The home computer isn’t dead yet, but selling homes today means stepping away from the desktop and going mobile.
Not long before his untimely passing, Apple chief Steve Jobs declared, “We are going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device. We are going to move the digital hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.”
Since then, instead of being a shrine to personal and business data storage that occupies physical space in your home or at your job, laptops and desktops have become portals alongside many other portals. We use these portals to access data that is stored “in the cloud,” via remote servers. As more and more people adapt to using dedicated tablets and smart phones, PC sales are plummeting and the information we’re sharing is on the go.
So what does this have to do with real estate?
It has everything to do with real estate. Technology drives the real estate business. From project management software to email, the data we depend on is moving to the cloud and the way we access it is changing from the desktop and laptop to mobile technology. Chances are your smartphone is doing more than just taking and making calls—you’re using it to run your business. Forward-looking agents are keeping their focus on client communication by investing in cloud platforms.
Your clients are going mobile, too. You’ll need to meet your customers where they already are by designing a mobile-friendly version of your business website. Web designers now can build different versions of your website that can be viewed on different devices. Face it—the Web looks different on a tablet from on a phone. It’s important that your site looks and functions great on both.
Facebook and Twitter and a slew of other social sites should be part of your client-focused communication and marketing strategy. Facebook Home is Facebook’s new mobile interface for Android phones, taking the wildly popular platform from its website beginnings to a mobile-friendly experience. Another mobile-focused technology is Google’s personal assistant service called Google Now. Facebook and Google’s mobile efforts let the user interact with data without the clunky interface legacy of desktop computers. If you find a way to use these technologies to market your business, you will be a step ahead of the competition.
You already know about Trulia and Zillow. But to stay ahead of the game, you need to be acquainted with the mobile platforms that will drive the real estate industry for the rest of 2013 and beyond. Here are a few of the players with “buzz.” Savvy real estate marketers will be using them to speak to customers that the other guy is simply not reaching.
- Homesnap is letting buyers search real estate listings, connect with agents and research mortgage information from the convenience of a handheld device. Users have access to Realtor MLS data, tax records, census information and mapping data, all of which can be pulled to create a profile of any property in the United States.
- Keyzio connects buyers and sellers on the go. The startup was recently launched to let buyers tag properties they like (whether the properties are on the market or not). When similar properties become available, the buyer gets an alert.
- We recently talked about Househappy, which offers up listings with an engaging Pinterest-style layout. Users can also find contractors, painters, plumbers and other service providers. Househappy is optimized for desktop, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.