Can Your Real Estate Business Survive Without A Mobile App?
Can real estate businesses really survive without a mobile app today?
This question has been around for a while, but now that Google favors mobile apps, is it time to take a second look at getting a real estate app?
The Google Factor
By now, every real estate investor, agent, and company knows that it pays to serve Google what it wants – at least if they want to keep getting business online. Google has announced that the majority of online traffic is now coming from mobile devices, and we already know that the majority of home buyers are searching on mobile devices. Now Google says it is giving preference to mobile friendly websites. The bulk of real estate professionals and companies have probably already moved to mobile responsive websites. That puts them ahead of the game. Inc. points out that many consumers are now skipping the web altogether, and are relying on the apps on their smartphones.
Many real estate marketers may have seen their traffic and lead generation slow down recently. Google’s recent changes to preferring mobile friendly sites, and demanding better content could be behind it. It could also simply be a symptom of more consumers being lost in the noise. There is so much of it. If there wasn’t enough going on, on the web, now tablets and smartphones are slammed full of apps. It’s also worth noting many people may have enough mobile apps and games to tie up their attention for another decade.
Real estate agents, investors, and other companies can combat these battles for attention by making sure they keep at the top of mind. This can be via email, social networks, and the press. All of which can be tied back into their mobile friendly websites.
Entrepreneur magazine warns not to be too fast to jump on the app bandwagon. A recent report via the publication reminds us that businesses really need to hone in on their specific customers. For some, this might mean going with a mobile app. For others, it may just be a distraction. Then there are those that may benefit from a combination of both mobile friendly real estate websites and apps.
So before going any further; do you know your customer? Who are your ideal customers? What platforms and devices are they really using? What have you been doing that has been working? Where is the bulk of your current online traffic coming from? Is it from desktop computers, Apple phones, or somewhere else? What is the next step in technology they are likely to take? And how can you be the first on it?
Types of Apps for Real Estate Companies
There are a variety of different types of apps that might work for real estate companies:
- Apps for scanning real estate magazine and sign ads
- Apps for delivering updates on new listings and news
- Local home search and property evaluation tools
- Wealth tracker and investment management apps
- Transaction coordination apps
- Real estate magazine apps
Looking forward Face Time and Amazon May Day style apps that connect consumers to advisors by video chat in real time may be smart. Now that everyone has these types of apps, why shouldn’t they become the preferred method of communication? They sure beat paying for phone calls, and it can be the closest thing to in-person connection, with all the benefits of online. Even though Google Glass has been quiet we shouldn’t be surprised to see more augmented reality apps in the future. It is the only logical next step in the evolution of technology.
For those on a tight budget, and just wanting to stay connected with clients today there are even DIY app builders. Many are simple drag and drop design tools that require no coding skills.
Ultimately the choice to go with an app, or just a mobile friendly real estate website is all about your niche. You’ve got to know your customer. You’ve got to stay ahead of the curve. And no matter what medium you decide to focus on you’ve got to know how to maintain their attention, while retaining their trust. This also often comes down to your ability to position your product and service right, and to educate the consumer on what they want, and what they should be looking for. Despite the noise, and our busy schedules people will always make time for what they really want to.