On one of my most recent listing appointments I was going up against a well known listing agent. The seller said this agent has been trying to get him to sell his property for quite some time but according to the trust the seller had to interview more than one agent. At that point I asked the seller if this other agent was going to use the latest technology to get information to potential buyers as they were sitting outside his house. He said the other agent didn’t say anything about getting info to buyers cell phones. I then asked the seller to take out his iPhone and dial the Virtual Agent number. In a matter of seconds he was looking at a home I had listed in Lincoln for $800,000. He was impressed that I would use the same expensive technology to sell his $150,000 property. That alone got me the listing.
I recently listed a duplex on a dead-end street where I expected very few people to drive by. I had at least six hits on my Virtual Agent rider, and from those I connected with several peoople. I am now working actively with one of them, to find a home, and another wants to buy a duplex in two months.
Also, I had a listing about four months ago, and had a number of hits on the rider; from one of them, I gained not only a client but we have already closed a transaction on a home ! I really believe that Virtual Agent is an awesome tool for increasing our leads.
Australian real estate company Professionals Real Estate Group is expanding operations into the United States and has partnered up with Virtual Agent to offer its agents a full scale mobile solution.
Read more in this article from The Australian:
Check out the article below from RISMedia to learn about how Virtual Agent has integrated with Obeo to offer a robust mobile marketing solution that complements Obeo’s powerful interactive real estate tools:
Dirk Zeller, a very well known and respected Real Estate coach and author, has written a new article on mobile marketing featuring the Virtual Agent platform. Check it out below and be sure to try the demo at the end of the article!
Click here to learn more about Dirk Zeller and Real Estate Champions.
Press Release: VIRTUAL AGENT ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF NEW MOBILE TECHNOLOGY FOR PRUDENTIAL UTAH REAL ESTATE
Prudential Utah Real Estate Answers Consumer Demands with New Mobile Technology for the
Home Buying and Selling Process
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – June 8th, 2011 – Prudential Utah Real Estate is the latest in a number of large real estate organizations to enroll the services of Virtual Agent™ and its mobile marketing and communications platform. With over 400 real estate agents, Prudential Utah Real Estate is the largest brokerage by sales dollar volume in the state of Utah.
“With the movement toward prevalence with Smartphone usage by consumers,” says Steve Roney, chief executive officer of Prudential Utah Real Estate. “We are providing another valuable benefit to our real estate agent’s current and prospective home buyers and sellers.”
Virtual Agent developed customized voice, text and QR Code mobile marketing technology for the brokerage. Tom Roney, director of marketing and communications for Prudential Utah Real Estate, explains that Virtual Agent is an integral addition to their existing enterprise technology platform. The Virtual Agent platform provides a quick and easy way to integrate mobile marketing and communication services with existing real estate technology systems.
Prudential Utah Real Estate agents can now incorporate text messaging, automated phone calls and QR Codes (unique graphic codes similar in function to a barcode) into various marketing materials such as property signs, print advertisements and brochures. When a consumer interacts with the marketing, they are driven to view content such as virtual tours and property listing details on their mobile phone.
“Mobile technology fulfills the consumer desire to get the information they want, when they want it,”
states Will Cooper, chief executive officer of Virtual Agent.
Virtual Agent is a leading mobile technology provider for major real estate brokerages throughout the United States. The Virtual Agent Platform provides the foundation for real estate organizations to launch mobile marketing and recruiting solutions that span across a range of mobile technologies, including text messaging, mobile web, automated voice (IVR), QR and Microsoft Tags, mobile video and mobile applications for the iOS and Android mobile operating systems.
About Virtual Agent
Virtual Agent is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah with additional team members in California, Arizona, Michigan and Florida and is recognized as a leading mobile technology provider for prominent real estate brands in the United States and Canada. Virtual Agent is founded by seasoned veterans in both the mobile and real estate industries and has been deploying technology solutions across a range of customers and industries. This experience has enabled Virtual Agent to amass a unique set of technology assets and expertise that make it well positioned to offer enterprise grade mobile solutions for the world’s largest real estate brands. For more information, visit www.VirtualAgentConnect.com.
