It’s now a fact: mobile technology has become an inevitable part of our daily lives. It’s crazy to think that the first smartphone came out only seven years ago, but by of the end of 2013, the amount of mobile devices on earth outnumbered the human population. Now, you not only have to incorporate online marketing into your business strategies, but you also have to think about how mobile-friendly your efforts are. Think about it: if most of your target audience primarily uses mobile devices, but your website isn’t mobile optimized, potential clients are likely to hit the ‘back’ button and head to a competing agent’s site that they can easily navigate on their phone.
Preparing for the Mobile Age
According to a recent survey by ComScore, a little over half of the unique visitors to all real estate websites came from mobile devices. Phones and tablets are easy to access, and are usually things we always have on hand. According to [biz journal], the average adult has their smartphone within reach 22 hours out of the day. Phones have become the go to method for searching for products or business. It’s no different for real estate.
It is more important than ever to make sure your online profiles and websites are mobile compatible. In NARs 2013 Buyers and Sellers Profile, they concluded that 92% of homebuyers and sellers use the Internet at some point during their search. Forbes also reports that, “Two-thirds of smartphone users say a mobile-friendly site makes them more likely to buy a company’s product or service, and 74% say they’re more likely to return to the site later.” In addition, if your page takes longer than five seconds to load, that potential client will move on to the next one. With all of this in mind, you can see how vital it is that you “[Focus] on creating mobile strategies to help capture, engage and inform the real estate consumer.”
Perfecting Your Site
Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you of the importance of a mobile-friendly site, we’re going to give you some tips on how to accomplish this. According to Google, the most essential factors to winning over consumers on mobile are:
- Click-to-call accessibility
- Contact information (location, email address, etc.)
- A search bar that is easy to locate and use
- Social links
- Easy, one-direction scrolling
- Finger friendly buttons
- Option to see the non-mobile site
Some of the main things you want to focus on are an attractive and efficient design and information that can be found in one or two clicks. If it takes someone too long to find what they want, they will almost certainly look elsewhere. Videos are another thing that work great with mobile sites. Oftentimes, it’s a lot easier to watch a quick video than search through tons of text to find what you’re looking for.
When it comes to real estate, you want to have your contact information front and center. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to call or email you, and you want to make it clear that contacting you is exactly what you want them to do. The two words that you should make your mobile mantra are: immediacy and convenience. We live in a time of instant gratification; if a consumer can’t find what they want right away, 61% of them will leave and go to another more mobile-friendly site. On the other hand, 67% of users are more likely to buy a product or solicit a service if the website is compatible.
You also want to be sure that your prospective clients can find you in their searches. Inman News has a great article about SEO optimization for mobile marketing that you should definitely check out! You can also get some basic SEO tips from our blog post on the topic.
The main takeaway from all of this is that mobile compatibility is not longer something you can ignore when it comes to your real estate business. It may seem like a complicated or difficult change to make, but in the long run it’s something you have to change. The longterm benefits will far outnumber and concerns you may have. Just think about it: if your website is mobile-friendly,
people will now be able to search for an agent as soon as they think about it. This could mean while their on the train home from work, at lunch with friends, or even at a family gathering. You want to be there when they come calling.