Not Using Apps? Time to Get With It

November 15, 2011

Today’s consumers are crazy for mobile apps, downloading billions of them per year to their iPhone and Android smartphones. Take a quick glance at the Apple App Store and you’ll see there’s an app for just about everything, from adding special effects to your photographs to getting recipes for your next barbeque. 

So when it comes time to shop for a home, you can bet that buyers are relying on mobile apps to ease the process every step of the way, including the step of finding an agent, said technology guru Max Pigman, CRS, GRI, vice president of REALTOR.com. Pigman addressed hundreds of real estate professionals at the 2011 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

He urged real estate professionals to dive into the world of apps right away and become an expert on the ones that customers are using. “You have to make sure that you have a mobile marketing strategy so you connect with consumers at the right time,” he said.

A good place to start: The new REALTOR.com mobile app, which has already been downloaded 7 million times. Once it’s on your iPhone, you can search for homes using tools called Area Highlighter and Area Scout, which lets you draw customized neighborhood search boundaries using your finger.  You can also create private notes and ratings for each property, Pigman said.

Because of the popularity of smartphones and real estate apps, consumers often drive to a home that’s for sale and access the property details on their phone — and then, in most cases, try to contact the listing agent by phone, Pigman said. Make sure your cell phone number is listed online, he said, because if you miss the call, you miss the lead; only 9 percent will even leave you a message. 

“At the end of the day, you need to say hello to the customer,” he said. “We have way too many fails in this area.” To that end, he recommended signing up for a free Google Voice account, which gives you a single phone number that forwards calls to up to six other lines.

Source: Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

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