April 3, 2011 Leave a comment
Time to Adopt Mobile MLS
The homebuying landscape continues to change, particularly when it comes to technology. Generation X buyers (in their 20’s and 30’s) like their smartphones a lot (babyboomers and gen Y are into big time now too), and the growth in purchases of smart phones is very high. From Blackberry’s to iPhones to iPads and Android phones, young homebuyers are using their cell phones. They enjoy having access to MLS listed homes and details when they want and that means on the road as they’re driving through neighbourhoods.
Mobile MLS listings have been available for a long time but only in the last year are they becoming very popular with home buyers. Real estate agents have procrastinated on leveraging mobile visibility however with adoption rates so strong, it’s not wise to delay any longer. This graphic shows how visits have grown over the last few years from smartphone users. The iPad is especially strong lately. The iPad offers a more comfortable visual interface allowing people to search anywhere they are whether it’s in the car, at youth sports event, in the living room, or the backyard deck. As MLS apps and other real estate apps improve in functionality, more agents themselves will promote them and promote themselves in advertising on the phones. The Trulia app for instance, lists local real estate agents in the app. Great way to acquire leads and gain visibility.
A number of third party providers offer mobile mls apps. Homebuyers can install the Realtor.ca app, Trulia mobile app, Zillow mobile app, Loopnet app, or the ZipRealty app. There are a lot of mobile apps being developed right now.
One new mobile app developer is IDX Broker who offers an MLS app that taps into 400 mls databases. IDX broker’s mobile app can be custom branded allowing agents to feature themselves to their own clients and to appeal to new prospects. Here’s a list of IDX Broker’s app benefits and functionality on their iPad & iPhone App:
• Location-aware search: The App uses the user’s GPS current location and displays listings closest to them.
• SFR residential properties: The App displays all SFR listings.
• Featured Listings: Featured listings display via a unique color, differentiating them from standard IDX listings.
• Social media integration: Post your listing URLs to Facebook or Twitter.
• Basic search filters: To narrow and filter map search to include only listings that match the desired search criteria.
• Motion sensitive refresh: Shake the iPad or iPhone to refresh listing information.
• Direct dial & email: Tap the phone number to direct dial the Agent or Office, or tap the email address to automatically send an email to the Agent or Office listed in the header.