The more than 70,000 members of the largest multiple listing service in the nation, California Regional MLS, will soon be able to access their MLS platform from anywhere using a mobile application from app developer Mobile Realty Apps.
Mobile access to the MLS is highly sought after by agents and brokers, so much so that some MLSs have either rejected MLS platforms that do not offer full mobile compatibility or run more mobile-friendly platforms alongside them.
“What we’ve heard time and time again is that an agent will be out in the field taking their client on a buyer’s tour of properties and will drive by a home with a for-sale sign,” said Aaron Kardell, founder and CEO of Mobile Realty Apps. “The clients ask, ‘Why aren’t we looking at that property?’ The app allows the agent to point their device to the property and get real-time information.”
Currently, CRMLS’ members have access to a mobile MLS website, but not a downloadable “native” MLS app tailored to a particular operating system, such as iOS or Android. (In general, browser-based mobile sites tend to be slower than native apps.)
Starting in September, CRMLS’ members will be able to use Mobile Realty Apps’ native edgeMLS app at no additional cost.
The app will be fully integrated into CRMLS’ Matrix system and will allow agents to not only see and search listings in the system, but also edit them and upload photos directly from their iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet.
The app also offers two-way communication with clients. Agents can send clients new properties to consider based on saved searches and receive client feedback in real time in the app.
“Today’s consumers, and the Realtors who serve them, expect tools and information to be readily available on mobile platforms,” said Art Carter, CEO of CRMLS, in a statement. “Mobile Realty Apps is the perfect partner to develop a mobile solution to meet the needs of our members, which ultimately empowers them to exceed the expectations of their clients.”
The app’s “HomeSpotter” augmented reality feature overlays active and sold listing information on images seen through a device’s live camera feed. HomeSpotter helped Mobile Realty Apps garner an Inman News Innovator Award for “most innovative real estate startup” in 2012.
Agents can also see property information through the app’s dynamic map-based search. Through dynamic mapping, search results continually update as users “pan” the map by sliding their finger across the device’s screen without having to reload the map. This is a feature that is common among popular consumer apps, but that is not widespread in apps for professionals, Kardell said.
“It’s a faster experience,” he said.
The deal with CRMLS raises Mobile Realty Apps’ user base to more than 200,000 real estate professionals throughout North America, the company said.
Last year, Tucson, Arizona-based Long Realty rolled out Android and Apple consumer apps built by Mobile Realty Apps that surface for-sale homes from the shared pool of listings made available by participating brokers in a multiple listing service (MLS) — Internet Data Exchange (IDX) — with more in-depth MLS data like recently sold homes.