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Black businesswoman textingTo keep up in the real estate industry these days, agents have to be well-versed in technology. In fact, in June 2014, Google’s Consumer Survey reported that mobile phones accounted for 27 percent of total searches related to buying a home, up 19 percent from the year prior. And mobile and tablet usage continues to grow among consumers as America evolves technologically.

Tapping into technology is critical for success in 2016 and beyond. Here are six ways agents can use technology to build their business.

1. Be optimized for mobile
Google reports that “one-quarter of Google searches for mortgages have been on mobile devices, and tablets have seen a huge spike in searches.” This confirms that mobile is becoming the leading source of information for homebuyers, so agents need to be thinking mobile. Here are a couple rules to follow:

  • Use responsive design. Capture more leads by targeting mobile users with websites that are responsive and optimized.
  • Be succinct. Provide the most important and necessary information for your website and listings to encourage consumers to contact you for more.

2. Use mobile apps and software
Real estate agents have helpful apps, software and optimization tools at their fingertips these days. Mobile apps can also offer customized experiences as agents can connect with clients throughout the home-search process via email, private messages, push notifications and personalized listings. Apps also offer price and property comparisons to make the search much easier for both agent and client.

3. Use email and newsletters
Sending email every few days to potential and/or new clients, in addition to a weekly newsletter, keeps prospective homebuyers educated and informed on listings and the market in general. The constant contact helps build trust—proving that you, the agent, is an expert.

4. Hyperlapse your photos
Hyperlapse is a new app that Instagram launched that uses time-lapse photography in addition to impressive image stabilization software that puts a few thousand dollars’ worth of equipment on a single app on your phone for free. The app sharpens, enhances and improves photos to make your listings more visually appealing, thus bringing more potential clients.

5. Boost your social media
Keeping up with social media helps brand your online business. If you have a website or a blog, you can post articles or listings on your page, in addition to market information to keep potential clients informed and impressed by your market knowledge and dedication. Social media posts can also improve your website and blog through the eyes of Google and get your postings into the various social-channel news feeds.

6. Perfect plug-ins
If your website is on WordPress or other CMS systems, real estate plug-ins can help you get information, analytics and enhancements for your site. From adding a professional listing feed to mortgage rate widgets and calculators, plug-ins are a great technology resource for the savvy agent.

Dana Larsen is a writer for Pro.com.

This article originally appeared on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for more real estate tips and trends.

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