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July 25 2011

QR Technology Approaching Ubiquity in U.S.

In June we discussed Making Room in Your Ecosystem for QR Codes. At that time the good folks at ScanLife had released a report analyzing QR code implementation and interaction rates throughout 2010.  In a nutshell, the findings illustrated how QR technology in the U.S. is on the rise but still not quite to the state of omnipresence.

As we round the corner on the second half of 2011, let’s go to ScanLife’s latest report for a radically different snapshot of QR code adoption.

 

In mid-2010 ScanLife was only recording 10 QR code scans per minute.  As of this report, they are currently logging one scan per second. As you can see from the graph above, QR code adoption started slow but has grown exponentially since July 2010.  As U.S. handset companies begin to incorporate QR technology into their base models, expect the ‘per second scan rate’ to only increase.

Another golden nugget gleaned from the report is the increased usage among mainstream Americans, detailed in the image above.  As expected the 25 – 34 year old age group leads the charge, followed closely by 35 – 44 year olds.  The first-time homebuyer bracket (25 -34 years of age) has traditionally preferred to interact on mobile devices, so it’s a pleasant surprise to see that the 35 – 44 year old age group is:

1.) so close to the younger age group in number of scans, and

2.) scanning at a higher percentage/rate than the younger age group.  At the current rate this will result in a surplus of tech-savvy homebuyers spread across more age groups than ever before.

—-

The report also contains some interesting stats regarding mobile OS market share, scan rates per city and country, and an interesting comparison between 1D and 2D barcode scanning.  Click here for ScanLife’s Q2 2011 Trend Report.

 

-  Austin Smith, Goomzee Community Manager

 

June 29 2011

Have No Fear, The Mobile Tsunami Is Here!

What an exciting world we live in today!  Every direction you turn, business professionals and consumers alike are cutting landlines and trading their desktop computers for tablets and smartphones.  Even my grandfather, a 75-year-old Italian immigrant and Korean War veteran, is now using his iPhone to send me pictures of his rose garden.  I never thought the day would come…

But it has, and not just for me but for everyone!  The “mobile shift” that we discussed in hushed tones last year, possibly in fear of it turning tail and crossing the Atlantic from whence it came, is now an undeniable paradigm switch that Nielsen has labeled a “Mobile Tsunami”.

Below are some of the latest mobile statistics that reflect just how drastically cell phones have permeated today’s America.  Since outrunning a tsunami is borderline impossible, just sit back and let the waves of progress wash over you…

 

-  USA cell phone penetration currently at 96%

  • Up from 13% penetration in 1995

-  37% of all mobile subscribers have smartphones

-  40% of smartphone users have downloaded a QR code reader

-  49% of smartphone users who have seen a QR code have scanned it

-  Average data usage is up almost 200% across the nation

  • 230MB/month in 1st Quarter of 2010, 435MB/month in 1st Quarter of 2011

-  Average data usage per user has increased 89% in last 12 months

  • 582MB/month average for Android users, 492MB/month average for iPhone users

-  Cost per unit of data had dropped 46% despite increased consumption

  • Dropped from 14 cents per unit of data to 8 cents

 

Mobile statistic aggregators are also reporting fluctuations in more areas of the mobile industry than just data usage:

 

-  Foursquare now has as many users as Bolivia has citizens (10 Million)

-  12% of U.S. internet population (ages 8-64) own a tablet

-  35% of new tablet owners report using their PC significantly less, or not at all

-  32% of laptop owners reported the same

-  96% of small business owners report that they would not be able to remain relevant without using mobile technologies

 

 

Feeling refreshed yet?!

 

(Data points above were collected from independent aggregators, not affiliated in any way with Goomzee.  For citations or other bibliography-related inquiries, please email:  asmith (at) goomzee (dot) com.)

 

- Austin Smith, Goomzee Community Manager

 

June 03 2011

Making Room in Your Ecosystem for QR Codes

Just like your business cards, flyers, IDX website, and ‘For Sale’ signs, Quick Response (QR) codes are a key piece of the complete real estate marketing ecosystem.    Since the demand for mobile-optimized information has reached a new peak, (driven by a generation of tech-savvy first-time homebuyers) the effective marketer will make sure to utilize QR alongside traditional media and other mobile marketing tools.

While some may view America’s adoption of QR codes as a hurdle, it is, in fact, an opportunity.  According to a 2010 trend report from ScanLife, 40% of all U.S. smartphone users have downloaded an app to scan 2D barcodes.  While we’re not quite at Japan’s level of adoption yet (where barcode software is hard-coded into 65% of mobile phones), ScanLife also reports a 1600% increase in U.S. barcode scanning throughout 2010.

