Mobile App vs. Mobile Website

April 15th, 2014 by Danielle Parent

 
 So which is it?  A recent study by CompuWare, a technology performance company revealed that consumers prefer the mobile app experience over a mobile website (a website specifically designed to be viewed on a mobile device).  And according to Flurry, based on a study run from January to March, Flurry reported that mobile apps now account for 86% of the average users’ time on their mobile devices.  Just 14% of mobile users’ time was spent using a Web browser.  This is up from 80% a year earlier and continues to rise.
 

When asked about the benefits of using a mobile app vs. a mobile website, 85 percent of survey respondents preferred mobile apps over mobile websites, primarily because apps are more convenient, faster and easier to navigate

These are 3 powerful benefits to both buyers and real estate agents alike.  Agents need to access information quickly and the faster and easier they can get to that information, the better the experience.  Imagine spending the day with a buyer and the buyer wishes to gather information about a property that’s not part of their tour of homes.  An agent can simply point their mobile device at the property and pull up all the relevant listing information.  Agent productivity is greatly enhanced when they have access to critical information at their fingertips.

While real estate agents can access their proprietary MLS information from their mobile device, they can also schedule a showing, pull up tax information, edit listings, upload photos and much more.  Consumers looking to purchase a home can use a mobile app to locate a property through the use of emerging technologies such as augmented reality. A technology that is not yet available on a mobile website.  

While a mobile app has plenty of benefits for today’s busy agents, there are still reasons an agent would need or want a web version including: SEO optimization, no downloads to access information, and a web version is also device agnostic meaning the information can be accessed regardless of the type of mobile device agents and consumers are using.

So as you can see, there’s not a one size fits all approach to the ideal mobile solution. And sometimes, a little of both is the best way to go!

Triangle MLSs newly updated iPad app enables agents to deliver superior new insight

Raleigh, NC – March 13, 2014 – At today’s Triangle MLS Technology Fair, Triangle MLS and Mobile Realty Apps are pleased to announce that the newly updated Triangle MLS iPad app is the industry’s first MLS app to empower agents with ability to identify and compare homes based on typical drive time to work and other important destinations.

The new search feature included in the Triangle MLS iPad app is called INRIX Drive Time™. The app provides real estate agents who are subscribers of Triangle MLS with an easy, visual means to find all homes for sale within a specific drive time between respective properties and their work address,schools or other important locations based on typical travel times at rush hour and throughout the day.

“One of our most important goals is to provide our subscribers with the tools to empower them to create fantastic home buyer experiences for their clients,” said Tessa Hultz, Triangle MLS, CEO and President, “By adding INRIX Drive Time to our iPad app, we enable our agents to take the guess work out of commuting times and therefore increase the value our agents can bring to their home buying clientele. It’s another example of using big data to provide a personalized experience of one. We are pleased to be working with both Mobile Realty Apps to build our app and INRIX to help shorten our sales cycles with real driving information.”

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 73 percent of all homebuyers consider drive time to work a key purchase criterion. Further, INRIX just released its annual rankings of 100 worst cities for traffic congestion, which shows that Raleigh is ranked 42nd 12.1 hours per year unnecessarily stuck in traffic congestion.

“We are excited to be leveraging two important trends for Triangle MLS: The rapid growth of tabletusage among real estate agents and American’s measuring distance in minutes, not miles” said Aaron Kardell, Founder and CEO, Mobile Realty Apps. “For the first time, members of any MLS can now instantly help home buyers first pick the right neighborhood based on drivability, and then pick the right house within that neighborhood. Gone are the days of having to drive each of the final home candidates on weekday rush hours to guestimate drive times to work.”

