The exponential growth of smart phone use over the past year and significant advances in mobile communication technology have made proximity marketing this year’s hottest real estate marketing tool. Proximity marketing, also called location-based marketing, uses mobile technology apps such as FourSquare, Facebook Places and Yelp to alert interested home buyers to available properties as they enter a neighborhood. As soon as a prospective home buyer drives into a new area, he receives an alert notifying him of any homes for sale that meet his search criteria. Proximity apps provide addresses and can link to agent mobile websites and listing domains, allowing home buyers to drive by the home and/or access additional listing information.
For busy real estate agents, proximity marketing apps are the next best thing to standing in front of a house and handing out flyers to everyone who drives past — but with significant advantages. Proximity apps require no physical presence, work for you 24/7/365, and don’t actually require home buyers to stop at the curb in front of the home. Home buyers merely have to enter the area or access information about the area for your home listing to pop up.
To reap the greatest rewards from proximity marketing, real estate agents must take the time to create geo-fences around each of their listing properties. Proximity alerts are generated when consumers cross a geo-fence. Creating geo-fences around individual properties as well as around neighborhoods where you have listings will increase the number of alerts sent out. It’s equally important to key your geo-fences to amenities that house hunters enter in their housing preferences. Proximity alerts can be triggered not just by location but by matches to buyers’ search criteria.
Take into account the many methods home buyers use to find homes in a certain location and the many things they consider when shopping for a home, such as zip code, square footage, number of bedrooms, school districts, pet friendliness, etc. To make the best use of proximity apps, design your geo-fences to trigger as many buyer search criteria as possible.