Feb. 22, 2017

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Realtor.com taps messaging trend with iMessage integration

February 16, 2017

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-1-38-38-pmRealtor.com is making it easier than ever for consumers to find and share real estate listings thanks to an integration between its mobile application and iMessage that lets users quickly send listings to friends through a text message.

The partnership makes realtor.com one of many brands that have integrated with iMessage. The brand clearly recognizes the growing import of mobile messaging as a vehicle for both commerce and marketing.

“Today’s home buyers, especially millennials who make up the largest home buyer segment, are used to searching and communicating on the go,” said Nate Johnson, chief marketing officer at realtor.com.

Messaging apps
When iOS10 was released, one of the most jarring changes was the complete overhaul of iMessage.

Rather than the simplified, minimalist messaging platform consumers were used to, they were greeted to a platform that was much more robust in its offerings.

In addition to emojis, the new iMessage came with stickers drawings, gifs and even its own app store.

Customers can browse listings through iMessage

It is this last feature that has been of particular note to brands and marketers, who have immediately seized upon the possibilities provided by in-message apps with their own app integrations that let consumers share the normal functions of an app through a message.

Realtor.com is the latest brand to join in on this trend, with a new integration with iMessage that will let its app users quickly share listings and other real estate content with friends through the messaging platform.

In addition, customers will be able to share their thoughts on the listings with custom realtor.com reaction stickers.

Customers can also perform basic actions that the regular app can do such as searching for nearby listings and seeing basic info about them, all without leaving iMessage.

All of this information cant hen be shared in an iMessage conversation with the press of a button.

Reaction stickers
The move to integrate with Apple’s iMessage is not without precedent. Many brands have begun to partner with messaging platforms as more and more consumers begin to use messaging apps as their primary form of interaction on smartphones.

This move is largely made up of profitable younger consumers, who increasingly value messaging over other services provided by mobile devices.

This is providing a great opportunity both for the providers of messaging platforms, as well as the brands who are the first to activate on them.

Some brands, especially delivery-heavy ones such as Domino’s, have already begun to offer full-fledged mobile ordering capabilities through messaging (see story).

Users can share listings they have found with friends

Other brands have worked more closely with bringing their own iMessage apps to iPhones, such as Fandango (see story).

These initiatives are a great example of how messaging is quickly growing to be one of the most popular new frontiers for mobile marketing, and how marketers and brands are adapting to this change.

“Our iMessage app was designed with this way of communicating in mind, making it simple to share photos, and listing information of for-sale and for-rent homes instantaneously within an iMessage conversation,” Mr. Johnson said. “We’ve made the process even more fun and collaborative by giving users the option to call out what they like about the home by adding reaction stickers.”

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Danny Parisi is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach him at danny@napean.com.

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