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Cushman Wakefield uses SMS to deliver realty info instantly

Realty firm Cushman Wakefield has enlisted the help of MyThum Interactive to roll out an interactive SMS service to make real estate information available immediately.

After a successful pilot initiative, the SMS service has launched throughout all of Canada. Not only is Cushman Wakefield using SMS to kickoff a dialogue with prospects, but it is using the initial contact as an opportunity to invite consumers to opt-in and receive messages about similar listings that come on the market.

?The strategy is to give our target audience direct access to property information,? said Brad Dugard, director of corporate communications at Cushman Wakefield, Toronto.

?By doing this, we are expecting to not only increase the number of leads on a property, but also generate more qualified leads in the process,? he said. ?We are making the buying process easier for our prospects, while at the same time delivering a tool that will help our listing agents.?

Cushman Wakefield is outfitting real-estate signage with a mobile call-to-action that is property-specific.

Now, potential clients and agents can send a property-unique code via text message and instantly receive listing information for the property they are interested in, directly to their mobile device.

Prospects can also elect to be contacted by the property?s listing agent, who will then be notified by an automated email, which provides contact details for the prospect.

The pilot initiative showed a spike in interest for the featured properties and offered listing agents more qualified leads, according to Cushman Wakefield.

Buyers who are searching for a certain type of property also have the option to opt-in and receive SMS alerts about properties that meet their interests.

?SMS is the right channel for this initiative because its use is ubiquitous in the market, and it delivers all of the relevant information instantly,? Mr. Dugard said.

?It is also interactive, which affords us the opportunity to link qualified prospects directly to the appropriate listing agent for a particular property,? he said.

Mobile is clearing a new path for the realty firm as a marketing channel that delivers real-time access to property listings immediately and directly to the potential customer?s phone.

Cushman Wakefield claims that this mobile approach also offers the company insight into its consumer?s buying behaviors, which yields a more targeted approach to serving consumer needs.

MyThum Interactive, a North America-based mobile marketing agency, acted as the technology partner and provided guidance in execution of both the pilot project and the national rollout.

This is not Cushman Wakefield?s first dip in the mobile pool.

In August, Cushman Wakefield announced a partnership with Homes on Mobile Phones, a subsidiary of Airborne Mobile (see story).

?Mobile is a perfect complement to our strategy because signage, our No. 1 marketing vehicle, generates awareness while prospects are mobile,? Mr. Dugard said. ?Property info on demand via mobile makes sense because it engages our target at the point of impulse.

?Mobile will prove to be a source of differentiation for Cushman Wakefield, both from a listing perspective as an added tool in our arsenal, as well as to help our prospects find the right space more efficiently,? he said.