How Do You Create a Mobile Business?

The real estate business (and business as a whole) has changed- ALOT.  Looking specifically at real estate, one of the latest points of evolution is the increasing infiltration of mobile into a realtor’s daily routine.  From texting, to email, to social apps and calendars, a real estate agent can (dare I say it) almost safely pack his or her pc deep into a closet.  But, with the deluge of apps, social media and software updates an individual encounters everyday, it’s often tough to extract important information from all the noise.  Which begs the question, how does a realtor, or any kind of company focus on becoming a mobile business?  How can entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies alike, leverage mobile tools to gain the coveted title of “a successful mobile business?”  Well, here are some thoughts to get the ball rolling:

Start from the inside

It is important to understand and promote the cultural shift to mobile usage from within a company.  While coming out with the most addictive app since Angry Birds may be a great marketing move, it may not encourage your employees to rethink how they approach daily business.  A top down approach could work better.  Create weekly messages or YouTube videos with management promoting productivity mobile tools, such as Evernote, Clear or even more complex platforms, such as CRM or workflow applications.  Small and large companies alike can try to provide mobile charging stations for tablets and smartphones.  We’ve been particularly successful with creating a mobile culture by releasing a mobile CRM and marketing productivity tool, William Raveis Agent Dashboard, which we are now proud to say has a 85% adoption rate amongst our associates.

Promote Social Media Use

54% of people using Twitter access it using their mobile phone.  40% of social users access accounts through their mobile devices.  Facebook was the third most-visited app by both iPhone and Android users in 2011.  Yes, these are facts, and they are credible (Nielsen, Pew and comScore, respectively).  The point is, people like to access social media from their mobile phones and the majority of the population in this country utilize smartphones (53%, according to Pew).  Encouraging your employees to participate in social media use is a surefire way to help them become and stay mobile.  One of the ways to do this is to post intriguing questions, or other shareworthy content, such as photos and videos.  As an example,  we’ve had particular success with our weekly “What’s The Price”  Wednesday contest on facebook, in which our followers (who, may I add, do an awesome job) guess the price of a featured home.

If You Can’t Create an App, Create a Mobile Site

Let’s face it, unless you happen to utter code in your sleep, creating a mobile app is a challenge.  However, there are workarounds, specifically, a mobile-enabled website.  Creating a mobile friendly site is now as important as having a website in the first place.  You want to be able to let potential customers learn about you on the go, 24-7, be it on a crowded subway, or a secluded island.  Here are a list of tools to help you create a mobile site:

Wapple.net – the drag & drop features of this site can help you build a mobile site in about 30 minutes.  Or, for those looking for something uber-sophisticated, you can drill-down and edit every single element of your page.

MobilePress– For all the WordPress users out there, this is really gold.  MobilePress is WordPress plugin that will make your site mobile-browsing friendly, with added customization.  In addition, there are mobile tracking tools available to enhance your site analytics.

Conduit Mobile–  while I have not had a chance to test this one out, Conduit mobile looks like a great solution to create a mobile site.  You can customize the site and add Rss, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube content.

There are several other solutions available, but these are some of the easier ways to get a clean mobile site up and running in very little time.

Personally, I believe creating a mobile business needs to start from within.  If you, the boss, believes in and utilizes the power of mobile, it only makes sense that your employees should do the same.  With a workforce that committed, creating all the snazzy mobile technology necessary to be considered a mobile enterprise, will become less scary and more fun!

What else do you think makes a successful mobile business?

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