Exploring real estate on mobile devices
To help our clients provide better experiences to their buyers and sellers, we hired a third party research company to talk to people who have bought or sold a home within the past 12 months. This company asked a series of questions in an hour-long interview and the results were fascinating.
In this blog, we'll review some of the most interesting things about mobile websites and apps that buyers and sellers had to say.
Quick overview of the findings
- Most buyers and sellers don't want to view real estate agent
websites on their mobile devices
- The most common complaint is screens that are too small to view
detailed listings or photos, and a lack of mobile
- Those who do use mobile preferred to use apps over websites
Buyers' and sellers' relationship with mobile
In a digital age, where mobile is taking the world by storm, it would make sense that buyers and sellers are embracing portable technology with just as much enthusiasm. However, our research proved otherwise.
Most respondents shared that they would rather not view a real estate agents' website on their mobile device because of limitations in screen size. Buyers and sellers find that listings are too detailed and pictures are too small to display well, especially on the high volume of real estate websites that aren't mobile responsive.
The people who do want to explore real estate on mobile devices indicated a preference for apps over websites due to a better user experience. This makes sense because apps are designed to work well on specific devices, integrating with pre-existing Apple or Android features, while responsive sites have to take a "jack of all trades" approach requiring more compromise.
Apps present an exciting opportunity for innovative real estate agents to really stand out from the crowd if they can provide a phenomenal mobile experience to engage people wherever they are. People are already on their phones for an average of 5 hours a day¹, and the real estate agents who can get in front of those statistics are practically destined for success.
Interesting remarks from buyers & sellers
“I use mobile, but not for agents’ sites. You get way better functionality on the Zillow, Realtor.com, and Redfin apps.”
“Depends where I am. Mobile’s a bit glitchy and there’s less information, but there’s a place for both. I love the realtor.ca app – you can see a property right from the street.”
“No, I like to go home and look on my desktop. The screen is bigger, and I like to take a good look at listings and pictures.”
“I don’t use my mobile anymore. It’s just easier and bigger at home. I’ve been to a few realtor websites, but they weren’t mobile-friendly.”
“I prefer my laptop. I just have trouble reading a lot of detail on a smartphone. As for apps, I use them for restaurant reviews. Buying a home is a different animal. You’re not looking for it quickly on transit.”
Big opportunity for innovative real estate agents
If you're already a Real Estate Webmasters client, we have great news: you're miles ahead of the competition. Countless agents have sites that don't work well on mobile and users have taken notice. They don't want to use those sites and, more importantly, they aren't using them either. By investing in mobile-friendly sites, real estate agents stand out from the crowd and can impress buyer and sellers.
But innovative real estate agents have an even bigger opportunity with mobile apps, which can be used to engage visitors and improve brand loyalty. While a lot of agents overlook apps because they don't tend to generate traffic, apps have massive potential to retain and convert buyers and sellers into clients. People love apps, and that's why Realtors should too.