INRIX Drive Time is powered by traffic information sourced from the INRIX Traffic Intelligence Platform, which analyzes data from a variety of public and private sources ranging from government road sensors, official accident and incident reports to real-time traffic speeds crowd-sourced from a community of approximately 100 million drivers. INRIX analyzes of traffic speeds also factors in impacts common to the day of the week, season, local holidays, current and forecasted weather, accidents and road construction giving drivers insight that helps them save time, fuel and avoid frustration every day. *INRIX real-time traffic information is refreshed every minute then archived into an historical database updated every 6 weeks ensuring Triangle MLS always has the most current drive time information .

“In a world where real estate professionals are having a hard time impressing and delighting their clients with accurate and timely data, we are very pleased to be working with Triangle MLS and their on the list with drivers wasting on average app developer, Mobile Realty Apps, to become the first U.S. MLS to offer search by INRIX Drive Time to its membership” said Kevin Foreman, General Manager, GeoAnalytics, INRIX. “We are taking the guess work out of commute times and helping homebuyers find homes that fit driving needs as well as their financial needs.”

* INRIX real-time traffic information has been found accurate within 3 mph of actual traffic speeds under all driving conditions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Source: I-95 Coalition Validation of INRIX Data Summary Report.

About Triangle MLS, Inc.

Triangle MLS, Inc. (TMLS) is a regional multiple listing service with a jurisdiction covering 16 counties in the greater Triangle region of North Carolina. TMLS provides a wide variety of valuable products, programs, and services for over 7,000 REALTORS® and appraisers. TMLS equips subscribers with tools to facilitate the home buying and selling process, encourages cooperation and efficiency between REALTORS®, and provides a single repository of property information in the Triangle region. TMLS strives for accuracy and excellence by enforcing adherence to the organization’s rules, regulations, policies, and bylaws which support industry professionalism, brings order and efficiencies to the real estate market place, and enhances cooperation between participants. TMLS is a wholly owned subsidiary corporation of the Raleigh Regional Association of REALTORS®. For more information, please visit us at: www.trianglemls.com

About Mobile Realty Apps

Mobile Realty Apps creates award winning native mobile apps for North America’s top real estate brokers and MLSs. The company is the creator of HomeSpotter, a fascinating augmented reality technology that is a feature of its white-labeled smartphone and tablet apps. Founded in 2009 and based in Minneapolis, Mobile Realty Apps now services over 125,000 agents working with various brokers and MLSs including NorthstarMLS, Edina Realty, Reece and Nichols, and NorthwestMLS. Visit www.mobilerealtyapps.com for more information.

About INRIX

INRIX is one of the fastest growing big data technology companies in the world. The company leverages big data analytics to reduce the individual, economic and environmental toll of traffic congestion. Through cutting-edge data intelligence and predictive traffic technologies, INRIX helps leading automakers, fleets, governments and news organizations make it easier for drivers to navigate their world. Our vision is simple – to solve traffic, empower drivers, inform planning and enhance commerce.

Whether through an in-car or smartphone navigation application, a local newscast or our INRIX Traffic app, our up-to-the-minute traffic information and other driver services reach more than 150 million drivers to help them save time, fuel and frustration. INRIX delivers traffic and driving-related insight, as well as sophisticated analytical tools and services across six industries covering nearly 4 million miles of road in 37 countries. For more information, visit us at www.inrix.com.

Mobile Realty Apps Sees Surge in App Sessions

February 3rd, 2014 by Danielle Parent

Mobile Realty Apps saw strong growth in 2013 as witnessed by its increase in app sessions over 2012.  App sessions grew 5 times over the same period last year. While the strong growth can be attributed to an increase in partner relationships, much of the growth centers around building engaging apps that agents and home buyers return to time and again. Analysis suggests meaningfully higher rates of engagement in our solution as opposed to others on the market.

App session length is also on the rise.  In January 2013, the average app session length was 96 seconds while January 2014 shows a sharp uptick to 137 seconds an increase of 43% year over year.  This further demonstrates that our apps are intuitive, useful, and easy to use.

We are excited about the year ahead and look forward to continuing to provide mobile solutions that help agents increase their productivity while they are on the move.  We are exploring a number of feature rich initiatives that will bring additional functionality to our existing suite of products.  Stay tuned!

