This post is part of a series on mobile marketing strategies for real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, 89 percent of home shoppers use a mobile device during their search. Furthermore, 68 percent of them contacted a real estate professional based on a mobile search. And 21 percent of them found a listing agent based on their mobile search. Those are pretty staggering stats, and proof that real estate consumers are using mobile more than the average consumer. That also means that as a real estates professional, you cannot afford to ignore mobile users.
One of the most important things you should do to attract mobile users is to create a mobile-friendly website. Studies show that 79 percent of mobile users who find a site difficult to use will look for the information they need on another site and never return. That means if your competitor has a mobile site and you don’t, you’re sending them a ton of business. And you’re not even getting referral fees! But don’t panic, because creating a mobile-friendly does not have to be expensive, or even difficult. Sometimes it can be downright easy! Here are your three options:
Simply change your template! If your website is on a WordPress template, then your solution could be as simple as changing your template to one that is “responsive.” A “responsive” website is fluid, and will automatically respond and resize itself based on the device that is being used to view it. You can browse through some WordPress responsive templates here.
Build a mobile website. This is a “mini” version of your existing website. There are tons of mobile site builder applications that you can use to create a mini site just for mobile users. Most of these apps are simple to use and relatively inexpensive. Some of my favorites are MobDis, goMobi and YoMobi. They offer a variety of easy-to-customize mobile templates. Once your mobile site is built, you simply add a bit of code to your existing website that detects and auto-redirects mobile users to your mobile site.
Build a responsive website. If changing your website template to a responsive design is not an option, then you may want to simply start from scratch with a whole new website, built with a responsive design. This option is more expensive than simply building a mobile site, but it’s better for several reasons. Responsive sites are fluid, so whatever new screen size is the next big thing, your site will respond and work. And because there is no redirect of mobile users to a different site, it’s better for the overall search engine optimization (SEO) of your site.
Now that you know what your mobile website options are, you can choose one that fits your needs. But stay tuned, because before you actually build that mobile site, you should know exactly what mobile consumers want and need when they land on a mobile website.
Next week I’ll share a post with information and tips on what consumers are looking for on mobile websites. Building a mobile-friendly website is just one piece of your mobile marketing strategy. Another very important strategy is to make sure you are optimized for local search. Be sure to read my previous post, “3 key strategies to optimize business for local search on mobile devices.”
Marci James is the director of marketing at Obeo, which provides interactive virtual tours, professional photography, virtual redecorating tools and custom real estate marketing solutions.