In doing some research for my new company, I read through the 2013 & 2014 Home Buyer Survey's from CAR (California Association of REALTORS®). Coming into the report I had expected to see that in the past few years there has been a massive shift towards mobile, and a change in consumer expectations regarding instant communication, but these numbers blew my mind.
"The majority of buyers (70%) primarily accessed the internet from their smart phones, 15 percent accessed it from their tablets, eight percent from a laptop and seven percent from a desktop."
Seven percent of home buyers accessed the internet from their desktop as their primary means. That fact alone should make every single agent stop dead in their tracks and think: 'What is my mobile strategy?'
Hopefully everyone reading this post right now is thinking, is it good for the industry, and perhaps more importantly, is this good for me? I personally don't think it's right that a majority of consumers must first go through a third party gatekeeper to find a home.30% of the market is being chased by 100% of the agents. The other 70% of the market is left to be feasted on by the Zillow's, Trulia's and Realtor.com's of the world. And they are feasting on it, make no mistake.
Houseline is going to give real estate agents a fighting chance by literally giving them a direct line of communication with the home buyers - and it turns out, that is exactly what they really want!
I get it, we want them on the phone. But more and more, they would rather just text. As an industry, we are trying to force our buyers to communicate on our terms, instead of on their terms. These numbers will continue to move toward less talking and more messaging.And they want that communication fast! I'm talking instant responses. In 2007 only 10 percent of buyers expected an immediate response from their agent. In 2014 that number had more than quadrupled; now almost half of all buyers want an instant response when they have a question about real estate.
So What is the conclusion?To conclude the survey, buyers were asked to give their agents advice to improve the home buying process or level of service. Here is what they said.
What The Heck Can I Do?We're building Houseline to solve many of these exact problems.
It's a mobile app that will allow agents to provide listings to their clients on the platform they prefer - their phone. We've built in-app messaging (the first of it's kind in the real estate space), where an agent and their client can easily communicate during the search process. Allowing you to respond faster, communicate better, and use the communication method preferred by your clients.
You can learn about my new company and how it might help you get ahead of the mobile revolution by visiting the post I wrote announcing the launch of HouseLine.
If you would like to try Houseline for free, you can do that by signing up for a free agent account here. On December 1st, we will be launching in Washington State, with coverage of the NWMLS.
We will be adding additional markets in the coming months. If you would like to sign up for the free version of Houseline for your particular MLS, please go ahead and do that and we will contact you once your MLS is added. If you are in Washington, get signed up today and we'll get you all set up on December 1st when we launch.
(*please note that as of our December 1st launch, the Houseline App will only be available on the iPhone, iOS operating system. If you currently have an Android, or other operating system, you can still sign up for a free account and we will notify you when your version is added)