5 minute read

Mobile technology is bringing the world even closer together. Today, nearly everyone is carrying around supercomputers in their pockets, and entrepreneurs and business owners are constantly finding innovative new ways for us to use them. 

Cell phones: real estate brokerages’ secret weapon 

According to the 2021 Highlights released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 96% of its members reported using a smartphone every single day for work. 95% reported using email on their phone every day and 57% reported using social media apps every day. In a word, your agents are spending a lot of time on their phones, and with good reason! 

Your clients are on their phones a lot, too. According to a study by App Annie, a mobile data and analytic provider, North American users spend more than four hours per day on average using various different apps, from messaging apps like WhatsApp and iMessage to YouTube to popular niche apps like Robinhood, which helps users trade stocks. 

Given the amount of time everyone spends on their phones, the time is right for your brokerage to leverage mobile technology to streamline your business, make agents’ lives easier, and close more deals. Plus, imagine how many leads you could generate if your team could capture even a fraction of those four hours of daily smartphone use for home buyers and sellers in your area. 

In this article, we’ll be discussing the indisputable apps brokers need to be thinking about for their teams right now, from the most basic to ones you might not have thought of. Read on to learn more. 

Email apps 

Being able to access your email reliably from your phone is a major time saver and business asset for everyone at your brokerage—but many people on your team might not know how or feel comfortable using it at first. 

Email apps allow you to view, respond to, and draft emails on the go. Both Android and iOS phones have standard, free email apps that can be configured for a variety of email services, from private email servers to popular free email providers, such as Gmail or Hotmail. Industry standards like Outlook also have popular apps for both operating systems that can be set up to send and receive emails from a variety of platforms.  

As 95% of real estate agents report they check and send email from their phones on a daily basis, you’ll want to make sure that your team is connected to email on their phones and knows how to use it, has a branded email signature set up, and is aware of proper cell phone and email etiquette. 

Social media apps 

Social media used to be all fun, no work, and many workplaces banned the use of social media in the office. Today, thats no longer the case, as social media networks have taken over for one of the most popular places for businesses to market themselves. 

 Millennials are flocking to the housing market. The youngest among them are digital natives, meaning they don’t even remember the “before times” of dial-up internet and floppy discs. This growing customer segment isn’t reading newspapers, listening to the radio, or even watching broadcast television, where brokerages have traditionally spent their marketing dollars and time. Millennials are on social media, and if your brokerage isn’t, they’ll never find you. 

Young professional using social media mobile apps on smart phone
 

To grow as a brokerage today, you must leverage the power of social media and other digital marketing channels. Most brokerages and agents have a lot of room for improvement in this area: as many as two thirds of new business comes from agents’ network of friends, family, and former satisfied clients, but according to our data, only one in ten is effectively marketing to that network. The easiest way to up your game is by tapping into social media, and what better place than on the apps? 

Some agents are great at posting on social media. Others might need a little more help or guidance. In addition to harnessing social media apps, you can implement tools like social publishing to help automate and harmonize your posting. This makes the task more manageable and allows agents to focus on the parts of social media they actually enjoy, like “Just Sold!” posts with their happy clients or helpful content that goes beyond just real estate. Just remember to follow social media best practices, too, or you might run into some trouble. 

Real estate CRM mobile app 

Developing new leads is crucial to expanding a successful real estate business, according to the NAR. Leads are the fuel driving deals for brokerages. To capture and keep track of leads, tech-savvy brokerages are relying on customer relationship management (CRM) software. A fantastic way to make a CRM work harder for your team is to find one with a dual mobile–desktop interface, so your agents can use it whether they’re behind a desk, showing a new listing, or waiting in line at Starbucks.

Business man using laptop with customer relationship management mobile app

 

The right CRM apps for real estate should allow your agents to do a few key things: 

  • Capture lead information: If a lead calls an agent’s cell phone number off a yard sign, for example, the agent needs a way to save the caller’s name and phone number automatically as well as note some basic information about the call so they can follow up later. 
  • Interact meaningfully with leads: Leads need useful information and agent expertise to make informed buying decisions. CRMs should help facilitate the exchange of information and expertise between agents and their clients. 
  • Accept/decline routed leads: If you provide leads for your agents, you need a CRM app that can route leads automatically based on location, property time, agent expertise, and more. You’ll also want an admin-level view to manage unactioned leads to ensure none are slipping through the cracks. 

By making these features available to your agents on an app, they will be able to work that much more efficiently. 

Listing preparation apps 

A lot of time and effort goes into getting a listing ready for sale. Thankfully, there’s now a host of apps that make it easier:  

  • Camera apps for listing photos: The photo quality on the latest smartphone models is truly incredible. You can take amazing photos, apply flattering filters, and create an entire portfolio of enticing pictures and videos to upload to your MLS, social media, and more. Your phone will have a built-in camera app, but a quick search will show you inexpensive (or even free) camera and photo retouching apps to make your pictures stand out. 
  • Virtual tour apps: Virtual tours are an indisputable asset for making a listing more desirable. According to Realtor.com, 61% of homebuyers reported that virtual home tours are the most helpful technology for searching for the right home, and virtual tours are credited with significantly increasing listing views and decreasing wasted showings. Current smartphone camera quality paired with special apps allow you to build a virtual tour and even upload it automatically to YouTube, improving your SEO. 
  • Showing apps: Leverage apps or mobile-optimized cloud platforms to schedule and manage showings, send notifications to potential homebuyers, and communicate with agents from other brokerages. These apps help you ensure you’re getting prospective buyers in your listings without missing an important appointment and can even help organize disclosures between agents. 

Real estate listings apps 

Most, if not all, homebuyers begin their home searches online, and more and more are starting with real estate listing apps. While this space is still dominated by well-known industry giants, many brokerages are seeing the value in developing their own white label apps to share the most up-to-date listing information before the giants do. This can help your clients find the right home faster and get you that commission income. 

In addition to showcasing the most reliable MLS data to their clients, these apps also give brokerages an unprecedented opportunity to look at client preferences, provide better recommendations, and encourage double-sided deals by marketing broker-owned listings. An increasing number of tech companies specialize in these kinds of apps. 

Business Man Using mobile apps on iPad with digital pencil
 

The future of homebuying is mobile 

As our phones get more powerful and our data speeds increase, mobile-first technology will only play an increasingly important role in our professional and personal lives. Constellation1 already provides an entire suite of mobile apps and mobile-optimized solutions for real estate front and back office. In addition, our data services solutions are behind the scenes powering some of the most popular apps in the industry. We’re continuously looking for ways to add more mobile features and make our solutions even more mobile friendly. 

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For more information about our apps, including the Constellation1 CRM mobile app and our Paradym App for digital marketing, get in touch with us today.