5 Things You Should Ask Your Mobile Provider

January 28th, 2014 by Danielle Parent

As you look ahead to 2014, mobile solutions should be top of mind when it comes to core MLS products.  Whether you already have a mobile solution or are in the market to partner with a mobile provider, there are key questions you should consider.

Here are 5 things you should ask any mobile provider:
1.  What does the product look like today? 
While roadmap features are important, it’s critical to understand what technology is in use today and who is using it.  When you see press releases touting a new feature, find out if it is in the marketplace today.  If it is available, ask for a reference that you can speak to about promised functionality.  Ideal features to ask about: edit listings, upload photos, third party integrations (tax, appointment scheduling solutions, etc.), and commute time search capabilities, if applicable.
2.  What features does the product provide and who does it service?
It’s important to understand how the product will benefit your members.  Get a complete breakdown of what features are provided with a specific understanding of how it will help your members be more productive in the field.
3.  What is the size and makeup of the vendor’s mobile team?
As you evaluate mobile providers, it’s important to understand who is responsible for what and how many dedicated resources work on the mobile solution.  Does the vendor do all of their development in house or do they outsource to a third party firm?  Does the vendor have multiple products, and if so how many are dedicated to the product line you’re using?  For the firm responsible for delivering the solution, how many employees are on staff developing the solution, performing quality assurance, and providing customer support?  There are many layers that make up a complete mobile team and understanding how a mobile team is made up is key.
4.  What is your policy on patent infringement indemnification and insurance?
A mobile company should be able to provide an indemnification clause at the very least but ideally, should be able to back up the indemnification with an insurance policy.
5.  Do you have a process for collecting feedback from existing partners?
Does the vendor have a process for soliciting feedback to influence and shape the future of the product?  This shows the level of commitment the mobile provider has towards listening to key feedback from members in the field.
Of course, there are many other questions to ask a potential mobile provider, but this brief list should help shape the conversation and lead to meaningful discussions to help you make the most informed decision about your mobile solution.
In an effort to keep the MLS community aware of our growing list of 3rd party integrations, we are pleased to announce that we have recently completed a deep integration with Centralized Showing Service (CSS) which marks the 5th showing solution software we have integrated with over the past 18 months.

This is exciting news as it demonstrates the commitment Mobile Realty Apps has to providing its customers with a best-in-class mobile solution.  But more importantly, it enables MLS members the ability to schedule a showing at the click of a button from their mobile device without having to toggle between programs and re-enter a username and password.

In addition to CSS, Mobile Realty Apps has integrated with e-showings, BookAShowing, ShowingTime/ShowingAssist and Touchbase.

Mobile Realty Apps believes the best user experience is one in which agents can access multiple products from a single application.  To that end, we are also working with other software providers including INRIX (search for properties by drive time), WalkScore, Clareity Security, Realist, Down Payment Resource and Authentisign.

Mobile Realty Apps continues to monitor the real estate software landscape to bring useful and valuable tools to its growing base of customers.

New Members to our Sales and Implementation Team

January 30th, 2013 by Devin Bezdicek

While we have continued to expand our development team over the years, we are pleased to announce new members of the Mobile Realty Apps Sales and Implementation team.

Danielle Parent – Account Manager

Danielle joins the team as an Account Manager working directly with new Broker and MLS partners during the implementation of new applications.  She will also be responsible for driving adoption for Broker and MLS partners as well as assisting with MLS sales from time to time.

Previously, Danielle spent 5 years at ListHub where she oversaw MLS installations, provided account management for over 400 MLSs and helped drive broker adoption. Before ListHub, she worked at RE/MAX and a boutique brokerage in Washington, DC. She has also worked as a Consultant, developing online marketing strategies for a handful of top producing agents.

