By Todd Carpenter, Director of Digital Engagement, National Association of REALTORS®
REALTOR.com’s iOS apps received a significant upgrade this week. Chief among the changes is the ability to identify foreclosed listings and price reductions. In addition, the app features a new “Nearby Recently Sold” search on the home page. After testing a beta of the app over the last week, I see this as a great new feature. Consumers want to know what homes in an area might be worth, and this is a great alternative to providing a “guestimate” of value. Sold data is available on the app as soon as 24 hours after a final sale.
REALTOR.com also made two significant user experience improvements to the new app. The Area Scout feature is more prominent in the navigation. This function updates a map with new listings as you travel — perfect for a client to view as you drive them around a neighborhood. The Area Highlighter has also been promoted to the home screen. This function allows the user to draw a border around a specific area on the map to isolate listings within that specific boundary. This is an incredibly useful feature that many of REALTOR.com’s competitors are now trying to replicate.
Mobile traffic to sites like REALTOR.com is suggesting that apps are becoming many consumers’ preferred method of searching for real estate. Even regional MLSs like Metrolist are adopting these technologies. It’s more important than ever for real estate professionals to consider how their listings are being viewed on these apps. Do you have a mobile marketing strategy for your listings? Maybe it’s time to consider one.
By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
If you’re wondering when we’re going to get to the era of mobile, you’re contemplating the wrong question, says Bob Hale, CEO of the Houston Association of REALTORS®. Instead, you should be thinking about how to optimally deliver your content via mobile devices right now.
“It’s here. There’s no question that we’re at a critical mass,” said Hale, in remarks about where multiple listing services (MLS) are headed last week at the Xplode conference in Chicago.
Speaking on a panel moderated by National Association of REALTORS® Director of Digital Engagement Todd Carpenter, both Hale and Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) CEO Russ Bergeron said they’re taking steps to accommodate mobile users.
MRED now offers what Bergeron termed “public-service apps,” such as resources from Fannie Mae on short sales and downpayment assistance. Also, the organization is developing apps that can be branded by brokers and individual agents as their own, Bergeron said. HAR is also rolling out new apps, targeted at both members (for searching the MLS and editing listings) and consumers (using geolocation to search for nearby listings and opens). Continue reading »
With the iPad 2 slated for release sometime in 2011, this could be the year of the tablet computer. For our February Buyer’s Guide, we’d like to hear your thoughts: Which mobile platform will you invest in next, and why?
And if you’ve already made the move to a tablet, tell us about your experience with the hardware and software. Is a tablet a practical real estate tool? To share your thoughts, plans, or experiences with mobile computing solutions, contact writer Mike Antoniak as he prepares this guide. Also, be sure to participate in the polls below.
By Sarah Trzepacz and Jennifer Cavendish
In a conference this size, you have to make choices about the sessions you attend. The cool thing is that even when you miss a session, you don’t necessarily miss the lesson. Take today’s lunch for example, when we grabbed a bite at the San Diego Convention Center. While sharing a communal table, we stumbled into an energetic conversation among several REALTORS® who had just attended the “Mobile Technology Guide for 2010″ session with Max Pigman.
They shared their excitement about the business potential of technology and social media tools, and discussed how they could be used to build relationships with clients new and old. While several already used sites like Facebook and Twitter in their personal lives, none had yet deployed them as business tools. However, inspired by Pigman’s presentation, they were all enthusiastic about taking the leap. Continue reading »