Push to Talk

4 minute read

Imagine being able to push a button “walkie talkie” style on your mobile phone (or any other network connected phone for that matter). Well, Push to Talk (PTT) is coming Australia’s way and soon.

Push to Talk Phones
Go to: Verizon Wireless USA Push to Talk has become one of the hottest products on the market, in fact in the US research has shown 45% of mobile phone owners wanted it available on their new phones. It has gained massive popularity. I can see Real Estate Agents wanting this service, pretty much ringing back to the office for some quick info, talking to each other quickly, without dialling numbers. In the US companies are only charging a few extra dollars per month. You can bet phone companies in Australia (Telstra) are going to make a killing out of this pretty simple process by charging ridiculous fees. However I think Telstra are starting to wake up to hot new products by making them readily available. They will probably take a similar approach to SMS charging for each PTT call, maybe only a few cents but bills will mount pretty quickly for heavy users.

How it works
Firstly you will need a supported phone and currently they are not available in Australia. We will probably see them towards the end of this year.

Once you have the phone you simply select the contact you wish to speak to and hold down the PTT button and bang you are speaking directly to the person at the other end. Your voice simply comes through their phone. Your PTT list is different from normal contacts as you can select who you allow to PTT you.

There’s obviously no good reason that the underlying carrier method has to be cell based: an Internet gateway and a Wi-Fi chip could allow this kind of instant routing over any authenticated Wi-Fi/WIMAX hotspot/region or home/office network. This basically means that all real estate companies can set this up within their own network without needing to route the calls through a phone network, which means no costs after setup!

Paper Based Property Guides
Today when real estate agents list in traditional real estate guides/newspapers it is more about branding than effectiveness.

Let us use The Mercury Real Estate Guide in Tasmania. For a one page ad it costs around $2,500 for an ad that lasts a day and goes out to less than 50,000 people only around Southern Tasmania.

The Newspapers will tell you “yes but our figures show over 100,000 people read it” yeah – Prove it! They can’t it is that simple. They cannot tell you figures on who read what property and what page. But guess what the Internet can!

Newspapers give you a good feeling, you can see it touch it and the immediacy of the results you get is very effective. Think about normal advertising in newspapers, if you have a product or service to offer then you can have your ad appear on certain pages at certain prices but after one day it is gone. If the ad costs $600 and you were a restaurant it would take around 100 meals for you to break even!

If advertising in newspapers were so effective they would be about 500 pages thick and you would have a waiting period just to get your ad in there.

Fact is newspaper advertising is good for branding or extra special offers and some immediate results but as far as being effective it does not hold a candle to the Internet.

Think about this. Most agents are now saying that over 50% of property buyers did their research online before contacting the agent. The average real estate agent spends over $100,000 per annum on marketing. Now would you say that if 50% of your sales originated from the Internet then wouldn’t it make sense that 50% of your marketing went into the Internet? Yet most agents spend less than 10% of their annual marketing budget investing in their online future.

The reason for this is simple and that is most agents do not get a return on their Internet investment because their are no standard fees put in place by their Real Estate Institutes. This needs to happen and fast.

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