HomeSmart International recently released an app that adds real estate-themed text messaging stickers to users’ smartphone keyboards. The idea for developing the emojis grew out of feedback from the company’s real estate agents that homebuyers appreciate appointment reminders, deadlines and other purchase-related messages by text — which can be expressed as an emoji icon — over such messages as promos, holiday greetings or birthday wishes. The HomeSmart Stickers app is available for iPhone and Android users at no cost.
“This trend hasn’t necessarily been driven by the real estate agent but can, instead, be attributed to changing consumer preference for texting as a primary communication channel,” observes Matt Hensler, chief marketing and innovation officer at HomeSmart, noting that, if texting weren’t the preferred channel for the consumer, agents wouldn’t utilize it with them. “Within the context of the real estate industry, this form of communication does have tremendous benefits,” he says. “Being able to simultaneously share links to new listings, confirm showing times or do quick back-and-forth on offers and sales contracts streamlines the interactions overall for all parties involved.”
Whether or not emojis are destined to become ubiquitous as a business tool, they can become a component of a cohesive brand strategy. Says Hensler, “Brands are built and reinforced through the sum of all interactions a prospect or customer has with a company. Whether it’s a website or a personal emoji, the interaction needs to be relevant, valued and trusted by the consumer if you want them to do business with you. Our real estate agents are entrepreneurs and their personal brand is front and center in their business. The more they consistently reinforce that brand within the interactions they have with clients, the easier it will be to consistently grow their real estate business.”
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