Smartphones Are Guiding Buyers to Homes

August 27, 2019

Mobile devices are what buyers turn to for finding properties and connecting with real estate agents. This has put increasing importance on real estate pros to make sure their websites are mobile friendly and that they’re connecting in a way that clients most desire.

The typical home buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online, looking at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the homebuying process, according to the newly released “Real Estate in a Digital Age 2019 Report” published by the National Association of REALTORS® that looks at technology use within transactions.

Overall, 76% of all buyers say they found their home on a mobile device. Seventeen percent of buyers surveyed said they also found their agent on a mobile device, too.

technology survey graphic

© National Association of REALTORS®

The younger the buyer, the more likely they are to use mobile searches. Eighty-one percent of older millennials, 80% of younger millennials, and 78% of Generation X found their home on a mobile device compared to 68% of younger baby boomers, the NAR report finds.

Many real estate pros prefer to text with their clients nowadays too. Ninety-three percent of real estate pros surveyed by NAR said they preferred to communicate with their clients through text messaging. The same percentage—93%—also said they prefer to connect via telephone too. The two mediums were more popular than email (92%), instant messaging (38%), and postal mail (27%).

The website features that respondents said are most helpful are photos (87%); detailed information about properties (85%); floor plans (52%); virtual tours (46%); and real estate agent contact information (42%). Half or more of respondents also valued property listings; agent/staff profiles; customer reviews/testimonials; mortgages/financial calculators; and information on the home buying and selling process as helpful features on a firm’s website.

Additional findings from the report of technology that real estate pros are increasingly turning to:

  • Social media: Social media was the top tool cited by real estate pros as the best source for generating high-quality leads (47%), followed by Multiple Listing Service websites (32%). The main reasons cited for using social media for business was to promote listings; help build and maintain relationships with existing clients; and they feeling that it’s “expected” to have a presence on social media sites nowadays. The top social networks used by REALTORS®: Facebook (97%); LinkedIn (59%); Instagram (39%); and Twitter (33%).
  • Drones: Twenty-nine percent of real estate pros say they hire a professional to operate a drone for their business, and 5% personally use one. Further, 14% say they plan to use drones in the future to capture aerial pictures or videos of their listings.
Real Estate in a Digital Age,” National Association of REALTORS® (August 2019)