Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Keeping it Real - RE/MAX's Mobile Marketing Strategy Has Curbside Appeal

I recently blogged about RE/MAX's recent mobile media when I saw one of their ads emphasizing that "No App Required". I was so impressed with how forward thinking this approach is that I contacted RE/MAX to find out more about their campaign and their motivations.

The Marketing Team at RE/MAX INTEGRA were very helpful in answering my questions about their mobile media marketing strategy. Below are my questions and their answers. Their responses indicate a company that clearly knows their customer's needs.

Glen: Can you tell me a bit about RE/MAX's mobile media strategy? Are decisions made nationally, regionally, or internationally? 

RE/MAX: RE/MAX in Canada is split into three regions; Western Canada, Ontario-Atlantic and Quebec. The current advertising initiatives that are in market for Ontario & Atlantic Canada are planned and deployed regionally by RE/MAX INTEGRA Ontario-Atlantic Canada Inc. That being said, there are initiatives like our website, remax.ca, in which we work with the other Canadian head offices to develop a national strategy.

A major component for several years has been our investment into remax.ca both in the mobile sphere and on the desktop version. In all RE/MAX advertising we direct traffic to remax.ca and our messaging focuses on RE/MAX agents having the experience and results that other competitors don’t.

Glen: What are RE/MAX's goals and main features for mobile media?

RE/MAX: Now that over 90% of consumers begin their home buying process on the web, consumers are clicking on remax.ca to find an agent, view listings, and read market and renovation reports.

Knowing that in today’s environment buyers actively research properties on the internet and they drive the neighbourhoods of interest to view properties, so several years ago we launched a program we coined RE/MAX Curbside Marketing. This program allows buyers to view properties instantly on their mobile device. Price, description and video all play seamlessly on today's current smartphones.

As part of the Curbside Marketing program, home buyers & sellers can:

  • Text To View Listings:
    99% of consumers phones are able to text. RE/MAX Curbside Marketing allows interested buyers to text the unique number on a RE/MAX yard sign to 28888 to receive instant property information including price, description, and the agent’s phone number. If they have a smartphone they also get a link to photos and videos on the listing agent’s mobile website.
  • Quick Response Codes to RE/MAX Mobile Website:
    QR codes provide a fast and easy way for buyers to access price and photos of a listing without having to type or search. The QR code can be scanned by launching a free scanning app on the buyer’s mobile device to load the feature sheet on the agent’s mobile website provided by RE/MAX.
  • Browse Remax.ca Mobile Website:
    Any of today’s smartphones can go directly to the remax.ca mobile website (applicable in Ontario-Atlantic region). The website formats to the type of phone the buyer uses. Listings near the location of the buyer appear instantly. The buyer can customize their search and call a RE/MAX agent. Now they can also take advantage of the new feature that allows them to view YouTube videos that you upload to remax.ca.

Glen: When did RE/MAX Canada launch a mobile website? How long have you offerred geotargetted listings via one's mobile device?

RE/MAX: We continue to invest significantly in remax.ca and with the growth in mobile and applications, several years ago we launched proximity-based search and launched the RE/MAX Curbside marketing program.

Although our website has for the most part, been mobile friendly, as new technology becomes available, we continue to improve the functions on our site. That being said we advertised the Curbside Program and not necessarily the proximity-based search until this year. We are also launching other advanced modifications to the site this summer/early fall. As the campaign drives users to remax.ca, it will ensure users are familiar with the site, and return to see these changes and updates.

Glen: RE/MAX's recent ad campaign emphasizes your mobile website with "No app required" to access it with its geotargetted listings. What motivated this approach?

RE/MAX: In a world that is coming out of app-overload and the famous “there’s an app for that”, we decided that a real estate website should just be simple, accessible and mobile friendly. All the same details that an app would give its users, should come from a website. It is rare to find a user that only has one device, they should also be able to jump from mobile, to tablet, to desktop easily, receiving all the same information each time.

Glen: What has been the feedback on this campaign?

RE/MAX: It has been received very well, and traffic to the website has absolutely increased. Actually in February we hit over 100,000 unique users for one month! That’s incredible and shows the success of our ad campaign and our investment in remax.ca

Glen: How has the process of increasingly using mobile media progressed at RE/MAX?

RE/MAX: With a dedicated team of technology and marketing specialists, we can hope to continue to serve our users to the best of our abilities. We are consistently progressing and growing with new media and ideas, while listening to user feedback.

Glen: What feature of the mobile website is most used or appreciated by your clients?

RE/MAX: The property search and finding an agent feature are easy to use. We also have the "Favourite an Agent" function that’s a hit. Once a potential home buyer or seller does a transaction with an agent, they are encouraged to favourite that agent and create a profile on remax.ca. The next time that person searches remax.ca and is logged in, when they request more information on any property, the agent they favourited will be notified and that agent will contact that person with the information they requested.

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I was excited to hear about a prominent, Canadian company that understands that mobile apps are not necessarily (or even often) the best approach for all companies and that is making the most out of mobile media. Now if they could do something about Toronto's real estate prices, I'd be able to actively use their mobile services!

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