Home Buyers Happily Search Mobile
As webmaster of this site with all kinds of different analytic data, I can tell you that just under half of the buyers out there search via mobile at some point or another, this based on reviewing tens of thousands of visits since our launch date mid January this year. Interestingly I came across a blog on CNN I must say I totally disagree with about mobile users and E-commerce websites like Zillow, Trulia or Homes.com.
"Zillow" and "E-Commerce" Sites are Bad for Business
Generation Y and X do comprise the sheer bulk of buyers out there, and not being stupid, they like things fast, easy and for cryin' out loud; accurate. According to a post from Will Caldwill on CNN, the web is dead, (you're here reading this, hello) and it's pointless for an agent to have a website, and to maximize their presence on places like Zillow for mobile users. What? Feed the machine? I think not. There's a better way for agents, brokers and consumers.
Having helped and referred hundreds of buyers from the likes of Zillow, and also having been webmaster of not one but two successful real estate websites, and also manager of two successful lead programs (though I despise calling buyers leads) these clients were all shocked at how often that house on Zillow or Trulia wasn't actually for sale, or how far off the actual estimated value was and E-commerce sites were very high, or very low, either way? Very misleading and a waste of time. Besides, ANY agent can be a "Premiere" agent on these sites, but it's just a matter of a few more advertising dollars for the real estate agent. I recommend you find one from a reputable brokerage and business you know and trust.
Buyers, Sellers, Agents and Brokers; Don't Waste Your Time & Money
If you're a consumer and don't know how this works, let me enlighten you. If you're an agent seeking business, this may actually upset you as a professional, and if you're a broker you should be ________ upset. I'll use Zillow for an example, they have an SEO department, in fact, a quite large one with great positioning online, but rely on agents to purchase ads and memberships and brokers to spend thousands to create MLS feeds to provide information on homes for their website because they hold no license in real estate and have no MLS access, and then turn around and sell that advertising space back to agents at a huge premium with gross results. Some might think spending $400 a month for a local ad for 8 potential buyers is a good deal, but an agent will talk to an average of 24 potential buyers before one actually buys. If the house is not actually for sale, buyers tend to move on, interested in finding a home more than finding a Realtor to begin with. Zillow also has a way of attracting those buyers who can't get qualified for a home loan. Sorry, but it's true, not in all cases but a lot of them.
Besides, if you're a great Realtor, you should have no problem finding your business, if you have trouble finding your business, find someone in your brokerage to teach you how to find the business without giving into and giving up your wallet to the giants. If brokerages would stop paying for feeds, and focus on true, honest SEO, they would be the ones on page one rather than the big three.
Buyers and Sellers Get Bit
Add to that, the poor buyer, inquires one time and get four phone calls instead of one competent Realtor? Only to be told (50/50 chance) the home isn't for sale or the estimate of the value is totally incorrect? If you didn't know it before, E-commerce sites use algorithms to calculate a home's value when real estate is a highly local phenomenon, and it always will be. Those buyers that insist Zillow is correct end up with one of two problems; can't get an offer accepted because it's too low, or end up paying too much for it. Sellers on the other hand are peeved their home didn't sell in their time frame or they didn't net enough. Zillow, Trulia, leave real estate to the professionals. We do actual CMA's based on facts, not mathematical guesses and facts you don't have access to.
Yes, Mobile is Fine, and So are Mobile Sites.
The real problem lies in the fact that like many agents, many brokerages are behind the times. I belong to forums of hundreds of real estate webmasters and those that conquer SEO and learn it, are betting Zillow and Trulia in their own back yards, just as this site will too, and already winning to a great degree locally. Secondly, they need to have a 'responsive' site that will adjust to an I-pad, a smart phone or a notebook. At my former brokerage, I and my business partner had a personal website that we promoted and had more business than we could handle with no need for E-commerce websites and cost us much less, around $10.00 bucks a month.
Gen Y and X love their apps, true, but not so much for looking for real estate, a site that is made to be mobile, easy search functions to begin with, and simple usage are all that's needed and when it comes to real estate apps are perhaps overkill and not used nearly as a much. So, Will there you go, your problem is making your proprietary site mobile friendly, not feeding greedy and expensive E-commerce sites to gain a few leads.
authored by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty