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Tech Bets for 2012: Mobility, Video and Automation

by Karen M. Kroll

Karen M. Kroll 7

For 2012, mobility is king. The devices and applications that will allow REALTORS® to conduct business from just about anywhere dominate experts' discussions of critical technology investments. That's not to say it's the only technology REALTORS® should be considering; a professional website and video capabilities, among other tools, are also important. 

However, mobile capabilities are increasingly essential to conducting business. "You have to start using mobile tools," according to Amy Chorew, a REALTOR® and founder of technology coaching company TheTechByte.com. Chorew is also director of training and education for the Social Media Marketing Institute. 

Already, many clients expect to be able to look things up while they're out and about, Chorew said. That expectation is only going to proliferate.

Even so, before investing in a mobile device, Chorew advises REALTORS® to make sure they have a professional website that both engages consumers and is clearly the REALTOR®'s own, rather than simply a page on a company's site. 

Moreover, REALTORS® shouldn't assume that social media, such as a Facebook profile, is an adequate substitute for a professional web presence. While many potential clients find REALTORS® via social media or real estate sites such as Trulia, when they're ready to get serious, most clients want to know more information and capabilities than what these sites can provide. For instance, many homebuyers expect to be able to read an agent's biography, learn about his or her areas of expertise and be offered several ways through which they can make contact. "They want to know who you are before they'll work with you," Chorew said. 

In addition, many clients want an online site to which they can return and initiate multiple searches, Chorew added. Agents need to make sure their sites offer the ability to look for houses in numerous ways, such as by neighborhood or school district. 

Finally, REALTOR® websites should be accessible from both computers and mobile devices, Chorew said. Ideally, the site will be able to interpret the browser a visitor is using and format itself accordingly. Any features on the site, such as mortgage calculators, should work on both types of hardware.

 

Matthew Ferrara Jo Kenney Amy Chorew

Video marketing is so powerful, but so under-used in real estate. Anyone tapping into this will be head and shoulders above the competition. 
- Matthew Ferrara of Matthew Ferrara & Co.

 

Mobile capabilities are particularly important with the under-30 buyers.  
- Jo Kenney, Atlanta REALTOR®
REALTORS® shouldn't assume that social media is an adequate substitute for a professional web presence.   
- Amy Chorew of TheTechByte.com

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