Earlier this year, we launched a mobile website (mobilesite) with Winkelmann Realty, a full service residential brokerage located in Fullerton, CA. A leader in Relocation and REO services and certified as a minority and woman owned business, Winkelmann has achieved impressive results serving lenders, third-party firms and in-house corporations, and was the first company in California to have a Realtor designated Senior Certified Relocation Professional, SCRP. With the launch of a mobile website, Winkelmann continues to demonstrate leadership and ingenuity by bringing their website and property search to the mobile phone. I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Linda Hawkins, President of Winkelmann Realty, to discuss their mobile site, how mobile technologies apply to real estate, and other fun topics.
Obviously, mobile is a hot topic these days with all the talk of the iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid, Palm Pre, and other interesting devices. What are some ways that mobile technology can be applied to real estate?
Linda: It’s amazing – everyone has a mobile device these days, and I’m always shocked when I run into someone who doesn’t have a cell phone. When mobile phones first arrived, real estate agents were excited since they became accessible to their clients and other agents anytime, anywhere, even when they were out of the office, which is where they spend most of their time. I’m amazed how such a simple device evolved into so much more than just a phone that lets us increase productivity and stay connected. For this reason, we launched our mobilesite earlier this year to let our agents and their clients easily and quickly search properties using any web-enabled mobile device. I want to give our clients the ability to be in front of a house, find our mobilesite, and easily get the property details within seconds. Our clients appreciate these kinds of tools when working with Winkelmann Realty. I’m really excited about other applications and future possibilities that mobile technologies will bring to real estate. The mobile phone has really become an essential, indispensable tool for real estate agents and professionals.
With all the hype around applications, why did you choose to launch a mobilesite instead of an app?
Linda: For us, a mobilesite was way more cost effective. Our agents and clients use a variety of mobile devices, including BlackBerry, Palm, and iPhone, so we need our mobile presence to be accessible across all platforms. An application is built and managed for each phone separately, so we would have to pay for multiple applications which was too expensive for us to even consider. With our mobilesite, we simply manage the content and views in one place, but can reach users on any data-enabled phone. It’s simple.
How do you use the mobilesite to promote Winkelmann, and how does it fit into your current marketing and advertising channels?
Linda: We promote the mobilesite through all of our existing branding and advertising channels. We have a link on the front page of our website to let people know that they can access our site and search properties using their mobile phone. We also promote the mobilesite through our hardcopy and print ads as well. For example, we run ads at the local colleges that target students who as we know are big mobile users. We promote our mobilesite to let the students know they can use our website on their phone to search listings. The mobilesite helps us to establish a relationship with potential clients early in the property search and buying process.
Why did you choose to use the Aumnia platform and how was the experience?
Linda: The Aumnia platform was very easy to work with since it required no effort on our part. We simply reviewed the features we wanted on our mobilesite like search, featured properties and contact information, and the rest was taken care of by the Aumnia team. I enjoyed working with the Aumnia team and they helped me achieve my goals and stay within budget. They were very knowledgeable about the mobile market and helped us to focus our mobile strategy to drive our desired results.
On a lighter note, what mobile phone do you use and how often do you access the mobile internet?
Linda: I am currently using the Tilt on AT&T because I like how easy I can text with it. I also use it to access the internet, mainly when I am travelling. Even though I like the Tilt, I’m planning to move to the iPhone for my next device.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Linda. We really enjoyed working with you on the development of your mobile site and are happy to see you getting good results from it.
To experience the Winkelmann mobilesite for yourself, go to http://www.winkrealty.com/ on any web-enabled mobile phone.