REALTORS® and Smartphones - 2010 Survey Results

In January 2010, the Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT) extended an email survey invitation to 45,000 random REALTORS® who have provided NAR with an email address. Close to 1,500 responded to the survey. 93% of those indicated that they were 40 years old or younger use a smartphone to conduct real estate business. 86% of respondents older than 40 use a smartphone.

Here are the highlights of the survey:

Top 3 smartphone brands used by respondents:

  • Blackberry (41.2%)
  • iPhone family: iPhone 3G (14.1%) ; iPhone 3GS (11.9%)
  • Palm (14.0%)

Top 3 reasons why respondents were motivated to choose current smartphone:

  • Best device for email (45.9%)
  • Ease of use (26.2%)
  • Ability to use a keyboard (23.7%)

Top 5 features used most by respondents on their smartphones:

  • Telephone (91.2%)
  • Email (88.4%)
  • SMS/texting (73.8%)
  • Calendar (52.6%)
  • Web browser (42.3%)

For general purposes, social media related apps were the most popular type of application downloaded by survey respondents (54.5%). This was followed by maps (43.3%) and weather applications (41.8%).

When it comes to MLS listing information:

  • 57.3% indicate they have access to MLS listing information through their smartphone’s web browser.
  • On a scale of 1-5, where 5 is extremely satisfied – respondents rated their overall satisfaction with the MLS listings available through their smartphone a 3.12.
  • 10.7% do not have access to listings via a smartphone because their MLS does not allow it.
  • Of this group, 94.4% are very interested in obtaining access via their smartphone.
  • 11.4% are not interested in accessing MLS listings via their smartphone.

Out of all this data – the one that is the most disturbing to me, is the MLS info.

Only about HALF of smartphone users have access to MLS data on their phone? And 10% don’t have access because their MLS won’t allow it? REALLY?

It really boggles my mind that agents would not have full and complete access to this data from any internet connection – laptop, desktop or smartphone. I know many times the problem lies in that many MLS’s only work on Internet Explorer – which yes, is still the top web browser but unfortunately it also usually contains the most bugs. Many tech-savvy and smart agents are working from Firefox, Chrome or Opera – just to name a few. In addition many MLS’s are not compatible with Safari – the main browser on a Mac or iPhone. I hope NAR and the Center for REALTOR® technology will help move many MLS’s into the future!

This topic is sure to be a hot debate at Real Estate Connect during our MLS Track held in the afternoon on July 14th.

FOREM fans – what do you think of this survey? Would love your thoughts and opinions – please leave me your feedback below!

Written by: Katie Lance, Marketing Manager, Inman News