Mobile technology has already transformed our world and the momentum it has generated is set to continue. Tony Blamey, General Manager Real Estate for Domain discusses why you need to embrace this technology to be successful.
The real estate industry already witnessed significant changes as a result of the widespread consumer adoption of mobile. Players within this industry are now increasingly using mobile as a third major platform to further support print and online campaigns. By simply pressing buttons on mobile devices all real estate parties can seamlessly identify market trends in addition to accessing all of the property information required to make informed decisions. The noteworthy aspect is that this is accomplished by using devices held in the palms of their hands, at any time and in any location.
What are the dominant mobile devices?
The two mobile devices that currently dominate the technology platform for real estate are the smartphone and touchscreen media tablets. The considerable current and projected growth of each, reflect the substantial potential for mobile technology to continue to play a dominant role in the real estate sector well into the future.
Telsyte’s Australian Smartphone Market Study 2011-2015 highlights the explosive uptake of smartphones. Australians are increasingly turning to smartphones. This is demonstrated by the prediction that nearly 10 million more will be in use by 2015, taking the total number of users to 18.5 million. In effect, this forecast indicates nearly 90 per cent of all mobile phone users will be using smartphones as their primary mobile device within three years.
In a similar vein to the growth of smartphones, a recent Telsyte study revealed approximately 2.6 million Australians currently use a touchscreen media tablet. The study predicted that this figure will increase over four fold by 2016 to 11 million, indicating tablet usage by approximately 50 per cent of the population. The Telsyte Australian Media Tablet Study 2012 also found over 1.4 million media tablet devices were purchased in Australia in 2011 representing a staggering annual growth rate of approximately 330 per cent.
How are the changes impacting on the real estate market?
Within the real estate context mobile applications are rapidly emerging as essential tools for seeking information for all parties including buyers, sellers, renters and real estate agents.
The number of emails sent per unique user on the iPhone is four times higher when compared to website users.
Recent statistics obtained from Domain’s research team highlight that mobile users are more engaged. The number of emails sent per unique user on the iPhone is four times higher when compared to website users. In comparison, emails sent per unique user on the iPad are three times higher compared to website users. Another interesting observation is the number of property views per unique user on the iPhone is nine times higher when compared to website users and 20 times higher on the iPad. Client feedback from real estate agents also strongly endorses that users of mobile devices are much more active whilst undertaking property research on these tools.
From a buyer’s perspective, their mobile platform allows them to carry out on-the-spot research while they are actually viewing a property. Significantly, the numbers of buyers arriving for property inspections with mobile devices has increased noticeably within a very short time span. This provides a stark contrast to previous favoured options that centred on desktop computers and white pages, tasks that were usually undertaken off-site. Mobile platforms are also helping speed up the buying process. Buyers’ ability to instantly access all of the relevant information needed to make an informed decision has resulted in quicker outcomes.
Sellers and renters obviously have the potential to embrace the same mobile devices as buyers. They can also access comparative data, enabling them to develop a realistic idea of the value of their properties, thereby reducing their level of dependence on data provided by a real estate agent. Similarly renters can now determine accurate rental parameters for properties they may be interested in whilst viewing them.
What has mobile technology achieved for users?
Mobile technology has been responsible for major changes in the real estate industry. This has been achieved by making information more relevant and readily available, in addition to being easier to comprehend. As a direct consequence, mobile technology has further empowered users and enhanced the quality of their decision making further ensuring the final outcome is an informed one.