About Prudential Utah Real Estate
After 35 years of award-winning success, Prudential Utah Real Estate continues to out-perform the local competition while relentlessly seeking ways to improve its legendary customer service. With 20 offices along the Wasatch Front and in Park City, Prudential Utah is the local market leader and is also ranked 14th amongst all Prudential Real Estate Affiliates (PREA) nationwide. Prudential Utah received the coveted 2010 Pinnacle, Gibraltar Circle and Round Table awards from PREA. For additional information, please visit www.Pru-Utah.com. Prudential Utah Real Estate is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, a full-service residential and commercial real estate network with nearly 1,940 franchise offices and more than 62,000 sales professionals throughout the United States
Here is a great article that explains the exponential growth of mobile into more and more facets of our lives:
- Of the world’s 4 billion mobile phones in use, 1.08 billion are smartphones and 3.05 billion are SMS enabled
- By 2014, mobile internet should take over desktop internet usage
- One half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices
- 29% of mobile users are open to scanning a mobile tag to get coupons
- 91% of mobile internet access is to socialize
- 200 million YouTube videos are watched on mobile devices each day
RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine has a great cover article about Realty Executives entitled “A Story of Entrepreneurs”. Read about their success and innovation, including their implementation of Virtual Agent as the provider of their “RE Mobile Connect” platform!
About a year ago I noticed Dirk Dahl was using these riders in the Whitfield Estates area. He and I have pretty similar business models so I asked him about them. He was quite satisfied but you know how the “day to day” goes…I never pursued the technology.
So, when it was introduced to our office I knew exactly what it was and immediately put up about 5 or 6 as a test.
One Saturday morning when I was opening up a house for a later showing I rec’d an e mail that someone had just called on a Patterson Drive listing. Being behind the wheel and only a few blocks away I decided to drive by and see if they were still there.
A Mini Cooper was sitting out front so I pulled up along side of the car in the opposite direction. I kept my distance so as not to alarm anyone. I rolled down my window and held up my Blackberry. This woman rolled her window down and I said…”Excuse me but I am testing out this new technology and I am wondering how long ago you called that toll free number?”
She replied “OMG! Less than 60 seconds ago and I am looking at these pictures right now!” I think she could see the sincere delight in my face which probably dispelled any thought I was a stalking her.
Anyway, making a long story short…we talked for a couple minutes car to car. Then we took a look at the house she was calling on. After determining it was not right, we went off to see another.
She is back home now which is 3 hours away but still shopping. I have set up an electronic search profile for her and we have talked regularly over the past two weeks.
We wrote one offer which did not result in an executed contract but I fully expect to see her in a contract by late March which is her most desired time frame.
If she did not have the opportunity of making that call I expect she would have spent the morning writing addresses down only to go back home in the afternoon and spend the evening searching Realtor.com. This way, she actually saw a few houses and met an area expert further qualifying the neighborhood.
David Jennings, Broker-Associate
I came across an interesting article with some great statistics and predictions about mobile marketing this year:
Mobile marketing spend to increase 59pc in 2011: study by Giselle Tsirulnik
From the article:
“The study found that a whopping 88 percent of brand marketers will use mobile marketing techniques in 2011. Seventy-five percent plan to increase their spend on mobile marketing initiatives by an average of 59 percent. In 2010, 62 percent of marketers used some form of mobile marketing for their brands.”
Mobile marketing is becoming an every day part of all our lives. We are constantly surrounded by mobile devices, and so are our customers. What are you doing in 2011 to increase the frequency and effectiveness of your mobile marketing efforts?
Helen Kacur, Coldwell Banker:
Thank you for bringing the CB Connect program to our intown office in Atlanta. It is the best option for marketing that I have seen in months. I was at a party just last weekend with people who were talking about how email is a time drain and talking on the phone is so 2006. And so, I welcome the opportunity to tap into mobile marketing through text messages, since text is now the preferred form of communication in 2010! So glad I attended the class.