Unfortunately for the U.S., some early QR practitioners have not fully honed their marketing for the mobile channel.  Since a bad experience inhibits consumer adoption, here are a few tips for your QR code campaign:

1.  Optimize for Mobile

  • First and foremost, the destination behind a QR code must be mobile-ready.  Since QR technology is mobile-focused, consumers are going to expect that whatever website or landing page they are being directed to will appear pre-formatted for their handheld device.  If it doesn’t, the effectiveness of the mobile interaction is nullified.  To ensure effectiveness, make your landing page easy to interact with across all mobile devices.

2.  Reward

  • Just like any other marketing medium, the consumer needs to be rewarded for their troubles.  Mobile users who scan QR codes are expecting a payoff, and it needs to be more than they are left with had they not scanned the code.  Successful marketers have been providing rewards in the form of coupons, special offers, or even just additional information.  As long as the QR code is a gateway to a new experience, consumers will always want to see what they are missing.

3.  Use in A Complete Marketing Ecosystem

  • In a previous post we discussed the marketing ecosystem – the concept of utilizing various and distinctly separate marketing mediums to create a network with a single message.  Part of maintaining a successful ecosystem is adopting avant-garde technology and blending it with existing tools.  In this case, adopting QR code technology and merging it with SMS (text message), mobile web, email, and phone.

Critics of QR technology in the U.S. say it will soon be replaced by augmented reality, if the slow rate of adoption doesn’t twist the knife first.  Based on the numbers we see from ScanLife in regards to adoption we know that this is simply not true – usage is on the rise, and the current climate is a great opportunity for professionals looking to stand above their competitors by correctly implementing a technology that consumers demand. Unfortunately for augmented reality, results are limited by the aggregator and not driven by a personalized marketing plan.  In advertising terms, augmented reality is “inch-deep, mile-wide marketing”, a powerful tool in its own right but one that does not compete with QR’s ability to literally pull users into your marketing.

If we have learned anything from the thoroughly-critiqued adoption of technologies such as Twitter and SMS, then we know that the negative feedback typically comes from those who are using the medium incorrectly.  By implementing the proven methods discussed above, however, Quick Response codes can be a flexible, relevant, and valuable part of your complete marketing ecosystem.

April 15 2011

The New Marketing Ecosystem

There are several valuable data points contained within comScore’s 2010 Mobile Review, but the one that hit home with me involves ‘social networking ecosystems’.  The first few sections of the report illustrate the expected mobile metrics: rise in smart phone users along with rise in mobile media access, Europe hosts a more developed mobile market than U.S., and so forth.  But at the end of a paragraph about smart phone buyer criteria, comScore re-branded a concept we’ve been discussing since 2008:

“Smartphone users are increasingly sophisticated consumers who are looking not just for a phone, but for a device that is part of a larger ecosystem that provides a complete mobile experience, including apps, music, and video.”

I remember the day in 5th grade when the concept of nature’s ecosystems finally hit home with me.  We were discussing swamps and I remember the moment of enlightenment during which I grasped the scope of an ecosystem – an unending list of seemingly independent parties (frogs, snakes, or, for the sake of this discussion, networks like Facebook and Twitter) that only achieve success by working together in concert.  When one of the parties is taken out of the environment, the rest will either fail or fill in the missing component with a like-minded organism.  Cohesion between organisms ultimately begets a rounded and functional living environment.

This idea is easily applied to social networking.  At this point in the networking realm, those without blogs are behind the curve.   Likewise, the very consumers they serve are leaving those who deny the important role technology should hold in their business model behind. So let’s assume that the majority of profitable agents today maintain some degree of a social network.  I don’t need to reiterate the importance of transparency and the Golden Rule, and I don’t need to re-hash why you should have a profile on multiple networks pointing to a central hub, etc.

I also don’t need to discuss the prevalence of mobile technology and the consumer demand for mobile information retrieval, but I will.  As detailed in comScore’s report, approximately 1/3 of all U.S. mobile subscribers have an unlimited data plan.  While the U.S. market is behind Europe and Asia in terms of new tech adoption, 18-34 year olds make up 43.9% of mobile subscribers in America.  Traditionally, this age bracket has been known for texting (SMS), emailing, and requesting mobile information to a higher degree than the rest of U.S. subscribers.  comScore also reports that 68% of mobile users in the U.S. named ‘SMS’ as their top mobile activity.

I will also stress the importance of utilizing relevant technologies to communicate with potential buyers and, at the very least, get them plugged into the rest of your social networking ecosystem.  To enjoy the fruits of an effective networking strategy, you must establish a transparent message that is verbalized through content syndication, as well as maintain ‘points of entry’ so the public can easily access your ecosystem.

