The Constantly Mobile Consumer

Last week when Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance to unveil the ipad2 he made note of the fact that in only 9 months during 201 Apple sold nearly 15 million iPads, which generated close to 10 billion dollars in revenue for the company.  According to Jobs, “2010 was the year of the iPad.”  Well now, with over 30 tablet devices on the market from companies such as Motorola, hp, Samsung and Blackberry, 2011 is poised to be the year of the tablet in general.

Couple the vast amount of tablets now on the market, the millions of iPad’s already sold, with the continued innovation in mobile devices and sales of new handsets (it’s estimated Verizon will 10 million iPhone 4’s in 2011); what we are witnessing is dramatic shift towards mobile computing.  The days of needing to be chained to your desktop are gone.  You can be as effective and efficient on the road in the real world as you once were from your home or office.

This means that consumers essentially have 24/7 access to the internet and all the information they want; real estate information included.  They are searching from their tablets to their phones and the expectations to be able to access information have never been higher.  This means as a real estate professional your online marketing plan has never been more important.

Are you positioned in the places that consumers are looking?  Every iPhone and iPad(2) comes pre-installed with YouTube.  In addition, both devices now have the ability to shoot HD Video.  Take a video, post it to your YouTube channel, link to your website and drive mobile traffic.

Speaking of your website, is it formatted to be viewed on all mobile devices?  In 2010, on average, 15% – 17% percent of website traffic came from devices.  This year estimates say as high as 34% of web traffic will come from mobile devices.   In order to retain that traffic and not lose those eyeballs to competitors creating a mobile version of your website is a must have here in 2011.

Think about all the different tools which you may already be using that are mobile: Facebook, twitter, YouTube, The Realtor.com App, Trulia, Zillow.  In all of these different sites you have the link to your website and people are accessing these sites throughout the course of their day from their mobile devices.  In order to properly serve the heavy demographic of mobile users through those channels your site should be formatted for mobile.  Most importantly, your brand, your listings and a Mobile IDX should be available to consumers who visit your site.

The devices that we as consumers are gravitating towards are becoming more and more mobile.  As such, the marketing that we do as businesses needs to shift to meet the needs of the ever increasing mobile consumer.  Mobile web/data usage is the area which will grow the most and the fastest in the year to come.  Getting in the broadband wagon now will allow you to keep pace with the market and capitalize on new consumer trends.

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