The internet and mobile internet technology are reshaping how Real Estate services are being delivered. The customer is quickly adopting a mobile lifestyle and we as Real Estate professionals must adapt our business.
Online technology has moved to mobile devices and spawning changes in lifestyle and professional behaviour that promises to be even more impactful than the Internet itself.
Today’s mobile Internet technology is giving rise to a generation of customers that expect service availability 24/7 at the touch of a screen. As Real Estate professionals we are now expected to be available to the customer whenever they have a query.
The ease of online availability is a mixed blessing, since it can have a negative impact of Real Estate professionals ignoring face to face meetings to their own detriment.
The Internet and mobile technology also highlights age differences. The younger generation of Real Estate professionals take to the new technology quicker, while the older generation have to make a concerted effort to engage online. This creates a challenge for older professionals to invest the time and resources to learn and operate the protocols of this new lifestyle.
This new technology also has cost implications for the Real Estate business. Companies now have to invest in a professional website, a Facebook page, an Instagram account and regularly maintain theses sites with appropriate content. They also have to monitor their sites for negative posting from irate customers.
But if the infrastructure is properly erected it offers unparralelled mobility of agents. Professionals are no longer tied to a desk, they are mobile. They can work offsite, spend more time meeting with clients, presenting property open house, filling out forms and emailing them back to the office, presenting properties online, accessing data on clients from the company’s database via secure portals.
Mobile Internet technology also greatly enhances speed of response. Today’s tech savvy customer is no longer willing to wait 2 days for a response. They want a response now, and with Mobile Internet Technology you are able to respond immediately. But once again this is a two edged sword in that criticisms of poor quality customer service could just as easily be broadcast to existing and potential customers. A negative post to you Facebook or Twitter page has to be handled immediately.
The technology also changes how the customer goes about searching for listings. Customers now key in key words for a Real Estate search and seek out the top two or three responses. If your company, agent or property does not show up, you are out of the options set. This necessitates investment in search engine optimization through the use of keywords and hashtags. Once again this requires investment in the technology.
Smart phones running Mobile Internet also offer a number of Cool Apps that can dramatically improve productivity. A few of these are:
- Bigger Pockets – on the Apple iPhone allows for Real Estate Forums where you can ask and share any and all Real Estate information. This evens the playing field as customers can collaborate and share information. Investors can also gather useful information at the click of an icon.
- Magic Plan – which allows you to create custom floor plans by just moving your phone or iPad around the room taking pictures. You can make house plans to use before a heavy remodel and to help plan for materials.
- Apps that show listings of all available properties in your area.
- Scanner apps that allow you to scan documents and e-mail them to interested persons.
- Hammer Point – an app that allows you to create detailed repair estimates for any job. This can help reduce overruns.
- Google Drive, Drop Box and Box – all of which allow for cloud storage, access and syncing of files across devices.
- Houzz – which gives thousands of Interior design ideas by allowing you to quickly navigate through high quality photos.
These are just a few of the many smart phone apps that are revolutionizing the Real Estate profession.
It is without doubt that we are on the threshold of a revolution in the way Real Estate is practiced. As with all change, there would be good and bad, but you cannot afford to be left behind. Let’s get onboard.