As Joel Burslem says in his post for 1000Watt, an effective online marketing strategy will reward the viewer for their click-through by providing an applicable, media-rich experience.  In the past, online advertisements such as banner ads have been used to drive traffic to agent websites and blogs.  At this point in our internet arena, the click-through rates for email and online ads are suffering.  SMS and QR codes are the avant-garde technology, the “shortest distance between curiosity and info retrieval”, according to comScore.  The click-through rate for SMS is staggeringly high, and therefore can be effectively used to drive traffic into your existing ecosystem.  Standalone SMS advertising is debatable in its effectiveness, but when used in concert with the rest of your marketing SMS advertising is all part of a complete ecosystem.

The methods consumers rely on to request and access information are continuously evolving.  The need for audiences to be rewarded for their time, however, will never change.  comScore has this to say:

“But in order to establish the mobile channel as a legitimate advertising medium, all parties require access to [a] transparent measurement of the mobile ecosystem.”

Cohesion between mediums ultimately begets a transparent and valuable social networking ecosystem.

March 30 2011

Park Regency Brings In Mobile Technology

Granada Hills, California– March 30th, 2011 –  Goomzee Corporation, a leading provider of mobile technology solutions that connects buyers and sellers, announced today it has agreed with Park Regency Real Estate of  Granada Hills, California to provide its product, Realty Connect, to their 110 agents which will allow Southern California homebuyers to receive real estate listing information on their cell phone.

“We strive to put the best tools in the hands of our agents.  By providing the latest technologies we can better serve our customers and meet the needs of today’s tech savvy homebuyers,” stated Park Regency President, Joe Alexander.

Goomzee’s Realty Connect® helps connect buyers and sellers using text messaging and integrates with MLS data systems.  Agents place signs or ads regarding a property for sale that prompts potential buyers to send a text message with a unique property ID code.  Within seconds the buyer receives a text message response containing property information and pricing.  The buyer then has the option to receive and view photos of the listing immediately on their phone.  At the same time, the agent is notified of the buyer’s inquiry.  Automated tools and responders then help the agent cultivate those leads and begin to establish a relationship with the buyer.

“Homebuyers in the San Fernando Valley are very busy people. It‘s important for real estate professionals to make searching for a home as efficient as possible.  At Park Regency Real Estate we serve the majority of the Valley.  We find it important to lead the way for real estate professionals and recognize and meet the needs of our neighborhood homebuyers,” explains William and Leticia Mere of the Mere Team with Park Regency.

Goomzee’s CEO, Mike Sparr, commented, “we’re excited that more brokerages are deploying Goomzee’s technology as an office.  It’s truly a win-win because the company gets more recognition, the agents save money on valuable marketing tools, and the more consumers who see the signs the quicker they are trained and leads come in.  Park Regency is recognized as a leading firm in their community so we are very pleased and look forward to helping even more southern California REALTORs.”

Park Regency Real Estate services Granada Hills, Reseda, Van Nuys, Palmdale, and Lancaster, and all other areas in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.

About Park Regency Real Estate
Joe Alexander, currently the company’s President, founded Park Regency Realty in 1977. The company has been operating in the San Fernando Valley since its inception and has been based in Granada Hills for the past 20 years. Our goal is to make a total commitment to service and merchandise property in the most thorough, professional, and ethical manner possible. Park Regency Realty has grown to be one of the top 15 real estate companies in the Los Angeles county, with more than 110 full time agents and growing.

About Goomzee
Goomzee empowers real estate agents to connect with today’s mobile real estate consumers using cell phone technology and helps convert more leads into sales.  The company’s product offerings include Realty Connect, a text-message advertising and call capture tool and Realty Mobile, a mobile MLS and branded mobile IDX solution. Goomzee’s products seamlessly integrate with MLS property listing databases to provide accurate, relevant information for the real estate professional and their clients, preventing extra work for the agent while fostering potential buyer and client relationships. To learn more, visit us online at http://www.goomzee.com or contact us toll free at (877) 324-1796.

March 27 2011

Six Steps To Help Avoid The “Follow Up Trap”

Every sales professional has probably experienced this but never put a name to it so at Goomzee we have. Quite simply, sales professionals have now become captives to their broad Internet-based marketing and must be on call to respond to leads 24/7. With the addition of Internet marketing which seemingly never sleeps, the sales professional must be willing to respond and follow up with leads all the time or they will go cold. We call this the “follow up trap”.

