows.

“Mobile is more than a redecorated foyer into your website. It’s now more like a satellite office that offers the same products and services, but through an experience more appropriate to the visitors who walk in that door,” Swesey wrote.

More and more consumers are walking in the mobile door, and will continue to as time goes on. And more and more business opportunities will be lost for those who don’t embrace mobile in their real estate marketing now.

About Delta Media Group, Inc. 

Serving over 600 real estate brokerages, 35,000 agents and 225 MLS's across the nation, Delta Media Group is one of the fastest-growing digital marketing firms in the real estate industry. From desktop to tablet to mobile, Delta offers integrated digital marketing and customer management solutions for every platform. For more information about Delta Media Group, visit www.DeltaGroup.com.
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