With competition in real estate getting intense, players jostling for a piece of the pie need to build some competitive edge. Enhancing the user experience online could be one such facet. Perhaps the time is right for players to take the plunge and go mobile
The real estate industry is gradually setting foot into the technologically space since it has realised the worth mobile users hold today. Globally smartphone users are ruling the platform with the amount of data they view as compared to desktop or laptop users.
Research states that close to 78% of the population using a smartphone does not go back to a website while looking for information online. Considering the dependency that mobiles and the Internet have created, everyone desires mobile marketing aids, be it for a candy store or a hotel booking. Approximately 90% of home shoppers are addicted to mobile apps and online sites for their shopping. Even the real estate industry is catching on to the trend, and prefers marketing through the mobile mode as it is quicker, inexpensive and has a wider reach. It must, however, be noted that mobile users cannot be ignored and constantly need to be updated with latest information.
Here are six tips to keep in mind while building a strong mobile strategy:
Modify Template: Turn the look of your mobile site into something responsive and user friendly. By responsive, I mean a website that automatically responds and even resizes itself based upon the device it opens in. This helps in retaining a buyer who would have explored another option because your website was too troublesome to deal with.
Mobile Website: If turning the website’s template into a responsive one is an issue, then the next best thing to do is building a mini version of your website that is easy to access on a mobile phone. Even search engines tend to give more preference to websites that are mobile-optimised.
SEO Options: Search engine optimisation is a technique to remain at a higher search position on search engines, such as Google and Yahoo. In layman’s language, whenever certain keywords, for instance ‘best property in Delhi’ or ‘buy house in Gurgaon’ are typed, the search site would show options of the closest match to these keywords.
Maps & 3D Models: Photographs are passé, buyer look for more on websites. Real estate developers need to integrate a map, and if possible add videos or 3D maps which are like a walkthrough of the site, so that it builds an impression. It is a good way to pull in the crowds and gain sales.
Enhanced Performance: A slow website will kill business as visitors will lose interest. A website needs to be fast performance-wise, and crisp with its content. No buyer is looking at reading three odd pages of detailed history of a builder. A good sales pitch can be delivered when a buyer reaches the site, but before that all he needs is information that is just apt to build his interest. The last thing you would want is a buyer getting disheartened with the performance of the website and hence leaving the website or uninstalling the app.
Apps with an Edge: Build upon mobile applications to simplify property search and provide options enabling them to make direct calls to customer service. This feature is a hit in the mobile app market due to limited time that people have, or their laziness to click buttons and read content. People view things quickly over their phone and tend to speak directly to the agents to help them out. Voice interactivity can do wonders to your business. Make sure that if you are stepping into the mobile app world, you offer it on both the major platforms, iOS and Android.
Having a mobile strategy is a constant reminder of how you need to strive for your business to work better and get ahead. Real estate business has a huge amount of competition, you need to think of smarter strategies that will give you an edge and ensure more people are aware about your projects. ‘Word of mouth’ the smartphone way is the best thing technology could give to developers. Like any other e-commerce business, real estate too needs to broaden its scope and reach out to its target audience with a strategy that clicks with the masses.
The author is managing director of Sarvome Developers. Views expressed herein are personal.