The immense growth in the use of mobile technology, specifically consumer-facing real estate technology, means change for Realtors when it comes to communication, research and reporting for mobile-first clients.
A recent data report by analytics firm Flurry revealed that the average U.S. smartphone user spends five hours per day on a mobile device, a 20 percent increase compared with 4Q 2015. Of that time, 92 percent (about 4.6 hours) is spent inside an app.
How important is mobile technology for Realtors?
To measure how Realtors are adapting to recent changes in the real estate technology landscape, the team at Realtors Property Resource (RPR) surveyed nearly 200 Realtors about the way they use mobile devices to get the job done.
Results showed that more than 98 percent of Realtors believe a mobile device is “moderately important,” “important” or “very important” in their day-to-day work.
According to the survey, 96 percent of Realtors agreed that using a mobile device to access housing data saves valuable time during the work day.
Buyers use mobile devices for all aspects of the home search, and savvy Realtors understand they need to meet clients where they are.
How apps have changed the game
Apps enable Realtors across the nation to perform job-specific tasks on the go, such as viewing data, aggregating buyer queries, scheduling real estate showings and opening lockboxes.
Added functionality found in certain apps allows agents to send custom reports to clients via app-based messaging.
With mobile apps, Realtors can easily send information to buyers and sellers by way of text or email. This type of simple, customized communication saves Realtors valuable time.
Most (and least) popular mobile activities
Client communication and housing research top the list of mobile activities Realtors rely on most throughout the course of each workday, according to the RPR study.
Those tasks are made possible through the growing availability of mobile technologies in the real estate marketplace.
Other popular activities included researching housing data (72 percent), performing financial calculations (44 percent), prospecting (34 percent) and client presentations/home showings (26 percent).
Least popular activities to perform on a mobile device included tours (21 percent), open houses (19 percent) and listing presentations (11 percent).
Knowledgeable agents and brokers know smartphones are the most expeditious response mechanism in today’s marketplace, and according to the 2017 Realtor Mobile Usage Report, 87 percent of Realtors agree that clients prefer to receive new housing alerts, market activity reports and more sent directly to their mobile device.
Most Realtors reported that they often text their clients new house alerts, neighborhood reports, and financial information, instead of sending it via email.
Realtors often work from a remote location — such as a car or an open house — and in those circumstances, a smartphone is their computer.
Should they need to quickly access data on a listing, compile a neighborhood report for a client or perform financial calculations, they turn to a mobile device.
When asked how much time they spend on a mobile device each day, 42 percent of Realtors answered either “five to seven hours” or “eight or more hours.”
Successful Realtors will use the tech-driven consumer’s lifestyle to their advantage, sharing thousands of home characteristics, reports and information on school districts and neighborhoods, all directly to the buyer or seller via a mobile device.
Mobile technology is not only helping Realtors excel at their jobs, it’s now the mandatory medium for data delivery.
Reggie Nicolay is Vice President of Marketing at Realtors Property Resource, a national property database for Realtors. He is responsible for brand monitoring and social media strategies. He moved to RPR from real estate search and valuation site Cyberhomes.com, where he served as social media director. He was named one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate for 2010 by Inman News.