Pinterest is one the rise. According to research recently done by Pew, roughly “31% of Internet users have an account with the service”, which although that may not sound like a lot- that’s 31% of all internet users you may not be reaching with your current internet marketing.
If you’re not familiar with the platform, Pinterest provides users with the ability to create “Boards”, which are places they can pin photos that they group together based off common themes. Most commonly you’ll hear about how Pinterest is great for wedding planning, since you can create boards about “My Dress”, “Dream Venue”, “Wedding Designs”, etc. So how can you use this for real estate?
As summer comes to a close, it’s important to start fall off on the right foot. We’ve been searching for some of the coolest apps that are currently out on the market and went ahead and complied a list of our three personal favorites we’ve seen. Ranging from Hootsuite for your social media, Open Home Pro for hosting your Open Houses, all the way to keeping you up to date on that latest going on with SmartNews; these three apps will keep you on your toes and ready for anything this coming season.
Managing your social media is a full time job and Hootsuite recognizes that. Hootsuite helps to simplify brand awareness over multiple social media channels. You don’t want keeping up with your social media to consume the bulk of your time, but you don’t want to disappear as a social presence. Hootsuite helps with organizing your apps and keeping track of your home screen on the application and any mentions, likes, etc that are being done on your profiles. This way you can keep track of the home feed and be updated of customer interactions with your sites so that you’re able to stay on top of everything in one seamless design. In fact, Hootsuite just announced that they have now added Instagram, which can help up your online social media game through photos.
Additionally, you can even schedule posts to send at certain times and track posts all from the simple dash. Hootsuite even allows you to monitor the analytics on your various platforms. We here at Aumnia use Hootsuite to keep track of our social media platforms in order to make sure we haven’t become a ghost to the internet. Hootsuite also has a very user friendly interface which is great for those of you who are still not so sure how social media sites work yet. The free version of Hootsuite allows you to add up to five social media sites, which for smaller businesses is ideal because it’s free and you probably don’t own more than five sites. For $8.99 you can pay to upgrade and add up to fifty media sites and you can add a team member to the account so they can also keep track and look on with you. The only thing to be careful on with Hootsuite is that some of their analytics data that they’re keeping track for you will cost money to obtain. I would still recommend trying out Hootsuite, but Google Analytics is my friend for research (Which I’ll touch on in another post soon). In any case, Hootsuite is a social media dashboard app to try and see if it helps you to personally better organize your online presence. Go here to download Hootsuite to get started.
Open Home Pro
Ditch the pen and paper of the past and say hello to your new favorite tablet application. In real estate, open houses are one of the most important ways to meet with prospective clients and bring you that much closer to closing a deal. Open Home Pro removes the need to have visitor’s write down their name and contact information as they tour through, instead providing a simple sign in process through the app that then saves all visitor’s information. After the open house, Open Home Pro even sends emails to follow up with those prospective clients that toured the home that day. There are two tabs on the page- Lisitings and Leads. With Lisitings you can view the properties that you have up; in addition to photos you can post about the home.With Leads, once you have prospective clients information the app will tell you if they’re working with another agent or not and if they are pre-approved for a mortgage. Almost sounds too good to be true, right? The app allows you to pay extra a month to upgrade to their Premium version of the app, but so far the free version works just great. The app also works great with both the iPad and Android tablets which allows everyone in the office to utilize the time saving benefits of the application. As mentioned the app is free– so take it for a trial run and let us know what you think!
Staying up to date on the latest news has never been easier thanks to SmartNews, a mobile news app that is completely customizable to what you want to know about what’s going on in the world. At the top of SmatNews are several tabs that you can customize, the only static one being top news from around the world. Examples of SmartNews tabs are World, Entertain, Lifestyle, Biz, Tech, and so forth. In addition to these broad categories, SmartNews also allows you to follow specific news sites like CNN, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, and Inman. You can always add more or less tabs depending on how many sites you want to be updated on daily. Additionally, SmartNews will send you a “Morning Update”, “Midday Update”, and “Evening Update”. Apps like CNN or FOX News always have a way of sending way too many updates too often during the day- SmartNews had a customized scheduling for the three updates of the day and only sends out the top news story trending at that moment in time. Even better, SmartNews is completely free.
Last week I was in New York to attend Inman Connect, a real estate technology conference. I was on a panel where I could debate mobile apps versus the mobile web… and for those of you who know me, this is a topic I energetically discuss anytime, anywhere. The conference organizers asked each panel member to create a short slide deck that provides some background and necessary foundation for the expected discussion. I missed all the prep calls with the other panel members so I didn’t know exactly how I was going to approach my portion of the presentation. My fear was that the typical will happen – each vendor would get up and advocate for the technology his/her company represents (e.g. I would say mobile web is the only way to go). Any businesses would get up there and defend their choice of a particular technology (i.e. job security). That’s all good, but shouldn’t a panel discussion be more open? should’t it be a real discussion?
Below are the slides I put together. Look through them and you’ll see no mention of mobile apps or mobile web. Seems strange, right? Well, lately I feel like mobile vendors (myself included) have been preaching the need for mobile to customers with a tone that makes customers think they need to implement “something mobile” to stay competitive. Well, we all know that’s not true. It’s a self serving statement that only really benefits one side… the vendor. I decided it’s time for all of us to become more responsible.
Soapbox#1: only results matter! Yes, mobile is the fastest growing marketing medium. Yes, every company should have a mobile presence. But, mobile is just like any other marketing medium – success is defined by results. Nothing else. Period.
Soapbox#2: taking a business mobile starts by defining success I feel like mobile vendors should take a step back and help their customers define goals with mobile. Just building “something mobile” doesn’t work, and never will. Here’s the process I plan on using with my customers: (1) define success – what do you want from mobile?, (2) create a mobile strategy – what’s the right medium for the business?, and (3) build & release. Notice building is step 3… it should never be the first step.
Time to live by my own words I’ve spoken to others about this topic and they all agree but still continue down the “fast money” path. I may not be cut out for business with my ethics but I want to make a change. If you’re a regular visitor to our website, you might have noticed that we completely changed our layout and messaging. This was done so we can clearly state our corporate philosophies and promise to customers. We don’t just want our customers to go mobile, we more importantly want them to succeed. This may sound cheezy to some, but it’s in important shift in thinking that is required.
… end of rant.
What Our Clients Say
Aumnia has been our partner for over five years. They have created our mobile strategy and seen us through upgrades that are appropriate to the way mobile consumers browsing habits have evolved. This partnership has definitely given us a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Scott Nelson- Comey & Shepherd Realtors, Cincinnati, OH
We were fortunate to have found Aumnia as they have built for us a fantastic mobile site which provides for our clients the information they may need – or for prospective clients with a way to find information they need. Many real estate companies have a mobile component, typically involving property search, but very few have an actual web site where there is information helpful to our clients. Aumnia was very deliberate and systematic in their approach and delivered a working site from day one.