After spending a couple of days at the recent Inman conference in New York listing to real estate professionals it is clear that just about everyone is considering adding a real estate mobile solution to their future marketing plans.  The questions about which direction to go as far as going to a vendor vs. in house, mobile web vs. native apps and more were recently covered in an article released by Inman, “Mobile Real Estate Trends in 2012”.  This article quoted several industry leaders and their comments are very revealing.  

The article also confirms what many already assumed, that conversion rates from mobile solutions is very encouraging.  As Mark Lessing is quoted as saying, “you have a 72% chance of closing this lead if you call back within an hour,” and that “iPad & iPhone users, respectively, are 160% and 300% more likely to contact and agent. “  I would think that one can extend this quote to include stats from users of Android & Blackberry devices as well.  

When deciding whether to go with mobile web or a native app, cost is always a consideration.

Jamie Wilson, VP of Technology at ZipRealty, says that millennial’s are fond of native apps.  (By ‘millennial’s’ I think he is referring to the same demographic that can also be described as ‘the mobile generation,’) and this group is about the same age group as loosely defined by NAR as first time home buyers.  Wilson continued to say that these millennials “don’t even start on the web.  They start with an app.”

Wilson estimates that the cost to develop and build a native app can “cost between $9,000 – $14,000.” While this can certainly be true for some mobile app developers, Smarter Agent has been building native apps that works on all mobile platforms for less than even the lowest estimate by Wilson.  We have been creating a significant presence in the major app stores for a fraction of these estimates for industry leaders who are ready to get ahead of the curve in Mobile.  

Look in the app store on your own mobile device for an app ‘powered by Smarter Agent’ for examples.

Even if you are considering building your mobile app in house, I would highly recommend talking to an outside vendor first.   We have the experience, technology and support staff to not only get you into the app stores, but also to keep you in the app stores.  

As a third party IDX vendor, Smarter Agent hosts close to 400 IDX feeds so you know the data your clients will be searching is current, correct and complete unlike the data found when using a data aggregator.  

Also, as Alex Lange, CTO of Market Leader, says that “if you in the software business, software shouldn’t be the focus of your company. “ I would agree with Lange that if software is not the focus of your company that Brokerages should focus on managing their agents and the business of selling homes, not dealing with in house developers.  Let the experts do what they do, let Smarter Agent build and maintain your mobile application platform.  

Please feel free to contact me anytime for details about how Smarter Agent can build your scalable, cascading mobile marketing solution – for less than you may think possible and also quicker than you could do yourself!

~ Larry Davis, Sales Executive