We hear from real estate professionals around the country and one common theme noted from the industry’s veterans is that things used to be simple and they’re frustrated trying to keep up with all the new things they “have to” do to market and sell real estate. In the past you would list the property in the MLS, place a sign at the property, print up flyers and occasionally advertise in the newspaper (often to appease the sellers). Something that was very clear back then was the target market which typically was other real estate professionals within the community. That made marketing easy because there are a finite number of people you market your properties to and the MLS made this possible to achieve, efficiently, creating a “clearing house” of real estate listings that other agents could gain access to. The target market was clearly defined which made this approach very efficient and effective.

Today the real estate agent is trying to market properties to the consumer and this target market is exponentially larger. In my hometown of Missoula Montana we have approximately 100,000 people and approximately 700 real estate agents. In the past, an agent had to market to 700 people to get their home sold and now they have to market to an audience 142x greater. If they spent $10,000/year in the past to reach 700 people, could this mean they have to spend 142x that amount to reach consumers?

Obviously having a property search on their website and placing advertisements on national search portals have allowed agents to benefit from the efficiency of online marketing. This has introduced troubles, however. Now they just place listings online and leads come in from around the country and they spend their time being reactive all day long in hopes the leads will turn into a perspective buyer (or seller). As such, they are captives of their broad marketing efforts to be “on call” 24/7 and most cannot respond quick enough to keep the best leads “hot”.

There are a variety of techniques and tools available to help but it takes discipline to truly take advantage:

Step 1) Define your best customer and narrow your target market focus

First you want to narrow your target market so the leads you receive are your best customers.  Look back at the homes you have successfully sold and identify who your best customers truly are.  Were they local or out-of-state?  What age group and sex?  What was their income level?  How did they find you?  If you ask yourself these questions, you may be surprised to find your best customer is not who you thought they were and they found you where you’d least expect.  Many real estate professionals track this information but if not, simply contact your past customers and explain you are performing a customer satisfaction survey and wanted to ask them a few questions to help better serve them in the future.  This not only helps you, but it keeps those leads thinking of you and recognizing your professionalism (likely leading to more referrals too).  Below are a few questions you might ask:

  • What is the most important thing you look for when choosing an agent to represent you?
  • When searching for a home to buy, do you drive around to visit the neighborhoods?
  • When requesting information about a home, how quickly do you expect a response?
  • What best describes you?  (male/female,   18-24, 25-32, 33-40, 40+)
  • When you were looking for a home to purchase, did you live in the same city?

Step 2) Identify where your best leads come from

A study at Baylor University revealed that real estate agents spent more money on the marketing tools that delivered them the least value.  In terms of value, the #1 was referrals and #2 was IVR (or call capture technology like 800 numbers and text messaging sign riders).  The key is to identify where you receive the most value that truly accomplishes your goal (more transactions in less time) and fine-tune your marketing investment.

Now look at where real estate agents received the most value and you’ll see they spend the majority of their money in the things that deliver them the least value.

Step 3) Focus your marketing efforts towards your best customers

As you can see above and in analysis of your business, you’ll find areas that deliver the most value.  Once you identify where your most value is received, you can make a list of the tools and marketing channels best suited to exploit them.  If you receive most of your business from referrals then identify where they come from and make sure you invest in networking, sponsorships, and maintaining your professional network and address book follow ups on a regular basis.  If your business comes from online sources, identify who actually buys and where they are located so you can hone in your online marketing efforts to reach those customers more efficiently.  Where do they go to search for homes?

Step 4) Use technology to automate repetitive tasks

Although some may be frustrated with all the new technology tools and ever-changing software solutions, most are designed for one reason and that is to automate repetitive tasks.  If you look at your typical workday and break it down to what activities you perform over and over, you can then look at tools that will help you automate those activities and get more hours of productivity each day.  This results in more transactions and thus, more money, so investing wisely will pay off.

An example might be that your best results come from taking top buyers to lunch on a regular basis.  You may want to use a calendar application and set up an automated reminder to schedule a lunch meeting each month with your top buyers.  If you spend a lot of time answering emails, perhaps you can set up an automated response that thanks the sender for their email and tells them the time of day you will call them back.  Better yet, at Goomzee we have a tool called the Auto Responder which will start a conversation automatically with the lead and notify you if they express interest in follow up, saving you time from following up with all leads, all day long.  The trick is to identify what you do and what tools can automate those tasks while keeping the customer engaged.  One thing to use caution with are tools that effectively push away buyers or seem too impersonal like recordings or voice menus.  Make the communication interactive, and personal, and you’ll satisfy today’s demanding buyers.

