Wednesday, September 21, 2005

For Sale By SMS

CellSigns unveils a mobile marketing and the real estate industry.

A potential buyer pulls up to a home for sale. Prompted by a CellSign, he or she uses a cell phone to text message the property's ID # to 79274 (QWASI).

The key to making this work is the shortcode recognition. The code has to be easy to remember.

There are 2 that I use because they stick in my head (and they are fast) 4INFO (44636) and GOOGL(46645). With 4INFO I dont even have to remember the number, my Treo automatically translates.

Within seconds a text message is returned to the buyer's phone with information about the home (including a description, number of beds and baths, and price) and contact information for the agent.

The potential buyer may then request more information, a call from the agent, or schedule a showing. The agent is notified immediately, calls the buyer, and accelerates the sale


Dean said...

not too bad. However a much cooler scenario would be to put a shotcode/semacode on the "For Sale sign". The code resolves to a pretty xhtml page with relevant info, images of interior, map of neigbourhood, POIs etc. Agent's phone would appear as a link, when clicked would initiate dialing.

Scott Shaffer said...

Yes and No. I agree it would be a much better solution. But here's the problem for now. Not everyone has a camera phone and there's no standard in place.

If you want to get massive adoption, there has to be a standard.

If every company comes out with there own 2d code and puts them on everything, it will just impede the adoption.

A couple ease ways to see how this works.
Betamax vs VHS.
Octane levels at gasoline stations.
Thread count on screws.

If you dont have a standard, and everyone puts out their own "version" adoption will take much longer.

Im standing at the For Sale sign and I want info. Do I use the software platform from OP3, Semacode, Scanbuy, Paperclick and a couple others that have this product.

Brands need to settle on a standard before consumers will adopt the physical world connection.

Dean said...

Completely agree, hopefuly a standard (or a winner) will emerge soon, like QR codes in Japan.

A hybrid solution could easily be done though, where you SMS the property-code and get a wap-push msg sent that redirects the handset to the xhtml page.
I just think that good-looking mobile pages would be far more appealing and more informative to most people. Combined with maps showing schools, restaurants, cafes shoping-centres in the area, it would give the potential buyer info about the house and the neigbourhood, which is pretty hard to squeeze into few SMS'es.

Scott Shaffer said...

I think your standard comes when brands decide what works best.

Print, packaging,radio, TV..what will be the easiest "identifier" that allows a direct connection for all of these?

When you find an app that utilizes all of these, then you see the winner me thinks.

Larry said...

I still think with your guidelines, Neomedia is in the drivers seat. Scan barcode, enter picture of product or ad (Mobot) or enter key word. All on one platform thats easy to install. I think it is theirs to lose.

Anonymous said...

Hi - Sorry for the anonymous post. I'm not a blogger by nature...

I'm one of the developers for this product. We did actually consider WAP and xHTML and WML and related technologies. In fact, we tested using SMS to generate a WAP push that directed users to a WML page.

What we discovered is that such a solution will probably be great - in a few years. The adoption level of devices for which that's a good solution is just not high enough yet.

So we've decided to stick with the lowest common denominator (just about every mobile device on the planet can SMS now) to deliver the critical information and developing additional technologies to allow delivery of more detailed, higher quality information as appropriate. Stay tuned - there's more coming!

Personally, as a developer, I'm gratified that anyone's even taking any notice...