If you had but one item you could purchase or have someone get for you as that special gift this year, I would highly recommend the Apple iPhone.
Now hold on a minute, I know it’s got a steep price when you add in the service contract but we are talking about a productivity tool for all you Real Estate agents and Brokers out there. Keep the receipt and you can take the tax deduction for it when tax time comes around.
What’s so special about the iPhone? I am going to get to that in a moment. First let me tell you if you were not aware, that the continuation of Technology into the Real Estate world and the adoption by consumers to new ways of doing business continues to accelerate even though the economy is slowing. The adoption of MOBILITY has hit mainstream with a vengeance.
So too will your need to understand and adapt quickly or YOU WILL lose market share to those that are savvy to catch on before you do.
You already know about blogging, it’s after all the reason why you’re reading this post anyways. If you’re behind the curve on blogging, you still have time to catch up here. With many new phones on the market this year and in the years to come, broadband access is creeping into these phones and new and faster services along with them. Providing you with new ways to reach out and touch your prospective clients.
How? By giving them what they want. Making sure that your website not only has the latest in Social Networking Tools but that you make sure your data is accessible to mobile platforms likethe iPhone.
Ok, so you’re using a phone with Windows Mobile or some other variant of phone that allows access to the internet and web browsing. You can still benefit from users of these platforms by providing a streamlined version of your site that will enable viewers to get to the important nuggets of information on your site.
I say important nuggets because MOST canned real estate sites go over the top with all the links and minutia, thinking that the kitchen sink is what they have to have and what the viewing public wants. This is so wrong and a good topic for a post in the New Year about what a good site should be.
Right now, the amount of applications and development that is taking place for the iPhone and phones that utilize Google’s new open source application called Android are getting the lion’s share of development and advertising dollars. This equates into more phones sold and a larger support base for the platform all together. Need some supporting data?
Here’s a post from the group over at Mashable.com that talks about the data proving the iPhone adoption and usage has surpassed all others and continues to climb. It dominates in sales and it dominates in the number of useful applications being created and used for the platform.
“Gartner’s numbers have shown that in Q3 2008, iPhone sales have surpassed sales of all Windows Mobile devices put together. And although the smartphone OS market is still dominated by Nokia’s Symbian, followed by BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Mobile, the trend when it comes to releasing new applications rarely follows this order.
“Most often it’s iPhone first, Google Android and BlackBerry second, and everyone else after that. The reasons are simple: it’s easier to create and deploy third party applications on the iPhone and Android than on other platforms, and users are more likely to actually use them. And the consequences can easily be seen in the way Apple’s iPhone devours the smartphone market month after month.”
Another article discusses the merits of Apple’s advertisement and details how many applications are now available for the iPhone. According to the advertisement in a December 5th 2008 print edition of The New York Times, there have been more than 300 million downloads of applications for the iPhone. CNBC’s Jim Goldman notes that this means that there have been roughly 100 million downloads in just the last six weeks, since Apple reported 200 million downloads on an October 21st conference call.
Still not convinced of the reach of the iPhone, think it’s too expensive, too trendy?
Well standby, numerous reports indicate that Wal-Mart has jumped on the bandwagon and will commence selling iPhones in late December of this year. This means even more wide spread adoption of the platform.
So what’s in it for Real Estate professionals? You can and will see more applications being developed that support the iPhone that are geared towards getting your listing data in front of the consumers.
We just recently overhauled a client’s site to make it more users friendly and we also made it iPhone and Android aware. This means when a potential home buyer drives by a home listed by this agent and observes the sign in the yard; they can immediately access all the data on the listing from their iPhone. View a detailed brochure and then call, text message or email the Agent with literally just a flick of the finger.
While they are on the agent’s site, they can also view other listings and access their blog to review any other pertinent information on the neighborhood etc. The beauty of this is that the web site detects the presence of the phone type and auto magically serves the content in a format for proper viewing on the iPhone, crisp clear and easy to navigate.
In addition to agents sites becoming optimized you will start to see more and more companies realizing this potential and creating applications.
Now if only the major MLS’s would get the idea….GTAR can you hear us calling? Let’s get the old antiquated MLS access that can only be viewed with Internet Explore updated so Agents can look up MLS data out in the field with their clients and not chained to a Computer.
Imagine how much more productive agents could be if they could tap into and review their data on a mobile platform like the iPhone.
Disclaimer: Tom Townsend has not been paid or received endorsements from Apple for comments published in this article.