App or Mobile: What should the Chartered Surveyor do?

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App or Mobile: What should the Chartered Surveyor do?

 Any Chartered Surveyor or Commercial Property Agent looking at the marketing practices within the residential property sector over the past six to twelve months could have been forgiven for thinking that the sector has gone “App” crazy. Estate Agents big and small, both rural independent to multi-national brand seems to have their own App now. So should the Commercial Agent be following suit or should they be going ‘mobile’?

What do we mean by mobile?

Every commercial agent knows what an App is…surely? But what is actually meant by mobile? Well essentially a mobile friendly version of your website, designed to deliver the optimum user experience for potential property customer who access your company’s website via a mobile device. And that device could be iPhone, iPad, Android, Symbian or windows based device. Consider the following:

  • There are now 18 million smartphones in the UK today
  • Predicted that by 2015 there will be 42.9 million
  • More people will access the web via a mobile device than traditional desktop device by the end of 2012.

Commercial Property Client are Changing

Chartered Surveyors and Commercial property professionals are constantly telling me that Smartphones and mobile Internet is the realm of the teenager and the twenty something, therefore not relevant to the commercial property market. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, 35-54 years olds are the largest users of mobile Internet. This is your commercial property market. Perhaps the more surprisingly contradiction to the misconception is that the largest growth area is within the 65+ age group.

There was some interesting research, probably at the end of last year, which found that around 95% of the population are never more than 3 feet away from their mobile phone. But I think with smartphones the attachment is much greater; the mobile device is no longer in the pocket, it’s in the hand, ready to check, test, compare and respond.

App or Mobile for the Commercial Agent?

Clearly you need to do something, as change is inevitable. Although within the B2C environment of residential property, Apps may well have their place, within the commercial property sector the App may be somewhat of an expensive distraction.

In reality, you need to sort out a mobile version of your company’s website, before you even dream of an App, because the majority of its traffic will be coming via mobile devices very soon. A mobile version of your website is also considerably cheaper than commissioning your own App and a fraction of the development time.

Going Mobile

With mobile, don’t shrink, rethink! A smaller screen, loading speeds, connectivity, pinch and zoom, it is important to keep it simple.

The behaviour of mobile traffic to your website will be very different from that of desktop originated traffic. Typically, you have less time with the mobile visitor, so it vital to work with a web partner that can help you identify the needs of your ‘mobile’ customer.

By Philip Burrows, Marketing Consultant