App Alternative: Save Websites to Your Mobile Home Screen


Frustrated that the websites you frequent don’t have apps? Sick of opening your browser for every quick check-in? It’s a hard life, having a smartphone. I get it.

Here’s a simple hack to make your mobile browsing that much easier: next time you’re on that website you can’t live without, just save it to your home screen.

Voila! You just made an app.

For iPhone users, simply select the Share icon at the bottom of your browsing screen (the arrow coming out of a square) and choose “Add to Home Screen”(shown in the picture).

For Android users, save the website as a bookmark first, then go to your browser’s settings menu, open the Bookmarks folder, press and hold your finger on the bookmark, and choose “Add to Home Screen.”

Our real estate clients sometimes ask us why we don’t make apps for them. Our answer is simple: we make you great mobile sites that are even better than apps! Now, just tell your clients about this neat little trick and they’ll have easy access to your site and the app they so desire.



Creating Mobile Websites for Real Estate Agents and Offices

As any marketer knows, you should always think about your audience and their habits.  When designing your mobile site, make sure you’re keeping the mobile user in mind rather than the desktop user (yes, they are different).  While someone who visits your mobile site might also visit your standard site, their behavior may be different.  Someone visiting your site on their phone is more likely to be looking for specific information on the fly and may bail out faster if they have to dig to find it.

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QR Codes for Real Estate – Hype or Here to Stay?

Invented in Japan in 1994, QR codes are short for “quick response” and can be read by camera-ready smart phones with an app. Much like with a bar code, which have been used for decades, it is easier to scan something than it is to type something.

The sudden hype around this type of technology today is due to the explosions of smart phones.  Scanning QR codes from a phone is easier for users than typing, which personally I still find finicky on an iPhone, for example.

So, What Kinds of Uses Do They Have Already?

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Video is the New Photo – WellcomeMat Video App

Wellcomemat real estate video appI’ve been a fan of WellcomeMat for a while now for it’s effortless ease of use, attractive interface and the fact it’s a dedicated real estate platform for video. The latest offering from them is an iPhone app that allows you to post  geo-coded real estate videos to WellcomeMat, Twitter, Facebook, Posterous and YouTube for FREE.

The news was rolled out by their founder here and you can learn more about what WellcomeMat does here and even see a few of our in house offerings on our Union Street Media channel.

We would be interested to hear from anyone that has used this application and their thoughts on its effectiveness, however  the app is currently usable only on the iPhone 3G.


Changing Media Landscape

I had an interesting phone call from a longtime client yesterday who decided to stop advertising in his local print real estate monthly for the next four months and will instead be engaging our report, recommend, revise process.  “RRR” helps our clients improve the search engine placement of their web site and generate more leads from the web.  This client understands the shifting media landscape and I was pleased to see him make his marketing investments accordingly.

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The upcoming Media Convergence Conference in New York City, put on by The Economist, launched a video called Shift Happens, that helps put these changes in context.  They posted a fascinating video about the event here:

My favorite statistic: The average American teen sends 2272 text messages a month.

With numbers like that, and the often quoted 2008 NAR study that shows 87% of home buyers use the internet when making a purchase, I wonder how much longer people will continue to disproportionately spend money offline?