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Mobile technology continues to transform the way we do business. Nearly daily enhancements to mobile phones and tablets mean that more and more people are moving to mobile devices to conduct more and more online activities. That makes it a business imperative to meet the changing consumer.

Industry research from NAR and Google reveals that 89 percent of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine at the onset and throughout their search for a home. These consumers are not only using their mobile device while they’re on-the-go, they’re also accessing content on their mobile device while they’re in their own homes.

In addition, these consumers are not just using search engines on their mobile devices. They’re also using mobile apps: 68 percent of new home shoppers reported using a mobile app at some point during their information gathering.

The good news is that today’s homebuyers and sellers can access a wealth of information from a variety of platforms, from researching home information, getting directions to visit a home, comparing prices and features, searching a listing company’s inventory, and most importantly, calling or clicking to connect with a brokerage or agent.

This research clearly tells us that mobile technology connects online content to offline connections. And it’s more and more evident that optimizing this connection is a critical best practice.

The responsive design for our website—which makes our listings easily accessible on desktop, mobile and tablet platforms—is optimized for mobile and has significantly enhanced the user experience. Since introducing the enhanced website, engagement has increased. We’ve also seen a 30 percent jump in mobile traffic to our site. In fact, nearly 40 percent of traffic on comes from mobile devices. That number spikes to nearly 50 percent on weekends!

The numbers are astounding, but I can’t say that I’m surprised. The mobile activity we’re seeing is part of a trend we’ve focused on for some time.

We’ve watched the way in which real estate professionals conduct business evolve over the past few years as they become less attached to an office and more reliant on a mobile device to keep them connected.

For that reason, we make sure all of our online communications, tools and products are formatted for mobile use for ERA-affiliated independent sales professionals. This includes broadcast text messaging and our broker/agent-focused, multi-functional mobile app, ConnectERA, which provides brand updates, as well as our lead management app, which allows brokers and agents to connect real-time with consumers.

Concurrently, we know that real estate is a local business, so we offer customizable consumer-facing, mobile-enabled tools to facilitate strong agent-consumer connections. From our geo-targeted mobile app to email campaigns to mobile video, we provide our brokers and agents with the ability to be local and mobile.

Armed with these insights, we’re using our understanding of how technology is impacting consumers to inform the decisions we make in how to best support our brokers and their continued success.

Chris Trick is senior vice president of marketing and product development, ERA Real Estate.

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