Mobile technology is taking over, experts say

By Diana Dietz | July 3, 2014 | 3 min. read

Mobile devices have become the preferred way of accessing the Internet and it’s more important than ever for real estate professionals to adjust their business strategies accordingly.

The 2013-2014 Realtor® Technology Survey, conducted by the National Association of Realtor’s® (NAR) Center for Realtor® Technology, found that Realtors® continued to invest in new technology for their businesses in 2013 and spent more than they did in previous years.

According to the survey, brokers spent a median of $1,410 on technology for their real estate business, up from $1,122 in 2012, while agents spent a median of $848, up slightly from $822 in 2012.

The survey found that technology that allows work to be done while on the move appears to generate the most interest among Realtors®. “Smartphones and tablets ─ iPads, Androids, Surfaces or Kindles ─ are the tools Realtors® are most intent on purchasing; 29 percent of participants said they plan on procuring one of these tools in 2014,” NAR said.

“Technology has transformed the way Realtors® do business, but in real estate, being high tech can never come at the expense of being highly accessible,” said Mark Lesswing, NAR senior vice president and chief technology officer, in a statement. “Advances in Smartphones and social media have made it easier for Realtors® to stay in touch with their customers, but maintaining a strong, personal relationship with clients is still at the heart of the business.”

NAR’s survey found that 94 percent of Realtors® use mobile devices to communicate with clients. Realtors® spend a median 44 percent of their time corresponding with or doing work for their clients via their mobile devices. Use of iPhones continues to increase among Realtors®; 52 percent of respondents now use iPhones. Thirty-six percent of respondents use Androids and three percent use Blackberry devices.

“Realtors® tend to find the most value in technologies that allow them to conduct business quickly, conveniently and on the go,” added Lesswing. “Embracing new technologies and online resources is a vital part of how Realtors® identify, market and sell homes and guarantee that they are meeting their clients’ needs.”

Social media also proved to be an important link for Realtors® to reach their clientele. The survey reported that 91 percent of all Realtors® use social media, with 70 percent saying that they use social media to build relationships and network. Additionally, 64 percent said they use the platforms for marketing and lead generation.

Facebook topped the list as the most used social media platform with 77 percent of respondents using the service, while 75 percent said they used LinkedIn.

Full report: 2013-2014 Realtor® Technology Survey

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