As more and more people access the Internet through Web-enabled cell phones, builders need to optimize their Web sites for the mobile world. The latest Web-enabled phones, such as the iPhone, perform a lot like a desktop computer, but they have an important limitation—as of yet, they can’t read Flash programs, says Dennis O’Neil, an Internet marketing consultant in Monkton, Md., who works primarily with builders. Many Web sites use this program to navigate around their sites, which means that iPhone users will only see your home page.
To reach mobile Web surfers, O’Neil recommends creating sites that pare down the information to what is truly most important.
“Focus on the content, make it simple, and make it large,” O’Neil says. “If people land on a builder Web site, they want to know what you build, where you build, and how much it costs.”
They also want functionality, and mobile phones offer some astonishing capabilities, especially when mobile Web sites are tied to text messaging campaigns. It’s as simple as putting a sign in front of a model home with a note to send a text message with a specific code to the agent. An automated response would return a link with information about the house.
“The power of being able to do that sitting in your car is tremendous,” O’Neil says. “The iPhone and other phones like it are going to make mobile Web surfing more accessible. Our current and next generation of buyers will just expect that builders will be accessible on these kinds of tools.”