A century ago, the only way to find a business was word of mouth. Then came the telephone book and people relied on advertisements. The internet brought search engines. Now, word of mouth is taking over again. Specifically, the words from the figurative mouths of Siri and Jeannie. The advance of a voice command interface is changing the way people find businesses and real estate will be no exception. In order for companies to be found, they will have to position themselves where these applications can find them.
The Apple iPhone changed the way people interact with their phones. The iPhone 4S changed the game again with Siri. Siri is an application that allows a user to ask any question and receive relevant results in a moment. She makes getting information quick and easy without the hassle of navigating advertisements. Jeannie is the Android equivalent of Siri, providing a voice command interface. Both applications are very successful and are most likely the beginning of a trend.
Siri and Jeannie are just applications, though. They have to draw their information from somewhere and that is the key to taking advantage of this new technology. Where in the past SEO reigned supreme in getting found, review sites such as Yelp may be the SEO of tomorrow. Siri draws her results from the reviews of Yelp. The number and quality of reviews determine a company’s ranking. So, if a potential buyer was looking for real estate agents in a city and asked Siri, any agent with a Yelp listing or reviews would appear on the results list. Any agent without one would not. Improving their rankings is vital for any company. Descriptive business profiles, customer reviews all will combine to ensure that Siri will find them. Google Places is another place to have a presence. Over time other geographical resources and review sites may become sources of information as well.
In a way, word of mouth is returning as the dominant form of finding businesses. Instead of a few trusted associates though, the references are coming from a large network of people. As the popularity of applications like Siri and Jeannie rise, other search engines may begin to use review sites for their results making it important for companies to make sure they are visible on these sites. They say everything comes back around. Apparently, Siri is making that come true.
Here is a great Video example of the Power of Siri “Find Me a Real Estate Agent” that was provided by Ben Kinney’s big revelation during the Active RainCamp: