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When I arrived in Chicago last Thursday morning for the first time, I was anxious to get a lay of the land. I had heard a lot about the city and its similarities to New York, so as a proud New Yorker I was eager to disprove those theories.

However, before I had the chance to disprove, I noticed that the term “getting the lay of the land” had changed.

As soon as I walked out the door of the airport and got on the cab line I instantly knew where I was going, what route I was taking and how long it would take. Yes—I plugged in the address of my hotel into the map app on my iPhone. Once I got in the cab and confirmed that the cabbie was on course based on the pre-plotted route on my phone, I began searching what was around my hotel on the map. When I came across an area which looked of interest, such as Lake Shore Park, I Googled it to get pictures and more information.

After getting settled into the hotel and catching up on the e-mails I missed while on the plane, I embarked on checking out some of the places I found on the map while in the cab. When I checked-in at Lake Shore Park, I perused the tips left by other visitors to see what part of the park (which is right on Lake Michigan) I should go to. As the day went on, I got hungry so of course, Chicago pizza was the obvious choice. How do you think I found the pizza place that would handle my hunger?

I opened the Yelp app and reviewed all the pizza restaurants in walking distance from where I was. GPS and location based services/searches on our mobile devices have taken the concept of “hyper-local” a step further. What’s around me where I am right now, and fills the need of what I am looking for? I don’t want to search aimlessly for things I can’t have/see/touch right now. We have talked in the past about becoming an “I want it now” society. What I want “now” is now determined by convenience of what’s readily available.

This is no different when it comes to real estate consumers. In my Chicago expedition I was a consumer for local attractions and food. However, if I was there looking for property, I would have wanted to see what was available within close geographic proximity to where I was staying and/or the area I was exploring. I may have also searched via mobile for a local expert who could provide me the search tools that allowed me to find that information. That, or I would have had to turn to a name that everyone knows— and their app to provide me that info.

By making your website mobile enabled using your existing URL, you are more likely to be found by consumers searching for REALTORS® from their mobile device. In addition, if you offer the search tools that allow them to see what is available to them within their geographic proximity, such as a GPS search, you will instantly become a more valuable resource for them.

You are no longer an “early adopter” by integrating this technology into your marketing mix. What you are is capitalizing on today’s most prominent technology to provide your clients the experience they want..

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