Stephen Greenidge, Coldwell Banker:
I set an appointment to meet with a FSBO for a $500,000 listing. They had met with several agents already, so when I met with them they had already heard all of the “Traditional Marketing” techniques that agents use. But when I told them about CB Mobile Connect their eyes just lit up. They were so fascinated by the technology and how different it was that they gave me the listing. It sold in 26 days and I put a nice size check in my pocket.
Here’s a great article that discusses the mobile web experience, the flaw in current enterprise app development strategies, and where things are headed in the future:
There are several major operating systems on smart phones. A robust app campaign involves developing a separate app for each of these. Needless to say, this is extremely expensive and time-consuming. However, with smart phones becoming so advanced and more and more devices becoming HTML 5 ready, the author sees a huge shift in this development process. By creating a mobile web app, enterprises can develop “a device-agnostic mobile Web experience.”
Read the article for some great examples of the many problems facing enterprise mobile strategies and how he believes this can be tamed by looking to the future and adopting the new emerging standards.
Good article from Mobile Marketer about the important role text messaging plays in mobile marketing:
A few highlights:
- “SMS will remain the dominant marketing channel in mobile even as more advanced technologies crowd the space”
- “Mobile can be easily integrated into email, print and Web site campaigns by using a mobile messaging campaign to connect all of these mediums to single or multiple promotions.”
- “… there are numerous ways to use the SMS platform to engage and excite customers. Some examples include alerts and reminder programs, loyalty programs for special giveaways and coupons, direct text to screen used at large events to drive audience participation, and location-based messaging.”
Here is an excellent article from Mobile Marketer on successful marketing strategies:
Mobile video ads perform 100 times better than online video ads: iVdopia
Some key points:
Why/how should a brand integrate mobile advertising into its 360-degree marketing strategy?
A successful marketing strategy includes a mix of marketing mediums or channels to be considered.
However, studies have shown that the combination of mediums or multichannel communications has proven to be very successful.
However, I will say that mobile advertising is proving to be an extremely effective advertising medium, allowing portability and giving users the ability to interact and experience the “depth” of the brand like no other medium can while allowing them to share their positive experiences with others.
Jared Schneider, Axiom Financial:
CB connect leads are by far the best lead in the real estate and mortgage industry. Can you really ask for a more qualified lead than a person who is out actively calling on properties and requesting for more information? Internet leads are expensive and are most of the time non-exclusive. People are clicking all over the web and requesting “free info”. Leads coming from CB connect are real potential clients that are most of the time only calling on a few properties at a time. Figure out the ROI for yourself and you’ll see how this program is a no brainer.
I took one of the riders with me to ‘wow’ some potential sellers. They loved it! The seller said, ‘This is slick.’
Elizabeth Vasti, Coldwell Banker:
Just a quick note to encourage you as you market your virtual agent riders:
About a month ago, I bought five of the riders, just to try them. At first, I wasn’t getting any calls, but now the buyers have started calling. In one week, I had five inquiries on only two riders. Of the five, I was able to put two buyers into my Listingbook account.
Today, I took one of the riders with me to “wow” some potential sellers. They loved it! The seller said, “This is slick.” That was before I showed him how his name and phone number showed up on my phone immediately.
I wish you all the best as you market this great tool! I love virtual agent.
Jim had a prospect call him off the rider and they are working with him exclusively for a $200,000 purchase
Sue Flaig, Coldwell Banker, Florida:
Carol, once again, thank you for the extra effort you gave my agents yesterday. I thought you’d enjoy a little story. Jim Chapman, new agent (experienced in sales in other fields previously) subscribed to Virtual Agent the first time you presented to my Clearwater group. He’s the one I told the story about to the Tarpon group… he was so excited and wanted to show me what a super tool it was and did demonstrate it for me. Well, the attached message came with a photo of the For Sale sign with the 866 rider attached to it (his first listing already under contract in less than 25 days). Jim had had a prospect call him off the rider, he has ‘captured’ them and they are working with him exclusively for a $200,000 purchase.
How’s that for a success story!