REAL ESTATE AND THE MOBILE REVOLUTION
The rate of growth for accessing the internet on mobile devices is staggering. So much so that Google predicts that by 2015, mobile users will take over desktop users in internet access. According to Pew Internet and the latest census, more Americans now own a smart phone than have a 4-year college degree. Microsoft reports that there are more than a billion smart phones activated worldwide.
We have all heard these amazing statistics about the rise in the use of mobile devices and applications to help us communicate, keep us informed, entertained, motivated and socially engaged. “There’s an app for that” has become the catch phrase of todays’ times and indeed there are many great apps that can particularly benefit real estate buyers, sellers and agents; some of which we will now explore:
According to Inman research, Zillow is the #1 app in the real estate industry with over 5 million installs. Zillow uses your phones’ GPS technology to display estimated values of homes (zestimates) as you walk or drive through neighborhoods for nearly every home in the U.S. The app also has voice search technology to allow for hands free functioning.
The mobile app from Realtor.com features large photos, detailed home listing information and data on which properties are for sale and which properties just sold for how much. You can draw your own custom search area on the interactive map. Data on Realtor.com’s app is updated every 15 minutes instead of once a day from most other apps.
The real estate app from Trulia.com features search filters on a thumb slide to easily fine tune your preferences. You can save properties you are interested in and Trulia will track the status of the home indicating any price or listing detail changes. You can access statistics like crime rates, amenities and school quality for neighborhoods. Real estate agents can benefit from the Trulia for Agents app to take their business on the go and track their leads and contacts. Agents can even leave a marker on the Trulia map of which properties they have listed or shown.
The HomeSnap iPhone app from Sawbuck Realty lets you take a picture of a home to find out all about it. After taking a picture of the house, the app will figure out which house it is and tell you how much Sawbuck thinks it is worth. The app uses the mobile devices’ GPS, magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope to know which house you are taking a photo of and then accesses a database of over 90 million homes to provide information specific to that property.
As technology evolves, there is bound to be many more exciting tools and resources that will be available for mobile real estate information. However, nothing can replace the detailed information and market price comparisons that an experienced and professional local Realtor can provide.