I came across the above article this morning, and it reminded me of my call with Rob Luna of Diverse Solutions the other day. He told me how he and his wife were shopping for a new phone for their child, and when choosing pricing plans, they saw “Talk”, “Talk + Text”, “add Data”. The latter option was another $20-30/mo so they did not sign up. The most critical services for their phone plan, even for their child, included “Talk + Text”. Rob stated that it “clicked” and he immediately thought of Goomzee, and our SMS-based solution for consumer access to real estate info (with call capture of course). “Younger people don’t talk on the phones, they just text,” noted Rob.
Now, over 72% of SMS users are aged 25-49. This is the exact same demographic real estate professionals are trying to reach in their marketing. The people you build a website for would rather text than talk to you. The question is, what are you doing to reach them? As indicated by wireless carrier reports for the past 4 years, SMS continues to grow and now approximately 80% of US market sends/receives text messaging. This means no learning curve, built-in technology, and maximum reach to consumers. There’s simply no better way to reach today’s consumer (buyer) than SMS.
The article above indicates another trend in the US, and that is the shift from buzz of apps to rich mobile web apps, depending on the purpose. Native apps are excellent for specific purposes and at Goomzee we’ve also built native apps for our clients to manage their text campaigns on today’s popular smart phones. For search, however, consumers still open their browser and type away. I’ve seen innovative MLS organizations like Contra Costa/Bay East/EBRD already recognize this and begin to build an impressive suite of tools for their members.
This trend will continue to grow, but it will still take a few years before the consumer reach is significant enough to deliver maximum value. The latest wireless industry reports cite that between 30-40% of consumers have a data plan. This means nearly 70% do not, and any app/web-only solution will miss those consumers. It’s still an early adopter market, so managing agent expectations is key, and concentration will vary in some metro markets. Price pressures will inevitably force the bundled plans to include data, but carriers will need the next “up sell” first to keep Wall St. satisfied and until then, there will be cost barriers.
Check out Goomzee’s Mobile Marketing Trends page for more information on current US wireless market statistics.
Ironically I just saw this Facebook discussion today, between a local REALTOR’s daughter and friends. See photo below: