Mobile has gone global and everyone from Wired Magazine, Gartner, Forrester Research, and Barron’s is writing about it. The headline is almost always the same – “THE DEATH OF THE PC HAS NOT BEEN GREATLY EXAGGERATED.”
The real headline is that PC sales have been negative since 2011 and the 2015 numbers showed the largest drop in sales volume in history. Before you get overwhelmed with the fear of PCs going away, it will take a long time for that to happen. Shipments of new PCs globally is still running at a pace of around 65 million to 70 million a quarter. Interestingly enough, the iPhone ships about the same number of units – and that is just from one smartphone manufacturer. As an aside, Lenovo (formerly IBM) holds the top market share with about 20 percent. HP is second in market share with 18 percent, followed closely by Apple at 16 percent and Dell at 14 percent. The new MacBook Air helped Apple pass Dell.
The debut of Windows 10 did not make a big difference. There was a belief that corporations and consumers were holding off and building a demand ahead of the release. There was a little bubble, but nothing strong enough to thwart the 10% drop in PC sales. Heck, because of the move to mobile, Google even revised its revenue outlook. Companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook are enormously focused on mobile. You should be too!
Real estate was super late in moving to mobile. Many would argue that we are still in the teeth cutting stages. A lot of this was caused by the lag of MLSs being crossbrowser compliant and mobile browser compliant. Thank goodness that we are almost there now with the leading MLS vendors. Some, like CoreLogic, have even gone the extra mile to integrate mobile apps like GoMLS. Others are using third party solutions like HomeSpotter (formerly Mobile Realty Apps).
Real estate brokers should be jumping on this trend early. There are three keys to success. The first is to make sure that your app is both agent facing and consumer facing. The second is to ensure that the app that faces the consumer is integrated into your website so their saved searches and favorites are preserved across app and browser (like Zillow Group and Realtor.com). The third is to make sure that the agent app has single sign on access to all of the tools offered by the brokerage in one spot. Agents are not fond of having multiple stand-alone apps for broker tools.
If you know of a company that does a great job on mobile web, mobile app, and browser based systems integration, leave a comment below or send me an email at email@example.com. We are always looking to create case studies of broker excellence.