“Movoto would not be growing if it wasn’t for the activity we’ve done on the mobile side.”
-Mark Brandemuehl, VP Marketing, Movoto
|On our recent Mobile Revolution in Real Estate webinar, we explored the growing trends in mobile technology and how it’s affecting your real estate business. With our guest speaker Mark Brandemuehl from Movoto.com, we had direct insight on the explosion of smartphone usage and how mobile home shoppers are interacting on a major real estate portal. Then, we discussed tips on moving to mobile technology and steps to take your real estate business to the next level.
For those that don’t know, Movoto is a real estate brokerage that operates in over 35 states and has a network of over 2600 agents. Movoto is not a traditional brokerage, as their main line of business is to generate leads for their network instead of performing normal real estate duties. To capture these leads, they must be on the forefront of online lead generation so their insights on mobile are from real world experience.
The percentage of the US population that uses mobile devices grows every year. The consumers are out there, and they’re going mobile. The major players are iOS and Android smartphones, which combined for over 93% of smartphone sales last year. So as you can see, the technology and the demand are growing month by month. Two thirds of the population now has a mobile device (smartphone), and tablets have caught up to PC and notebook sales.
As mobile traffic grows, so does the use of mobile applications. Mobile traffic has transitioned very quickly, and globally internet traffic has jumped from 5% in 12/2010 to 15% on 5/2013. Also with increasing use of smartphones, comes increased use of mobile applications. In terms of real estate, mobile apps have been an extremely hot market. Last year, mobile apps were used by 68% of new home shoppers. Companies like Zillow have said that 55% of its traffic is now from mobile devices, and Trulia reported 37% of its traffic from mobile devices. So taking advantage of the mobile revolution should be on the mind of every Realtor out there.
As Movoto’s VP of Marketing, Mark Brandemuehl brings along wisdom garnered from both his MBA at Stanford and his experience as a VP of Marketing at FormFactor through their IPO. Originally when it came to mobile, Movoto built a mobile-optimized website that showed only marginal traffic growth. Betting that the mobile space would blow up, Movoto approached it full steam with a suite of apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. On these mobile apps, home shoppers can search for homes, view property information, see photos, and submit their information if they want to schedule a showing or talk to an agent. As of May 2013, the Movoto mobile app is being downloaded 1,000 times a day, and mobile traffic for them has jumped from 18% to 50% total traffic in just 16 months. This comes out to over 2.5 million total users per month with half using a desktop and half using a mobile device. In addition to growth in mobile usage, they have also found that engagement on their apps is much higher. Again, users are finding it very easy and convenient to use a mobile app versus desktop computers, especially when searching for homes.
Since Movoto is a brokerage that depends on lead generation, they have many tracking mechanisms in place. In the last 2 months alone, leads per visitor are up 30%-40 for mobile app users compared to their desktop users. This goes along with the rise in engagement that they found from their mobile app users. Part of the Movoto model is that response time is crucial. In their studies, if you don’t contact a lead within 15 minutes of a request, the lead will decay hour by hour till it’s unlikely to get a hold of them after 4-6 hours. Basically, they take an aggressive stance on tracking leads and if you’re too slow then buyers will move right along to someone else.
Much like Movoto, PropertyMinder also has built a suite of real estate mobile apps and products for you, the agent. Using our technology, our PropertyMinder agents can distribute and promote your own agent-branded mobile app to your clients. Your buyers will be able to search homes, add to favorites, and click to call you directly if they have questions. Inside the Toolkit, agents can see what buyers are looking at and how many times they looked at each house! Also, we have tracking built in so you know if leads came in from the desktop or from your mobile app. Also we want to mention, that PropertyMinder website client gets a fully mobile-optimized website version that mobile browser will automatically detect.
As Mark mentioned above, timing is everything. This is why we recently launched an agent-only app called AgentView. AgentView allows you to see agent only specific details such as showing instructions and confidential remarks. This is the perfect app when you are out home shopping with clients and need the lockbox info right on the spot. You can even call the listing agent directly from the app!
For those agents out there who want to stand out, we can also make customized White Label solution that allows you to have your very own app in the iTunes and GooglePlay stores. This option would be great for top teams or brokerages who want to really expand their brand.
Mobile technology in real estate is the next big thing. With the combination of mobile devices outselling PCs, mobile internet users outpacing desktop internet users, and mobile users being very motivated real estate shoppers, it’s only a matter of time that every agent will have their own mobile solution. The Now and Future of real estate is mobile!