By Seth Kaplan
In a recent blog post by Joel Burslem, Mobile real estate: old battles and new realities, he begins with a quote from Matthew Lynn who wrote for Bloomberg, “The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant. Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.” The sheer tone of the quote indicates that it is clearly not a recent quote, but in fact was made in 2007.
My how things have changes since then! Clearly, the iPhone and Apple have had a huge impact on both the mobile space, tech space, and real estate space. Since, they have become the largest publicly traded company in the world by market cap (more than Google and Microsoft combined), released one of the most popular consumer products in history with the iPad and coined a the phrase, “there’s an App for that.” Obviously they’ve kept busy over the past five years.
Simultaneously the real estate industry has been busy as well adapting to the mobile world expanded exponentially during the world real estate market in history. Joel, author of the blog from which I borrowed the above quote, wrote in 2007, “House hunting seems to me to be an inherently mobile activity but as yet all of the house hunting options we have require you to root yourself in front of the computer…What I’d love to see is a mobile versions of Yahoo! Real Estate or Trulia‘s search engine. Something that would allow me to punch in my current location, search criteria and then have it return driving directions to each of the results to me.” Joel certainly has his share of options in today’s market.
In fact, many CEO’s in today’s market have stated that they are thinking “mobile first” and that “without a mobile strategy you have no strategy at all.” While there are a number of real estate portals and local brokers who make searching real estate possible from a mobile device, there are far fewer who have taken the time to detail out their mobile strategy.
Sometimes we confuse having a product with having a strategy. Other times we simply don’t have the time to create a strategy or the resources/personnel to follow through with the strategy that we have created. Last, we may have a strategy which doesn’t include mobile as a vital component. Either way, one thing is certain; mobile, because of its availability and nature will be the biggest and most impactful outlet for communication and marketing that we have ever seen. This will continue happening as it has since 2007 right before our eyes.
My two cents: Start putting stock in your mobile strategy, as well as the products you incorporate sooner rather than later and you’ll find yourself better off for it.
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