Shannon Reeves – National Director of Broker Sales

Shannon joins Mobile Realty Apps as the National Director of Broker Sales. She works with brokers to develop a mobile app strategy.

Shannon has been involved in real estate technology for 15 years. Her career started at bamboo.com, a virtual tours company that was later merged with IPIX. After the merger, she co-founded ConnectingNeighbors, which was later acquired by Reply, Inc. In recent years, she consulted for a number of real estate technology companies.

Ashley Blank-Martin – Office Manager

Ashley joins MRA as the Office Manager. She works with MLSs to ensure RETS contracts are in order. She also handles all service contracts for MLS and Broker clients.

Before joining Mobile Realty Apps, Ashley worked as an office manager for a QA consulting firm and a tech development company.

Announcing edgeMLS from Mobile Realty Apps

September 25th, 2012 by Devin Bezdicek

The first mobile MLS solution with edit/upload photo capabilities

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 25, 2012 – Mobile Realty Apps is launching a new product focused on giving agents an edge on the market.

edgeMLS is the fastest and easiest way for real estate agents to access and update MLS information. It features new technology that fuses directly with MLS software systems like Fusion, Matrix, flexmls, and others. With this level of integration and performance, edgeMLS is the most advanced mobile application in the real estate industry.

“Agents have been asking to do more than just search on their mobile devices,” said Aaron Kardell, founder and CEO of Mobile Realty Apps. “We are thrilled to bring a whole new level of functionality for agents to use in the field.”

edgeMLS supports in-app editing capabilities that allow agents to do more out of the office. Price and status updates can be made as they occur. Agents can even upload photos directly from their smartphone or tablet.

Deep integrations let agents access their existing MLS contacts with saved properties. Agents can assign possibilities or favorites to their contacts and see the changes reflected in their desktop MLS system. Saved searches are also available.

All of these new integrations are backed by Mobile Realty Apps’ industry leading search apps on iPad, iPhone, and Android. These apps feature HomeSpotter, an augmented reality technology that shows agents home listings simply by aiming their device at homes or condo buildings. They also offer map and criteria search for more refined searches.

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About Mobile Realty Apps

Mobile Realty Apps provides a complete mobile solution to brokers and MLSs, featuring apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry, QR codes, text and voice response solutions. Mobile Realty Apps is perhaps best known for its industry-leading HomeSpotter augmented reality technology. Founded in 2009 and based in Minneapolis, Mobile Realty Apps implemented its professional access solutions for over a half-dozen of the largest MLSs in the US during the first half of 2012 including Northstar MLS and Northwest MLS, and many more are lining up to implement before the end of the year.

HomeSpotter a “Big Hit” in Southeast Minnesota

August 27th, 2012 by Devin Bezdicek

ROCHESTER, Aug. 27, 2012 – The Southeast Minnesota Association of REALTORS (SEMAR) launched the first mobile applications for its members on Wednesday of last week. In addition to the agent only access, the MLS will provide a search tool for the public to use.

“I think HomeSpotter was the big hit of the day,” commented Margaret Heise, the MLS Executive for SEMAR. “I love the novelty, but most of all I really like how easy it is to use.”

Members of SEMAR will be equipped with HomeSpotter which is Mobile Realty Apps’ augmented reality tool for real estate agents. Agents loved being able to point their smartphone camera at a nearby property to easily get listing information.

SEMAR might not be the largest MLS in the nation, but they are providing their members some of the best mobile technology available. Now each member can search for MLS listings in a native application on their iPhone, iPad, or Android device. The app is also integrated with FlexMLS, so agents can access the association’s agent roster from within the app as well as their own listings.

Some of the comments from last weeks launch included:

“I can’t wait to get back to the office and share this app with the other agents on my team.”

“This is awesome!”

“Its so cool that we can share this app with the public so they can have the most up-to-date information on our market.”

In the second phase of the rollout, Mobile Realty Apps will be launching optional individual agent marketing tools like QR codes, text and phone response, and sub-branded agent apps.

