2012 was an outstanding year for real estate technology embracing mobile. 2013 will be even better. However, all of this new freedom functionality will be for naught if agents do not buy iPads. In November, WAV Group did a number of research projects that included information about the adoption of mobile in real estate. By our average numbers, 60% of agents now have a smartphone. 40% of agents have a tablet computer like an iPad. We would have served ourselves well to break out the types of devices that agents use by sorting Apple devices from Android devices, but we did not. Lots of people talk about cloud computing. The notion is that all applications and data are in the cloud, accessible from any device that can reach the Internet. Unfortunately, this is not exactly the case. As WAV Group has long bemoaned, the cornerstone of agent technology is the MLS, and many MLS systems have been slow to fully support Apple desktop and mobile devices. It is the number 1 complaint in agent satisfaction surveys. Sure, there are tools to work around it, but at the end of the day, many MLS systems are not fully functional on mobile. Alas, things are looking up. Most MLS systems are now cross-browser compatible or will be in Q1. In many ways, secondary applications like agent website administration, CRM, CMA, and Marketing solutions are ahead of MLSs at going mobile. All things considered, the industry is moving in the direction of supporting mobility, but 40% adoption rates for tablets undermine the marketplace. Many think that 40% adoption is great, others see it as lack luster. It is all about perspective. The single piece of advice that I would give to an agent to prepare for 2013 is to get a tablet (preferably an iPad), and learn how to use it. Brokers missed a huge opportunity up until now. Rather than complain about the MLS’s failure to support Apple and Mobile, they could have delivered end-to-end solutions that enabled the agent to skip the MLS entirely, and rely on the broker for all things in serving the client. To effectively do this, the broker would have needed to insist that administrators manage listing input and modifications. This is still a very wise and practical strategy. If you are a great broker, you have listing input in the broker solutions that you provide to […]
Rapattoni has long offered Association websites and MLS consumer property search solutions in the markets that they serve. I believe Rapattoni may have been among the pioneering MLS vendors at offering such a solution. Having said that, there has been little attention paid toward innovating the search component of that platform. In the deployment of the new website, Rapattoni and iHomefinder collaborated to deliver an elegant solution. This week, the California based Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS (VCCAOR) debuted their new website powered by iHomefinder. Board President Cindy Diaz-Telly spoke with the WAV Group about the site. According to Diaz-Telly, the launch of the new site is the fruition of a strategic goal of their board spanning two years. The Association has long offered a consumer facing website as a member benefit, so this new site is a relaunch rather than a new launch. Real Estate agents and brokers are supportive of the site as a means of connecting the consumer with REALTORS. The board had made a strategic decision not to publish the site to the MLSCloud Network until the new site was launched. VCCAOR is also a participant in the Southern California MLS data share called CARETS. CARETS participants are allowed to display all CARETS listings on their consumer facing websites but VCCAOR has chosen not to do so at this time. Visitors to the new site will immediately notice the user search interface improvements. iHomefinder has introduced a map search based on the Google Maps API. They have also dramatically improved the form based search solution and the listing detail page as compared to the Rapattoni Solution. At this time, VCCAOR has elected to keep the website clear of advertising like the REALM from Real Estate Digital or the advertising solution from MLSListings.com. iHomefinder modeled their MLS partnerships with Metrolist MLS in Sacramento, also a Rapattoni customer. iHomefinder seeks to launch additional MLS solutions this year combining their public portal solution with agent IDX and websites offered through the MLS. Call Victor Lund at 805-709-6696 for any questions about the information in this article.
The world has changed. Many consumers that used to want to live the “American Dream” of homeownership have given up on that dream – at least for now – and have turned to renting, instead of buying. They may have lost their home, or simply don’t believe that buying a home is a good investment anymore. Still others simply cannot afford to buy a home because they have lost their job or they have been forced to take a lower paying job just to keep food on the table. Are we just going to abandon these folks because they aren’t buying a home “at this moment”? We may not be trying to ignore them, but in fact we are by not providing any options for them to learn about rentals from organized real estate.
Thanks to so many of you who requested Marilyn’s powerpoint presentation that was delivered at the MLS Cloud Conference hosted by the Houston Association of REALTORS. It has been a pain to email given the size, so it is posted here and you can download it. Contact Marilyn directly if you would like any details, narration or publishing permissions.