Mobile traffic is 50% for most brokers today. Sadly, the mobile solution that you purchased a year or two ago is probably behind the times. Not only does your website need to be “responsive” to any mobile browser, but you’d better have a damn good app too. The first thing that you should do is try it. Make sure that you download your app, and use it every time you need to look up something on property. Moreover, be sure to use the mobile browser. This consumer experience is lost on most brokerage operating principles. The second thing to do is audit your agents and office managers. Ask them to show you the company’s app on their phone. You will be astonished at the number of agents and managers that do not have the app installed. It’s a good time to ask them “Why not?” There may be a very good reason. Promote Your App On Your Website Sometimes the simplest things can make enormous differences in your business. After getting everyone in your firm to download the app, market it everywhere. We audited a brokerage firm’s online strategy recently and made a simple suggestion. We asked the broker to code in links to their mobile app on every page of their website. It is a simple procedure; place the icons and links to the download sites. We were astounded by the results. Their app downloads went up by more than 3000 percent. The funny thing is that consumers visiting their mobile website were already presented with the “Download Our App” option when they first hit the site. The website would detect the mobile solution and make the appropriate recommendation. Unfortunately, that option disappeared if the user did not select it immediately on the first page. I guess what we learned is that the consumer wants to access the content first, then download your app after you have demonstrated that your website is the one they want to use for home search. In other words, app conversion is happening at a much higher rate on page view 3 or 4 than on page view 1. Promote Your App On Yard Signs Most brokers have some form of mobile call to action on their yard signs. I have seen everything from sign riders to banners, to QR codes. They all work, but perhaps something more elegant is to simply put the […]
Written by: WAV Group guest contributor Lee Goldstein Recently a friend asked me to review some personal safety apps. Just to be clear, a personal safety app is an app that loads on to your smart phone and allows you to alert a handful of people, that you pre-defined, that you are in trouble.; or when you are overdue from an appointment. Additionally, some of these apps will also alert a call center that will then call the police. Finally, a variation on these concepts are wearable devices that do the same thing but are instead worn on your person. The first thing we have to consider in reviewing any of these apps or devices is what is “safety”. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines safety as “the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss” . So the question is not do any of the several personal safety apps or wearables on the market do what they say they will do. I’m sure most of them do. The real question we have to ask is will they keep you safe? In your position as a real estate agent, will personal safety apps and devices prevent you from undergoing hurt, injury, or loss….the answer is clearly no. Personal safety apps and devices are not designed to keep you safe, they are designed to alert friends and family and/or the police that you are about to be, are currently, or just have been a victim of a crime. There are several problems with these products. First of all, if an attack is imminent what are the odds that one of the people alerted are going to be close enough to prevent or stop the attack. Additionally, if a prospect is a threat the existence of a “panic button” can actually escalate a situation and speed up an attack; and if the prospect is not a threat the existence of a panic button can create an uncomfortable tension and interfere with the relationship building needed during the sales process. Please don’t misunderstand me, I think all these personal safety apps and devices are great for the general public in everyday situations. However, real estate agents spend their days in a dramatically different way from the general public, and they work in a profession which is 40% more dangerous than average professions (according to BLS). Real estate agents meet with people they […]
Homesnap is approaching the Nation’s leading MLSs with one heck of a value proposition. The company optimizes all of the MLS data for mobile devices and delivers it through an app to agents…..for free. Well, its free for the first year. Homesnap is among a small handful of mobile solution providers that offer agent-only data. The agents can access the full listing data along with showing instructions, commission splits, agent roster, and other confidential fields. The MLS data is organized and combined with census data, tax data, and geographic boundaries that are important to agents in the field. The solution also incorporates popular messaging for agent to agent chat, agent to customer chat, quick CMA, and my personal favorite……integration with a showing solution. When agents invite a client, the app is branded to that agent. Mobile MLS apps are hard. Goomzee, GoMLS, SmarterAgent, MobileRealtyApps, Prospects/MLSTouch and a few others have tackled the job. Agents have very high expectations when it comes to full access mobile solutions for their MLS. The free for the first year program is a smart way for Homesnap to gain experience and exposure to learn what it takes to roll out, train, and support the solution to thousands of agents. Trust me, enterprise software is not for the faint of heart. Many technology firms have been crushed by the demand. MLSListings joins the lead pack of MLSs giving Homesnap a chance to prove themselves including MRIS, The MLS™/CLAW, Palm Springs, and Greater El Paso. (Special shout out to GEPAR and Jason Sanchez – keep up the great work!).
