North Carolina-based XiLi Mobile believes it has developed a marketing and lead generation service that appeals to Real Estate brokers and agents who are too busy and overloaded with the regular responsibilities of the job.
The service, which runs on text messaging, also allows prospective homebuyers to quickly get information on the homes in which they are interested, without having to download an app or search for the listing online...
“It’s not an app and anyone with a smartphone can use it,” XiLi spokesman Chris Colin said. “It’s one of the big distinctions with this tool.”
While several prominent services exist that offer property information to homebuyers at the click of a few buttons, they require the homebuyers to either know some of that information already, or to download an app. Of course, removing the extra step of downloading and learning to use the app makes the jobs brokers and agents easier.
"One of the things I like most (about XiLi) versus the others I've looked at over 20 years, is that when you pull up a XiLi text, it is very clean and crisp," said Tim Milam, president and broker of record at Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in North Carolina. Sea Coast Advantage is one of the largest Coldwell Banker operations nationwide, with 375 agents. "It's easy (for clients) to contact the Real Estate agent. That's the part, as a broker, I like the best. The customer feedback we get is that it's easy to read. That has inspired consumers to be more apt to email, text or call our agents."
For buyers, XiLi works in two ways: If they see a home they like, they can either use the MLS number listed on a yard sign, and text it to “86789.” They quickly get a return text with a link to all of the home’s MLS data. Listings propagate into the company’s system within 24 hours of listing in the MLS.
“We’re able to display anything they have inside the MLS,” Colin said. “All of the property information, all of the contact information, every single picture … is all able to be displayed.”
Or, they can simply text “X-I-L-I” to “86789” for the 10 closest listings. Because the program is GPS-based, prospective clients don’t need the MLS number.
“It certainly provides inventory and gives you a lead you can call,” said Sea Coast Advantage Broker Kristen Downing,said. “It helps when they are standing in front of a house and they get all of the listings in the vicinity.”
The service has several benefits to agents and brokers, who currently pay $25 per month, or sign up for an annual membership. The first is lead generation. Every time someone texts for information, the listing agent or broker receives a notification about who information seeker is and what property they are interested in. Milam receives a weekly dashboard report with statistics about how well agents respond to lead contacts, which keeps him happy.
“Automation — for agents, it is the biggest factor,” Colin said. “They are too busy and have too much going on.”
A second, unintended benefit has been marketing, Colin said. Including the MLS number and XiLi Mobile “86789” on fliers, websites and social media has directly led to sales.
“Just put up a picture of their listing … and say, “To see full details on your mobile device, text whatever the MLS number is to 86789,” Colin said. “As soon as someone does it, they know who is looking at it.”