The changing technology landscape can be seen at all levels: globally, nationally, locally and even within the real estate industry. However, it’s not just technology that’s impacting industry, but rather, technology is having an impact on us as a society. Technology is changing the way we interact with one another and how we determine what’s important to us, from our guilty pleasures down to our daily necessities. As business owners, one impact we’re already experiencing is our interaction with a new consumer, a mobile consumer, who is just taking shape now.
Bank of America recently conducted a survey that found we are using our mobile phones for banking more than ever—big surprise there. The survey also found that respondents considered their mobile phones as essential to their daily life as deodorant! To keep their mobile phone, 45 percent of respondents says they would give up alcohol and 34 percent says they would be willing to give up chocolate. Other guilty pleasures respondents would forgo to keep their mobile phones close to them included shopping, sex and television. (In that order? One wonders.)
The level of importance that we as a society are now placing on our mobile devices is the first indication of just how rapidly our values and behaviors as consumers are changing. Our mobile devices signify connectivity, convenience and access—all things to which we have become accustomed and no longer want to be without, even for short periods of time. Our constant need for connectivity to our networks, to information, to media is shaping how we communicate with one another, but also how we act and demand to be interacted with as consumers in the market to buy.
“Technology will continue to change and evolve, but not since the automobile have we seen a piece of technology that has had as big an impact on society as the mobile phone,” says John Lim, CEO of Life in Mobile, a firm specializing in mobile technology and consumer engagement. “Our expertise is in understanding today’s consumer and how best to help brands engage with that consumer. It just so happens in today’s market, it’s more often via mobile, in one form or another: text message, apps, social media, etc. Today’s consumer is a mobile consumer and that’s who we help businesses connect with—today’s consumer,” says Lim.
No industry will go unchanged by technology in the years ahead. Real estate is no exception to the rule, but rather a prime example of an industry in which the consumer has changed dramatically in just a few short years and is now more in the driver’s seat than ever. The homebuyer of today is tech-savvy, armed with a mobile device that offers a wide range of access to immediate information. What’s your plan to engage that consumer?
Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate. For more information, visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.