You know the old expression, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”? Well, MRIS has taken that to heart and created a new approach for mobile that may be worth taking a look at. Their key goal with any of their online marketing efforts is to generate leads and listing exposure for their customers. They work hard with their site MRIShomes.com to do that and they work hard to make sure their prospecting solutions within their MLS system are effective, too. Now one of the largest MLSs in the country has added a new mobile tool to their quest to deliver high quality leads – Homesnap. Homesnap is a unique and interesting partner for an MLS. First, they are really good at what I preach about all the time – knowing what the CONSUMER wants. They have built a visually exciting, easy to use mobile app that consumers are eating up. Homesnap is also very good at something that no MLSs that I know of have conquered yet – they know how to get attention on App stores. Their app ranks in the top 5 in the country – a very enviable position given the awesome competition they face there. So how do MRIS members benefit, you may wonder, from a third party app? Homesnap has agreed to send ALL of the leads in the MRIS region to MRIS members. By partnering with Homesnap, MRIS has doubled the consumer traffic they generate on behalf of their members. Homesnap professes to be industry-friendly, looking to work with MLSs and brokers to create a win/win situation. Now here’s the interesting news. Every MLS knows how hard it is to gain adoption for new technologies. After just two weeks, this app is being used by over 5000 members, and delivering searches to nearly 43,000 customers. That equates to nearly 10% adoption in a very short amount of time. Now here’s an area of potential concern that some MLSs might be worried about with this model. Homesnap is NOT being private labeled. It is being marketed in the MRIS region and throughout the country under the Homesnap brand. Every MLS that would use this product would be offering the Homesnap app, not the XYZMLS app. This approach provides no brand-building opportunities for an organization. Some may be concerned about that; some may be relieved because it might reduce the “level the playing field” effect […]
Over the past few years, we have seen a shift in professional technology solutions for real estate that has been mostly characterized by “the move to mobile.” Generally speaking, applications that do not work on mobile devices, either using a mobile browser or using a mobile app, are being cast aside. But there are secondary realities about the shift that many software companies seem to have neglected, namely, contact record sync. Everyone who has a mobile device understands that contact records that are created on any device need to be synchronized across all devices. Having some contacts in one location and not another is paralyzing to any professional who needs to communicate with anyone, anytime. Given the rapid changes in contact records, it is too difficult to manually keep records synchronized, so it is fully automated today. In the old Palm Pilot days, contact record sync was a challenging and broken experience. Now it happens easily by leveraging the cloud. Understanding this, one would imagine that companies offering software as a service would tap into contact record sync in every application that requires or manages contact records. Looking to real estate, there are plenty. Here is a list of solutions that should have contact record sync that are largely missing that basic functionality. Agent Ratings, Back Office, CMA, CRM, contracts/forms, digital signature, floor scheduling, IDX, listing presentation, mobile applications, Transaction management, etc. All of these applications are about sharing information between people, and sadly you must open up your contact data base and cut and paste contact information over and over and over, as a real estate agent. Not having contact management sync with Exchange, Gmail and other standards is a huge gap in today’s brokerage and MLS systems. It is astonishing that we have not solved this problem in our industry. While you are at it, sync the calendar too. It is astonishing that so many technology developers in our industry have been so short sighted for so long. If you are in a position to influence change in our industry – add contact and calendar sync to your basic requirements. Be sure to protect the privacy of those contact records while you are at it.