Step 5) Establish a regular time for lead follow ups

No matter what tools and advertising you invest in, you will gain leads all the time.  By leveraging automation tools like an email or text message auto response, you can effectively manage the customer expectations and set a time they will expect your follow up.  Email alone may not provide them information they seek right away but often that form is tied to a website which allows them to view property information.  You can simply set up an “out of office” message for an email account so your Internet leads are responded to automatically.  Text messaging typically works with at-property sign riders which also deliver information to the buyer instantly so they will accept you calling them back later.  Text messaging adds the ability to make the response Interactive and if the lead is really hot, you can receive notifications on your phone to allow callbacks of the best candidates.  If you utilize these tools or ones like them, you can establish a regular time you follow up with your leads each day to avoid being trapped and the lead quality when you do follow up will be much higher.  The “trick” is effectively managing the expectation of the buyer, but also satisfying their desire for instant gratification.

Step 6) Measure and analyze the results

After you analyze your business, target your marketing, automate repetitive tasks and “time box” your follow ups, you will want to measure results.  Often what we expect is not what results, like in the example from the Baylor University study.  As such, when you form assumptions on who your best customers are and where you find them, keep track of your ongoing transactions and either validate your assumptions or refine your targeting.  If you find that following up with the leads in the morning is better than the afternoon, for instance, then you may want to change the time you set aside for follow ups.  Tools that offer you tracking of your leads and when you received them can help you determine the best time of day for your “callback hour” to achieve the best results.  You may need to try a few tests for a period of time each and find what works best but if you make the investment, you’ll remain a step ahead of others and likely keep more of the money you earn in the process.

Mike Sparr is a global expert in mobile technology and founder and CEO of Goomzee.com. Goomzee helps real estate professionals increase sales efficiency by delivering high quality buyer sales leads and automating lead follow up using mobile technology. You can instantly learn more about improving your business and mobile technology done right by visiting http://www.goomzee.com

This article may be freely printed or distributed in its entirety in any ezine, newsletter, blog, or website. The author’s name, bio, and website links must remain intact and be included with every reproduction.

November 24 2010

Goomzee Database Exceeds 2 Million Listings

Goomzee’s database reached a monumental milestone on Tuesday November 23, 2010. With Goomzee’s latest integrations with various Multiple Listing Services and associations, the database exceeded two million real estate listings nation wide.

October 18 2010

Goomzee Reaches 10% of America’s REALTORS Adding CRMLS’ 33,000 Customers

Missoula, Montana – October 18th, 2010 – Goomzee Corporation, a leading provider of mobile technology solutions that connects buyers and sellers, announced today it has agreed with the California Regional MLS (CRMLS) to provide its product, Realty Connect, to their customers to allow Southern California homebuyers to receive real estate listing information on their cell phone.

With the contract signing of California Regional MLS, representing nearly 33,000 Southern California REALTORS, Goomzee’s MLS footprint in the United States now exceeds 120,000 MLS subscribers or approximately ten percent (10%) of America’s REALTORS.

Goomzee’s Realty Connect® helps connect buyers and sellers using text messaging and integrates with MLS data systems.  Agents place signs or ads regarding a property for sale that prompts potential buyers to send a text message with a unique property ID code.  Within seconds the buyer receives a text message response containing property information and pricing.  The buyer then has the option to receive and view photos of the listing immediately on their phone.  At the same time, the agent is notified of the buyer’s inquiry.  Automated tools and responders then help the agent cultivate those leads and begin to establish a relationship with the buyer.

“We continually seek out the best technology tools and providers for our customers and are pleased to offer Goomzee’s industry-leading text-message advertising and call capture tool.  More home buyers are relying on technology for information when buying a home, and CRMLS recognizes the need to empower the real estate sales professional with useful technology to reach today’s buyer, especially on their mobile phones,” explains Art Carter, CEO of CRMLS.

Goomzee’s CEO, Mike Sparr, commented “reaching approximately 10 percent of America’s REALTORs in today’s economy is a monumental task, and achievement, and I’m very proud of everybody at Goomzee.  We could not have reached this milestone without the trust and support of leading MLS organizations like CRMLS.  We’re very excited to introduce our mobile technology to real estate professionals throughout Southern California and continue delivering high value to agents, sellers and buyers as we expand our US real estate market footprint.”

Goomzee and CRMLS aim to launch Realty Connect in Southern California by year’s end.

About California Regional MLS
The mission of the Pomona, Calif.-based CRMLS is to deliver, through local member associations, the most affordable, reliable, and convenient listing technology service available, and to provide products and services that support REALTORS® in maximizing use of property data to achieve business goals.  To learn more contact us at http://www.imrmls.com/ or call us at (909) 859-2040.

