By Peter Ricci
According to Nielsen, the majority of cell phone users now utilize smartphones, and Pew Research has found that 22 percent of adults use tablets. Clearly, as consumers, we’re becoming more and more mobile, and we’re spontaneously crafting a mobile economy as well. All of which leads back to one question for real estate agents – with a strong Web presence being a give-in, how can agents adapt further and give their listings a mobile presence, as well?
Adapting to a World of Smartphone Real Estate
For this post, we’ll focus on a coule affordable mobile options for agents. Of course, we’re not saying you shouldn’t look into developing your own mobile website or app, but such options can be quite costly and, as we’ll shortly address, even counterintuitive. But first, a couple inexpensive, but worthwhile, options:
1. Syndication Apps – Yes, Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com are controversial in how they use agent information (and sometimes incorrect information) to generate income; all three, though, do have stellar mobile apps, and they are widely used by consumers. Zillow, for instance, currently boasts 36 million unique visitors, and 40 percent of its weekend traffic comes from mobile devices, while 35 percent of Realtor.com’s 370 million pages views were from mobile devices; so, ideological differences aside, uploading your listings to those sites, and ensuring that mobile users can therefore access them, could be worth your time.
2. QR Codes – QR codes are another extremely useful (and extremely easy) outgrowth of the mobile economy. A QR code is basically a funny looking code that can be scanned by a smartphone; upon scanning, the code directs the smartphone user to whatever the originator of the code wants, from websites, to YouTube videos, to any other Web-based destination. So really, it’s simply a matter of generating your QR code (free sites exist for that) and including it on your yard signs, brochures and any other easily-accessible printed material. And as Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights recently documented, 6.2 percent of all mobile users access QR codes, an “impressive proportion” in his mind.
Smartphone Real Estate – at the Expense of What?
Mobile technology is great, and we’ll certainly be writing more about it in 2013 and beyond; we absolutely must clarify, though, that having mobile capabilities to your business will not necessarily make it a successful business. This is, after all, real estate, and though the meter of the march may have changed somewhat, the underlying features of success – excellent, well-staged listings; effective pricing; knockout showings; careful negotiations – are still as critical as ever.
So certainly, heed our advice and leap in to the mobile world of smartphone real estate, but do not let the convenience and brevity of that smartphone mindset infiltrate the core tenets of your business.