The digital world is going mobile. Real estate agents are already finding that a significant number of their clients are coming to them through mobile leads. To stay connected to their clients and remain successful, real estate agents and brokers are going to have to increase their time and financial investment in mobile applications. In its 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report, comScore, a global leader in digital business analytics, called 2011 a “groundbreaking year” for the mobile industry. The surge in smartphone and tablet sales that occurred in 2011 is expected to continue growing at an increasingly rapid pace as mobile communications are woven into the fabric of daily life.
Consider these salient points from the comScore report:
- Smartphones are used by 42% of all U.S. mobile subscribers.
- Last year, mobile media use crossed the 50% threshold in many consumer markets.
- Mobile app use exceeded mobile browser use in 2011. More people now conduct all mobile business via app.
- Mobile price comparisons and barcode and QR code scans are becoming a normal part of the shopping experience. According to comScore, 1 in 8 shoppers compare prices by phone while in the store and 1 in 5 scan barcodes, indicating a proactive buyer investment in the shopping experience.
- Mobile devices are driving heavier use of social network sites. comScore found that 64.2 million U.S. smartphone users accessed social media at least once in December 2011. Nearly half interacted with social media daily via smartphone.
- Tablet growth is outpacing smartphone growth. Nearly 15% of mobile users have also purchased tablets, increasing consumer preference for applications that can be used across multiple platforms.
Consumer preference for mobile communications means that real estate professionals will need to shift gears once again and begin incorporating mobile accessibility into their current marketing products. For Realtors, the issue is complicated by the need to serve clients of varying digital skills, requiring them to keep a foot in both print and digital/mobile worlds — at least for now.
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