About Goomzee
Goomzee empowers real estate agents to connect with today’s mobile real estate consumers using cell phone technology and helps convert more leads into sales.  The company’s product offerings include Realty Connect, a text-message advertising and call capture tool and Realty Mobile, a mobile MLS and branded mobile IDX solution. Goomzee’s products seamlessly integrate with MLS property listing databases to provide accurate, relevant information for the real estate professional and their clients, preventing extra work for the agent while fostering potential buyer and client relationships. To learn more, visit us online at http://www.goomzee.com or contact us toll free at (877) 324-1796.

October 12 2010

Goomzee Selected As Mobile Technology Provider for 32,000 Arizona REALTORS

Missoula, Montana – October 11th, 2010 – Continuing to expand its MLS footprint in the US real estate marketplace, Goomzee®, a leading provider of mobile technology solutions that connects buyers and sellers, today announced it has agreed with the Arizona Regional MLS (ARMLS) to provide its product, Realty Mobile, to their members and revolutionize how Arizona homebuyers and sellers receive real estate listing information on their cell phone.

By utilizing Goomzee’s proprietary mobile technology, the nearly 32,000 ARMLS real estate agents and their clients will be allowed to search the MLS for homes using any phone with a browser and Internet connection.  For agent users, the service brings the MLS data to their cell phone and allows them to stay connected while away from their desk. MLS members can perform quick searches, advanced searches, or map searches and contact the listing agent with a single click on their phone.  They can also access private information such as showing instructions, original list price, days on market, and agent remarks.

Goomzee’s Realty Mobile enables agents to also provide a branded mobile listing search tool to their clients and perspective buyers so they can search and access listing information on their own using a cell phone.  The potential buyer receives an invitation link from the agent to use the application.  When clicked from their phone, the link guides them through creating their mobile search account.  They can then search for active listings on a map or by specific search criteria.  When they find listings they like, they can save them, add them to a favorites list, make notes for future reference, and even share them with a friend.

“This is an exciting tool for all Realtors® on ARMLS.  It will allow our agents to deliver instant information to potential buyers using cutting edge mobile technology,” says Bob Bemis, CEO for Arizona Regional MLS.  “ARMLS’ goal is to provide Realtors® with the best tools and information available in the industry. We are proud to create a relationship with Goomzee that will increase our members’ efficiency, professionalism, and value.”

The most recent agreement increased Goomzee’s market share beyond 20 MLS organizations and 41 REALTOR associations throughout the United States.

Goomzee CEO, Mike Sparr noted, “Progressive organizations like ARMLS and their members can use our technology to help connect with today’s mobile consumers.  We are excited to be chosen by ARMLS and look forward to adding further value and efficiency to their members.”

“Realty Mobile gives brokers and agents a tool to further strengthen their client relationships and improves productivity when out of the office,” said Sparr.  “By offering consumers a branded mobile real estate search experience, agents can cement their position as the trusted source of information and reduce the risk of buyers going to another agent when they are ready to make an offer.”

About Arizona Multiple Listing Service
Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) was incorporated in 1982 to consolidate the property listing efforts of autonomous boards across the Valley into a single system.  The aim is provide its members with comprehensive multiple listing and other vital agent services at a reduced cost. ARMLS® is the multiple listing service of choice for all the constituents it serves including Participants through the facilitation of offers of cooperation and compensation to other Participants.  Our Subscribers through the orderly compilation, collation, and dissemination of listing information so Subscribers may better serve their clients and customers and the public through the use of cost-effective technology.  As well as associations by coordinating communication with, and supporting the efforts of, the Associations so that the REALTOR® brand and programs speak with one voice as the definitive source of real estate information.

About Goomzee
Goomzee empowers real estate agents to connect with today’s mobile real estate consumers using cell phone technology and helps convert more leads into sales.  The company’s product offerings include Realty Connect, a text-message advertising and call capture tool and Realty Mobile, a mobile MLS and branded mobile IDX solution. Goomzee’s products seamlessly integrate with MLS property listing databases to provide accurate, relevant information for the real estate professional and their clients, preventing extra work for the agent while fostering potential buyer and client relationships. To learn more, visit us online at http://www.goomzee.com or contact us toll free at (877) 324-1796.

February 16 2010

Real Estate Technology Veteran Jacob Wills Joins Goomzee

Missoula, Montana – February 16, 2010 – Goomzee® (www.goomzee.com), the leader in mobile advertising and lead generation for real estate sales and marketing, today announced the hiring of emerging technologies guru and real estate veteran Jacob Wills.  In his position as Vice President of Product and Business Development, Wills’ responsibilities will include forging strong relationships with Multiple Listing Service partners, ensuring the Goomzee product offerings exceed client expectations, and developing products for emerging technology opportunities in real estate.

