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AG Flash Poll results – smartphone technology preferences

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In this week’s AG Flash Poll, we studied smartphone technology preferences as they pertain to real estate professionals. With the rapidly changing smartphone scene, we find it fascinating to closely watch what your thoughts and feelings are on the topic.

People outside of the industry may believe Realtors to be behind the times, but at AG we know better. In fact, we have found the foot soldiers of the real estate industry to be among the earliest adopters of technologies as independent agents are able to take more risk than a corporation on how they steer their ship.

For example, a year ago, we asked what cell phones you were all carrying and even back then, 43% were packin’ iPhones and almost no one was using an old fashioned flip phone.

A year later, we are not surprised to learn that Androids have taken a lot of the market share and this is certainly not the end of the trend toward a shifting smartphone sector.

Here’s how you responded to the AG Flash Poll:






How do tablets impact your plans?

We asked “How does the rise of tablet technologies impact your mobile phone buying plans?” and the answers were intriguing. There is no longer a Mac/PC culture, there is an iWhatever/Android culture and when we asked about opinions on tablet, most indicated that they intend on (or already do) own a tablet in addition to their current or future smartphones.

The affinity for Android is astonishing- many respondents implied they will be buying an Android tablet this year having already purchased an iPad. As we’ve been predicting, vendors will have to deal with this third technology (mobile, internet and now tablet) and your opinions confirm this. A lot of people are iPad and iPhone fans but there is a lot of anticipation in the real estate industry regarding tablets running on Android, so a lot of people are actually waiting to buy their next phone based on their tablet purchases- technologies are improving so quickly, many indicated fear of their technology being outdated quickly.

We believe this to be a great sign in the industry- can you imagine in 1990 being told that you would be wrapped up in whether or not your technology use was cutting edge or three months behind or that you’d worry about 4G/3G or HTML5/Flash and the like? We’ve come a long way!

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Coleen DeGroff

    January 21, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Hi Lani – great report! Any feel for the % of total real estate agents using these technologies?

    • Lani Rosales

      January 21, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Coleen, the total number is most likely considerably lower and leaning toward Blackberry/Palm still (given that AG is primarily industry folks looking to be informed of and ahead of the curve). But the point that is true of the industry without a doubt is the rise in affinity for Android, especially because it’s not exclusive to one (or two) carriers. What do you think?

  2. Doug Francis

    January 21, 2011 at 8:23 am

    That was an incredibly impartial post, because a year ago if you did not have an iPhone then you were far from cutting edge. The introduction of Android phones, pushed by Verizon’s salespeople, introduced a whole new audience to the Smartphone. Think about it, as our two-year agreements came up for renewal those well trained Verizon folks really made it impossible not to see the appeal of upgrading to a Smartphone..

    Suddenly they were cheap, not an extravagance. Apple products have a certain knack for being considered “premium”, and as I have learned over the last 20 years as an agent, real estate agents are cheap.

    Now to get them to pay .99 for apps is the next big hurdle.

    • Lani Rosales

      January 21, 2011 at 10:38 am

      Doug, a year ago, I did not have an iPhone because I hate AT&T with every fiber of my being and waited for the HTC Evo because my contract with Sprint is on year 11- would you argue that I am not cutting edge?

      It has nothing to do with the salespeople, they just hawk whatever wares are in the store that give them the biggest bonuses, but your point remains that the inventory is now skewed way toward smartphones (“for $20 more, you can have all of THIS” sound familiar?).

      The price of smartphones to me is still not cheap, I paid hundreds for my EVO and others paid hundreds for their iPhones- remember when the phones came with the contract for free? Huge change. You’re right, agents (and other self employed types) are by default cheap but it seems to me that the value add of a robust smartphone is realized (as shown in the poll results) by agents.

      The 99 cent apps is one reason that many cited their next phone is an Android given that so many apps are free- maybe this is another attractive honey pot that Google has going for it? The next hurdle will be the third vertical of tablets and hybrids- people are in a holding pattern trying to decide what to do given that so many technologies are released this year.

  3. Doug Francis

    January 21, 2011 at 10:56 am

    For the record: Yes, you are totally cutting edge.

    It was a client who convinced me on the value of an iPhone, though I use an HTC Iris on Verizon.

    • Lani Rosales

      January 21, 2011 at 11:10 am

      So what is your true preference? 🙂 What are your thoughts on what’s best for a practicing agent?

  4. Thomas Cruse

    January 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Great topic and interesting results. How many responses did you get to this poll?

    Any insights on how Agents do property research (look up property information, like square footage, distressed status, comparable sales, etc.) via their mobile device?

    • Lani Rosales

      January 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      We have not closely studied how agents research property information via their mobile device, but I suspect that it will differ from area to area given that each Board offers different (or none at all) tools for that. Perhaps we’ll study that in coming weeks- questions come out on Monday. Flash polls are a short term poll with a burst with responses ranging from 100-500 most of the time.

      • Thomas Cruse

        January 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm

        Thanks Lani. DataQuick conducted a survey of around 120 Agents last June. I can send you the results as a baseline if you choose to do a flash poll. It will be interesting to see how things are trending – I assume just like your smartphone technology poll, property research via mobile device habits are changing.

  5. Rich Gaasenbeek

    January 21, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I’m shocked at the upcoming purchase intentions for the BlackBerry – 8%!!! BlackBerry has been a solid device for Realtors for years and I hear good things about the Torch. I’ve also heard from a fair number of iPhone users who are frustrated by the touch typing. What are your thoughts, Lani, on the plummeting interest in BlackBerries?

  6. Denise Hamlin

    January 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I have a Blackberry and like it a lot. And still I’m looking at the Android as my possible next smartphone. The decision hasn’t been made yet, but it is interesting to see that I fall right in line with the trend of Blackberry users jumping ship. I don’t know what Blackberry can do about that. The perception is that the Android is cutting edge. (As is the iPhone, but without the strings attached). Somehow Blackberry has lost ground there. Maybe they figure it out before I buy my next smartphone later this year. We’ll see.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

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Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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