SEMAR serves just over 900 agents in Southeastern Minnesota. They are committed to developing and delivering programs, services, and related products to create an environment conducive to its members’ business success.

Download the app for Android from Google Play or for iPhone and iPad from the App Store.

2012 Inman Most Innovative Real Estate Startup - Mobile Realty AppsSAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 6, 2012 – Inman News named Mobile Realty Apps the Most Innovative Real Estate Startup for 2012 during the Real Estate Connect conference last week in San Francisco.

“This has been a breakout year for us and we are honored to have been selected,” said Aaron Kardell, founder and CEO of Mobile Realty Apps. “Innovations such as HomeSpotter and full mobile professional access to the MLS are just a couple of the things we have led the charge on. I am even more excited by the product enhancements and new customers we plan to announce and deliver over the second half of 2012.”

Inman News is a leading source for news in the real estate industry, focusing on current technology, trends, and market conditions for real estate professionals and consumers.

The awards selection process begins with nominations from readers and professionals in the industry. Nominations are then evaluated by the Inman News review team and winners are selected based on their ability to push the real estate industry forward by improving the real estate transaction process.

Two key factors that set Mobile Realty Apps apart are its augmented reality search technology, HomeSpotter, and the deep integrations it provides with MLS software and broker website vendors.

HomeSpotter has been well received by real estate professionals and consumers when searching for properties. Augmented reality really adds the “cool factor” when searching for a home. It empowers agents allowing them to quickly respond to customer inquiries on nearby properties for sale.

Mobile Realty Apps’ professional access MLS apps are integrated with various third party systems such as appointment scheduling and document management solutions the MLS uses. More importantly, the main MLS system is fully integrated so the agent can access saved searches, saved property carts, and contacts.

Brokers or MLSs that would like to explore Mobile Realty Apps’ solutions further can do so by requesting more information or scheduling a webinar at MobileRealtyApps.com.

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About Mobile Realty Apps

Mobile Realty Apps provides a complete mobile solution to brokers and MLSs, featuring apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry, QR codes, text and voice response solutions. Mobile Realty Apps is perhaps best known for its industry-leading HomeSpotter augmented reality technology. Founded in 2009 and based in Minneapolis, Mobile Realty Apps implemented its professional access solutions for over a half-dozen of the largest MLSs in the US during the first half of 2012 including Northstar MLS and Northwest MLS, and many more are lining up to implement in the second half of the year.

MINNEAPOLIS, Jul. 2, 2012 – The first six months of the year have flown by and the team here at Mobile Realty Apps is stuck wondering – “Where has the time gone?”

“This year has been incredibly exciting for whole team,” said Aaron Kardell, founder and CEO of Mobile Realty Apps. “I am very happy with the momentum that we are seeing.”

Momentum is right!

In the last six months, our team has launched professional solutions in half a dozen MLS markets, providing apps for over 50,000 agents. MLS boards from across the country including Seattle, Minneapolis, and Raleigh-Durham chose to give all of their agents quick and easy mobile access to MLS data.

When we started creating MLS apps, our goal was to help real estate agents increase their relevance in a changing industry. We worked with agents from Northstar MLS to create an app that was a true extension of the MLS. We focused on providing current data in a quick and easy to use app with integrations that allow agents to work outside of the office.

“Partnering with Mobile Realty Apps has allowed us to offer native MLS applications for the major mobile platforms,” mentioned Chris Carrillo CEO of Metro MLS in Milwaukee. “Not just delivering information in a mobile friendly way but with a very savvy technological edge that allows our members to stand out from those ‘other’ apps that are on the market.”

Over the past six months, the daily active users across our app network has increased by over 350%. We have powered millions of app sessions in dozens of apps in the Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and Blackberry App World.

“As we look to the second half of 2012, we will continue to pursue our goal of providing innovative tools that help real estate agents increase relevance in a changing industry,” stated Kardell.