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Return to: 2007 Feature Stories

CLIENT: SkyWire Media, Inc.

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2007: RobbReport/Vacation Homes

INSTANT OPEN HOUSE

Some people find their new homes just by driving around in a community they find appealing. If a buyer sees an intriguing property late on a Sunday afternoon, he or she will have immediate questions about the square footage, the number of bathrooms and the price. How can a buyer get that information without calling and leaving a message or a real estate broker's office and waiting for a call back?

A company called SkyWire Media has found a way to use short message service to put property information and photographs immediately into the cell phones and e-mail inboxes of potential buyers.

Real estate agents who subscribe to SkyWire Media (www.skywiremedia.com) can have a toll-free phone number assigned to each p0roperty they sell. When a potential buyer drives by the home, he or she can call the number from a cell phone to receive a text message with six photographs of the home's interior.

"In this way, the buyer can get an idea of the home's interior while standing outside," says CEO Shawn Harris.

The buyer also hears a recorded menu of options, one of which is to listen to information from the MLS listing, including the square footage, number of bedrooms and acreage.

Buyers can also leave an e-mail address so that more information can be sent, such as additional photographs or the full MLS listing.

"That way, if they see a property they like while on vacation, the information is available for them on e-mail. It's kind of a reminder," says Harris.

When the potential client places that first cell phone call, the real estate agent will receive a text message that states that someone is looking at the home at that moment. The message will include the captured cell phone number of the person who requested information. This gives agents an idea of how many people saw the property and were interested enough to call for more information.

The old system, which was a box with flyers in it, was difficult to stock and impossible to qualify the buyers who took flyers.

The service, currently available in about 32 states, is expanding. Although there are similar services that offer a phone number to call, many simply have a recorded voice on the other end of the line reading the MLS information. SkyWire Media is the only service that sends electronic information directly to the caller's cell phone. Harris says giving a buyer more instant information adds momentum to their interest in a property.

Return to: 2007 Feature Stories