Matthew Ferrara, Philosopher
 

Pope to REALTORS: No MRE XCUSES

BXVI SMSs REALTORS? Not!What will it take to get REALTORS to modernize their skills? NAR’s 2008 Member Profile indicates only 11% of REALTORS use text messaging (cell phone) with current clients; 4% said they used SMS with past clients; and 5% with prospects. In a report with an “adjusted response rate” of 7.7%, you have to wonder if any REALTORS use text messaging at all. Considering one of our recent postings covered the use of Medieval technology, when I came across this next piece, I thought, maybe someone whose average audience is (only) slightly larger than mine might be able to motivate REALTORS to get with modernity.

Engagdet Mobile last week ran a short story on how Pope Benedict XVI has begun using text messaging to keep up with his customers. Wielding a new iPhone, Benedict tapped out some messages of encouragement – and actually used modern text language (abbrvtns) rather than the technology he used to use: Latin.

“BXVI” as he signed his message, leveraged the cellular network to reach out to current and past clients – plus probably a few prospects – during World Youth Day. Apparently thousands of the Church’s customers actively “signed up” to receive divine inspiration by cell phone. Working with his cellular company, BXVI will send out a “Pope SMS of the Day” throughout the festival, and recipients will be able to forward the messages to others in their cell phone address books.

Imagine that: BXVI is using SMS to do Social networking. HW CL IS THT?

Now, not everyone was impressed with the hip-hop-Pope tapping out some digital-divination on his iPhone. In fact, a group of REALTORS sneaked into the event, dressed as Bishops, in a display of “solidarity” for the “way things have always been.” Seen below, these “keepers of the unchanging faith” watched silently as BXVI gave his sermon on four high-resolution LCD digital walls to thousands in attendance – apparently unimpressed with all this “modernity” and progress.

Consider for a moment the audience at the event. Tens of thousands of BXVI’s “future customers” gathered in a celebration that tells you everything you need to know about how to get your marketing message to them: World YOUTH Day.

That means, in an audience of 100,000, there were 99,500 cell phones (500 REALTORS were in attendance, and only 88% of REALTORS have a cell phone, or so the NAR study said…). That also means there were probably 50,000 iPods in the audience – especially after the Pope – who is also a pianist – received a 2GB iPod “complements” of Apple. In addition to some recordings of the musical Greats like Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, the Pope also listens to the daily from Vatican Radio. Once again, perhaps the longest traditionalist organization in living history – the Church – is using technology to connect with its network.

92% of REALTORS reported they have “rarely or never” use a Podcast.

Need I go on? All around REALTORS, life is changing. Not just the “mean consumers” who are “making” agents and brokers learn all those complicated things – like the right-button on the mouse and the USB cord. Once stalwart groups, who believed they could turn a blind eye to “progress” and modernity – like organized religions and politicians campaigning on YouTube – are using text messaging and podcasts to win friends and change minds. Nobody is immune to these developments: they aren’t going away and the “comparables book” isn’t coming back. So, one of these days, THNK U WL GET WTH THE PRGRM?