Realtor.com update lets consumers text agents

The listing portal now allows consumers to text questions and get an immediate connection

Realtor.com has added a new feature for mobile users to grant them the ability to get an immediate connection to a real estate agent through text messaging, the real estate portal announced Wednesday.

“We believe that real estate professionals play a vital role in the home buyer’s journey, and with 78 percent of realtor.com users searching for homes on a mobile device, sending a text message to connect with a professional is a simple, effective extension of the consumer’s existing mobile shopping experience,” Chung Meng Cheong, the chief product officer at realtor.com, said in a statement.

“Our new text message feature helps facilitate a more natural and rapid connection between prospective home buyers and real estate professionals, which will expedite the consumer’s home buying journey.”

Consumers can now ask questions and indicate their interest in a property through a text message on realtor.com. After reaching out, they will immediately be connected with a real estate agent. (Credit: realtor.com

Mobile listings displayed on realtor.com, which is operated by Move Inc., a subsidiary of News Corp., will now prominently feature a “text” button on the listing page. When a consumer sends the text message, they will be instantly connected with a realtor.com representative who will learn about what the consumer is interested in and arrange a call with a real estate professional.

Inman asked a spokesperson for realtor.com if the consumer is connected with the listing agent or an agent that pays to use realtor.com as lead generation and will update if the company responds.

Currently, the mobile text message feature is only available on mobile web and the realtor.com iOS app. It will soon be available for the company’s Android app in the coming weeks.

The company connecting first with the consumer marks a bit of a change for realtor.com, speaking with the consumer further down the funnel than in the past. While these leads won’t be thoroughly vetted – as is the case with Zillow’s fourth iteration of Premier Agent – it will still give agents a better sense of what the consumer is looking for and provide an instant connection, as opposed to just contact information.

Email Patrick Kearns