“We are very excited that Jake has joined Goomzee,” said Mike Sparr, CEO and Founder of Goomzee.  “Jake brings a wealth of experience in mobile services and emerging technologies, and his knowledge and relationships in the real estate space will help Goomzee as it expands nationally.”

Wills has been working in real estate software and technology for over 10 years, with expertise including product design and management, mobile and voice technologies, business development, and marketing.  Most recently he has served as Director of Product Management for NewportWorks (acquired by The First American Corporation), Product Manager for Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions (now LPS Real Estate Group) and as a consultant for companies large and small.

“I’m thrilled to join the Goomzee team,” said Wills.  “I’m looking forward to driving the growth of Goomzee’s best-of-breed mobile marketing solutions, working with an outstanding development organization, and helping translate market opportunities into new products and services.”  A graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, Wills now lives in Southern California.

About Goomzee
Goomzee Corporation provides a mobile marketing technology platform that connects buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest.  Goomzee’s flagship product, Realty Connect®, and Mobile Virtual Tours, specifically assists real estate professionals to win more listings, acquire more leads and close more sales.  The Company was established in 2003 offering hosted online storefronts to small businesses as well as consulting for some of the world’s largest companies and brands.  Goomzee is an industry leader in text message marketing and continues to innovate from a client first perspective.  We connect buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest.  To learn more, visit us online at http://www.goomzee.com or contact us at (877) 324 – 1796.

February 03 2010

Goomzee

Alphabet soup - what the #@$% do all those real estate acronymns mean?!?!

Ever wonder what all those abbreviations mean behind a real estate professional’s signature?  We did too, which is why for the past year we have collected all designations and their definitions/criteria that have come across our radar.  We call this list “Alphabet Soup”.

The list below may be useful to you; if you find any designations we’re missing, please add a comment to this post with as much info as you can and we’ll keep on top of updating the content.  If you are re-posting this list, please give credit where credit is due and link back to Goomzee's Mobile Marketing Blog.

To view the list in its entirety, either click the following link or cut and paste it into your browser's address bar:
 - http://blog.goomzee.com/2010/01/28/alphabet-soup/  <!--session data-->

What Mobile Solution Is Best For You

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/mobile_app_or_browser-based_site.php

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.

December 09 2009

Montana’s Goomzee Mobile Technology Solution Selected By North Carolina Multiple Listing Services To Help Connect Buyers and Sellers

Home buyers in North Carolina will soon be able to receive for-sale home pricing information, and photos, sent directly to their phone using text messaging (SMS) thanks to Goomzee. The Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® recently joined the growing number of REALTOR® associations, multiple listing services (MLS), brokerages and real estate agents choosing Montana’s Goomzee http://www.goomzee.com as their text message marketing solution provider.

Goomzee’s real estate text message marketing solution, Realty Connect®, combines integration with MLS data systems and innovative features to help connect buyers and sellers. Real estate professionals place signs or ads prompting home buyers to send a text message with a unique property code, or Gcode, to receive for-sale property information. Potential buyers send a text message, including the property code, and within seconds they receive for-sale information, and optionally photos, on their cell phone. The real estate agent is alerted, and enabled to connect with buyers in real time, providing timely follow up.

“We continually seek out the best technology tools and providers for our members and are pleased to offer Goomzee’s industry-leading SMS marketing platform. More home buyers are relying on technology for information when buying a home, and the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® recognizes the need to empower the real estate sales professional with useful technology to reach today’s buyer, especially on their mobile phones,” explains Brian Bell, CTO of the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS®.

An increasing number of Americans look to their cellular phones for instant access to information. According to the International Association of Wireless Telecommunications, also known as CTIA®, there are 276.6 million US mobile phone subscribers, representing 89% of Americans.

“Our research has indicated that over 74.4% of Americans are using text messaging (SMS), and over 72% of SMS users are ages 25-49. Potential buyers real estate professionals seek to reach with online promotions, are the same people who would rather text than talk. Goomzee’s mobile technology helps satisfy today’s buyer and increases responsiveness from real estate sales professionals. We look forward to providing our technology throughout more of North Carolina and are excited to be working with the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS®,” states Mike Sparr, Goomzee’s CEO.

Text messaging has rapidly become one of the most commonly-used features on mobile phones. Wireless carriers have reported that over a trillion SMS messages were delivered in the U.S. this year alone. Once a technology primarily for chatting amongst friends, text (SMS) messaging continues to grow as a valuable source for instant information. With Goomzee’s text message marketing service, Realty Connect®, real estate professionals have yet another arrow in their quiver to reach America’s home buyers.

About Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS®

The Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® (WRAR) was created on June 2, 1924. It has grown tremendously in the past 80+ years. Presently WRAR serves more than 2,000 REALTORS® in Southeastern North Carolina. Perhaps the best-known feature is the operation of our Multiple Listing Service, which can be found at http://TheWilmingtonMLS.com online. Our diverse membership is comprised of REALTORS® with the professional expertise to meet consumer’s real estate needs, whether it’s their first home, a residential or commercial rental, or a commercial property for sale. Our REALTOR® Members adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which maintains that a high standard of conduct will be met in all activities. To learn more, visit us online at http://www.wrar.com.

About Goomzee

Goomzee Corporation provides a mobile marketing technology platform that connects buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest. Goomzee’s flagship product, Realty Connect®, and Mobile Virtual Tours, specifically assists real estate professionals to win more listings, acquire more leads and close more sales. The Company was established in 2003 offering hosted online storefronts to small businesses as well as consulting for some of the world’s largest companies and brands. Goomzee is an industry leader in text message marketing and continues to innovate from a client first perspective. We connect buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest. To learn more, visit us online at http://www.goomzee.com or contact us at (866) 472 – 6062

Montana’s Goomzee Mobile Technology Solution Selected By North Carolina Multiple Listing Services To Help Connect Buyers and Sellers


Home buyers in North Carolina will soon be able to receive for-sale home pricing information, and photos, sent directly to their phone using text messaging (SMS) thanks to Goomzee. The Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® recently joined the growing number of REALTOR® associations, multiple listing services (MLS), brokerages and real estate agents choosing Montana’s Goomzee http://www.goomzee.com as their text message marketing solution provider.

Goomzee’s real estate text message marketing solution, Realty Connect®, combines integration with MLS data systems and innovative features to help connect buyers and sellers. Real estate professionals place signs or ads prompting home buyers to send a text message with a unique property code, or Gcode, to receive for-sale property information. Potential buyers send a text message, including the property code, and within seconds they receive for-sale information, and optionally photos, on their cell phone. The real estate agent is alerted, and enabled to connect with buyers in real time, providing timely follow up.

“We continually seek out the best technology tools and providers for our members and are pleased to offer Goomzee’s industry-leading SMS marketing platform. More home buyers are relying on technology for information when buying a home, and the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® recognizes the need to empower the real estate sales professional with useful technology to reach today’s buyer, especially on their mobile phones,” explains Brian Bell, CTO of the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS®.

An increasing number of Americans look to their cellular phones for instant access to information. According to the International Association of Wireless Telecommunications, also known as CTIA®, there are 276.6 million US mobile phone subscribers, representing 89% of Americans.

“Our research has indicated that over 74.4% of Americans are using text messaging (SMS), and over 72% of SMS users are ages 25-49. Potential buyers real estate professionals seek to reach with online promotions, are the same people who would rather text than talk. Goomzee’s mobile technology helps satisfy today’s buyer and increases responsiveness from real estate sales professionals. We look forward to providing our technology throughout more of North Carolina and are excited to be working with the Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS®,” states Mike Sparr, Goomzee’s CEO.

Text messaging has rapidly become one of the most commonly-used features on mobile phones. Wireless carriers have reported that over a trillion SMS messages were delivered in the U.S. this year alone. Once a technology primarily for chatting amongst friends, text (SMS) messaging continues to grow as a valuable source for instant information. With Goomzee’s text message marketing service, Realty Connect®, real estate professionals have yet another arrow in their quiver to reach America’s home buyers.

About Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® The Wilmington Regional Association of REALTORS® (WRAR) was created on June 2, 1924. It has grown tremendously in the past 80+ years. Presently WRAR serves more than 2,000 REALTORS® in Southeastern North Carolina. Perhaps the best-known feature is the operation of our Multiple Listing Service, which can be found at http://TheWilmingtonMLS.com online. Our diverse membership is comprised of REALTORS® with the professional expertise to meet consumer’s real estate needs, whether it’s their first home, a residential or commercial rental, or a commercial property for sale. Our REALTOR® Members adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which maintains that a high standard of conduct will be met in all activities. To learn more, visit us online at http://www.wrar.com.

About Goomzee

Goomzee Corporation provides a mobile marketing technology platform that connects buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest. Goomzee’s flagship product, Realty Connect®, and Mobile Virtual Tours, specifically assists real estate professionals to win more listings, acquire more leads and close more sales. The Company was established in 2003 offering hosted online storefronts to small businesses as well as consulting for some of the world’s largest companies and brands. Goomzee is an industry leader in text message marketing and continues to innovate from a client first perspective. We connect buyers and sellers at the point-of-interest. To learn more, visit us online at http://www.goomzee.com or contact us at (866) 472 – 6062

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