I love mobile technology and I have really been enjoying watching the advent of some very cool products finally become real in our industry. We have been talking about it for years and today, finally, there are some excellent mobile tools on the market. Make no mistake, though, mobile is still in the baby step phase in my opinion and we are going to see some big advances in the coming years. Mobile, after all, is destined to become the norm rather than the add on, so rather than just catching up to our MLS desktop tools it will pass them eventually. What is that going to look like? GPS and Mapping I think the key in thinking about mobile and what it can really become for our industry is to think back to what mobile devices bring with them before we even access the MLS information. Mobile devices, for example, have GPS and mapping capabilities. Of course we all think about searching for properties on maps, driving directions and so on, but GPS and mapping have many more uses that have yet to be built into our mobile tools in any serious way. Retailers for one are hugely interested in tapping into location-based ads to both our real estate professionals and their clients. Mapping also take analytics to another level yet we really haven’t seen any serious mobile analytic tools yet on our MLS products, but we will. Every time we move with a smart mobile device we are creating a trail that can be saved and analyzed and that data is very important to understand our patterns and behavior. Huge money is and will be spent to tap into that data. Visualizing Statistics and Trends Being able to represent statistics and trends for customers on mobile devices should be a natural part of telling the real estate story as well. Right now we can search for homes and display homes but we haven’t really seen mobile go to that next level. I am confident we will see layers and layers of strong analytical data get added to these tools as they mature. CRM Tools Our devices also allow for easy integration with contacts, but this has not really been developed yet. True CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is an area that has huge potential but has not been addressed well even in the PC or Mac desktop world for […]
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 […]
Mobile Realty Apps has experienced outstanding growth over the past 12 months and has established itself as a leader in mobile technology for MLSs and real estate companies. Winner of the 2012 “Most Innovative Real Estate Startup” at the Inman Conference in July 2012, Mobile Realty Apps offers a full set of leading edge mobile products for real estate professionals and the consumers they serve, from their custom branded native apps to their augmented realty technology HomeSpotter. Mobile Realty Apps is currently interviewing individuals who will lead their sales to MLSs nationally. This individual will work closely with the national Broker sales manager to reach company sales objectives. WAV Group has been retained to help find the ideal candidates to continue to drive new growth for the company and to manage existing account relationships. Interested candidates should be experienced sales professionals with an established network of MLS relationships, looking to move into the new core technology of our industry. POSITION TITLES: National Sales Manager MLS Accounts REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer CLASSIFICATION: Exempt OPPORTUNITY: Mobile Realty Apps a leading provider of mobile products for the real estate industry is seeking to hire a sales executive for the position of National Sales Manager MLS Accounts. The position will be responsible for building revenues by securing new MLS customers for their mobile technology products and for managing existing account relations and renewals. The position reports directly to the CEO. Mobile technology is the new core technology for each level of the real estate industry. Mobile Realty Apps offers a full range of leading edge products for the full range of mobile devices, combined with deep integration with existing MLS systems to allow for photo upload and mobile editing as well as their award winning augmented mobile realty technology, HomeSpotter. Learn more about why Mobile Realty Apps is the choice for MLSs and real estate companies nationwide. ORGANIZATIONAL DESCRIPTION: Mobile Realty Apps is a profitable, funded startup that has experienced substantial revenue growth in the last twelve months. Founded in 2009, the company provides best-of-breed, white-labeled tablet and smartphone app solutions to the real estate industry. The company was recognized as the “Most Innovative Real Estate Startup” at the Inman Conference in July 2012 – in large part due to its industry leading solutions, including its augmented-reality HomeSpotter technology and its unique approach to deep MLS integration with its edgeMLS product line. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the […]
Mobile access to real estate information by both professional real estate agents and consumers is critical, but with few exceptions the real estate technology industry serving our professionals has been slow to react to these mobile needs. We still have MLS products that require you to use Microsoft Internet Explorer to access them and there are still MLSs that don’t have great solutions for using an iPad on the MLS. – Download White Paper Here This white paper looks at where we are today with mobile technology in our MLS industry and hopefully sheds some light on where things are going. There is good news! Development of mobile products for professional and consumer access is accelerating and exciting capabilities are beginning to surface on both levels. You will hear terms like mobile web, responsive design and native apps and it is important to understand what these terms and approaches mean as you consider choices for your MLS or brokerage. Providing great mobile access for agents and consumers is a “must have” not a “nice to have”! Organized real estate needs to have cutting edge mobile solutions for agents, brokers and consumers today. In a few short years, mobile access will be the only access that anyone uses and we need to make sure our real estate professionals are the ones providing the very best mobile access available. Our industry has a distinct advantage to do this because we are the source of the most complete and accurate real estate data that exists anywhere. The key is providing outstanding mobile products at the professional and consumer level and then getting the word out! Download White Paper Here
If you have been to a real estate conference in the past three years, you may have heard a session about mobile technology. Those strange phones that every person in America carries with them everywhere they go is also a computer. Only a few hundred million people know this secret today. MOBILE IS A CORE MLS SERVICE Sorry for shouting and pardon my sarcasm. Today’s MLS providers are failing to support agents (and consumers) with a mobile solution. This is not an opinion. It is a fact. We have surveyed agents everywhere in America, and at best, MLSs get a D in mobile. Most get an F. We have not encountered a single real estate agent in America who is a raving fan of the mobile solution provided by their MLS as a core service. (note: an iPad is a mobile device) Here is a lighthearted bit of fiction.