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Why real estate agents need their own mobile apps

It is no secret that a whole lot of people are obsessed with their mobile devices. Americans spend an average of 4.7 hours per day on their phones. Of course, they aren't just using them to chat with their friends anymore. Mobile devices have become the go-to source for pretty much everything. Nowadays, consumers use their phones to book appointments, research restaurants, share the details of their lives on social media, online shop and yes, they even use their phones to search for the homes of their dreams.

Homebuyers, millennials especially, love to use their phones to research property listings. While many buyers still love using agents to help them through the complicated process, they still consider their phones an integral source of real estate information. As a result, Real Estate Agents who have their own mobile app can really increase their business and client satisfaction.

This massive growth means that trends among Latino Americans will play an increasingly important role in shaping the nation's economy, especially in the personal finance industry. To get a better sense of how Latinos currently manage their finances, as well as their feelings on the future of the American economy, Pew Research conducted extensive polling of Latino and Hispanic households2. Their findings are useful for those curious on how personal financial management may change in the coming decades.

What can a mobile app do for clients?

Having a mobile app will help increase a client's appreciation for his or her agent. People are busier than ever these days, and it is important for them to have access to information on the go. An app helps clients save time by not having to actually canvas the neighborhood for listings. Clients really enjoy having a source that helps them efficiently find properties.

Mobile apps can be used to display local listings and allow clients to look at photographs and descriptions of different properties. Real Estate Agents can also use an app as a communication platform through which clients can send them messages and vice versa. If clients enable push notifications, an agent will be able to send them alerts when a property they might like becomes available. It is also possible that buyers who are not clients will use an agent's app to browse listings, which could lead to new clients if they see something they like and decide to send the agent a message. It is a great way to improve customer service.

A agent could even incorporate his or her mobile strategy with non-mobile marketing strategies. Adding a QR code to "For Sale" signs allow people walking by to scan the code and instantly receive information about the property on their smartphone.

Mobile and millennials

Approximately 32 percent of all home buyers are millennials.4 They are currently the largest home buying generation, and millennials absolutely love their phones. In fact, many of them prefer to communicate with their agents via text rather than phone calls, and 51 percent of them say they found the home they purchased online.

Despite this love for online shopping, millennials also love Real Estate Agents, as the survey found that 90 percent of them used one to buy a home. Millennials want to use an agent, they just prefer to do it on their terms, which means they seek out agents they can trust who understand their reliance on technology.

In many ways, millennials use Real Estate Agents not as sources of information but as guides through the overwhelming process of home buying. The internet is their source of information, so having a mobile app - or at least a website that is mobile optimized - is a great way to reach this demographic.

The bottom line

A striking 80 percent of first-time homebuyers have smartphones.5 Even more, 85 percent of mobile usage is through apps, rather than a regular internet browser. What is perhaps most surprising is that 10 percent of Americans exclusively access the Internet through their phones.

Real Estate Agents who do not have a mobile app could be failing to reach many potential clients. By offering a high-quality mobile app, Real Estate Agents can differentiate themselves from the competition, experience happier, more satisfied clients and may even be able to bring in some new ones.

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