How Real Estate Agents are Using Mobile Technology

2012 was a big year for mobile technology and social media use – especially in the real estate sector. Mobile technology has been called a ‘Game Changer’ for the modern realtor, and social media offers a promising return on investment. Let’s take a closer look at just how real estate agents are using mobile technology and social media.

A Look at Mobile Technology

The most popular device purchased by real estate agents in 2012 was a smartphone (44%), followed by tablets (27%) and laptops (19%). According to Pew Research’s study “Mobile is the needle; Social is the thread”, internet use in the U.S. has increased from 14% to 82 percent since 1995. Eighty-five percent of adults in America have a cellphone of which 45% use smartphones, 2/3 are wireless internet users and slightly over 66% of online adults use social media.

The survey also revealed that:

  • 83% of realtors believe mobile technology has enhanced their real estate business
  • 92% of real estate agents believe mobile technology has increased their efficiency
  • 63% of realtors believe they need the latest technology for their real estate business

Real estate is about relationships and locations – it is not best served by being chained to an office or a desk. Mobile technology frees the real estate agent to work and connect with clients whereever and whenever.

A Look at Social Media Use

In its survey and report, the 2012 Use of Mobile Technology & Social Media, the California Association of Realtors (CAR), discovered that “close to two-thirds of the survey respondents measure ROI based on referrals, followed by leads, friends or followers, and website visits … In addition, social media provides a relatively inexpensive (and in some cases free) form of advertising … This could also be the reason why 66% of realtors consider social media an integral tool in a marketing plan.”

The survey also revealed that:

  • Facebook is the most popular social media platform for real estate agents (used by 61% of respondents)
  • LinkedIn is the second most popular social media platform (54%)
  • 41% of realtors actively seek connections for networking & business purposes

Real estate agents are using social media to:

  • Stay in touch with clients (67%)
  • Be more accessible to clients (54%)
  • Respond to clients more quickly (50%)
  • Market to a younger demographic (44%)
  • Farming (35%)

Social media is relatively new to many real estate agents and brokers. It’s been around 10 or so years, but its mainstream use is much more recent. The CAR survey found that 62% of realtors consider themselves social media beginners. But that simply tells me that there is a lot of progress to be made – and a lot of leads waiting to be captured.

In fact, 90% of home buyers indicated they are receptive to receiving information about the home buying process directly from their agent via social media!

The biggest takeaway is this: “The real estate business is also very much a relationship business, requiring great customer care and sales expertise. Having the tools that allow agents to be aggressive as well as keeping in constant communication with customers provides great advantage.”

SOURCE: The California Association of Realtors: 2012 Use of Mobile Technology & Social Media

By Jess Maria

Jessica Maria is an avid business and lifestyle writer on subjects ranging from technology to real estate to immigration. Her work has appeared in magazines in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the UAE. She lives in California’s wine country, with her husband and two young sons.

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