Most property managers and agents are failing to capitalise on the rapid uptake of smartphone technology through mobile versions of their sites, according to CEO of social networking site for real estate Housenet.com.au.
Darren Moffatt said mobile was fast becoming the medium for online searches, but most agencies’ websites were still only configured for desktops.
He pointed to recent data by Telsyte.com.au, which revealed there were 14 million smartphones and seven million tablets in Australia.
Paid mobile searches were growing at a 17 per cent quarterly compound rate, confirming a powerful, fast-moving trend away from desktop searches.
This was quickly refiguring the online landscape, which a tiny minority of early-adopter agents were well-placed to exploit.
“Mobile search is a different beast from traditional desktop search,” Mr Moffatt said.
“Smartphone users favour sites adapted for mobile over ones that are not. It comes down to user experience.
“Mobile sites have larger text, simpler menus and intuitive navigation, so they’re just better to use on smartphones.
“These days, when vendors search for local agents on smartphones, those who are better optimised for mobile will increasingly get the first call.”
Mr Moffatt argued that in this new environment, agencies needed to establish a ‘mobile footprint’ for their office and staff as a matter of priority.
“Agencies invest serious time and money in search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media, but a lot of that will go to waste without a mobile strategy. If you’re just geared for traditional desktop searches, soon you’ll be missing half the action,” he said.
Housenet.com.au is a social networking platform where the industry and consumers can sell, buy, rent, share and talk about property for free.
The site recently launched a mobile version, which Mr Moffatt hopes will lift agent visibility in smartphone searches.
“Agents get an instant presence in mobile search, for just the time it takes to create a free profile on Housenet,” he said.
“Our agent profiles often rank on page one of Google, so with mobile optimisation now as well, it’s a no-brainer.”