With the steady stream of new smartphone devices and operating systems being released every few months, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing an explosion in the development, adoption, and regular use of messaging apps.
Messaging technology itself isn’t necessarily new—it’s been around for a long time. But things are different now.
Now, the devices we use to communicate through instant messaging apps and real-time texting are cheaper than ever have been, faster and easier to use, and used by more people than ever before.
Now, we rely on our smartphones, tablets, and laptops for everything—to communicate with each other, learn from each other, work with each other, form communities with each other, and buy things from each other.
As a result of this growing trend, there’s a new opportunity (and need) for real estate agents and other businesses in the real estate industry to utilize mobile messaging technology and apps to better connect and communicate with prospects and clients.
Messaging apps are changing the real estate industry forever, and in order to continue capturing more referrals, landing more clients, and selling more homes, it’s helpful to understand why.
Messaging By The Numbers
To fully understand the opportunity that messaging apps present, you have to start by looking at the data.
The following statistics from the Pew Research Center’s 2015 report on Mobile Messaging and Social Media paint perhaps the best picture of the staggering impact messaging and smartphone technology is having on how people are choosing to communicate with one another. According to the report:
- 85% of adults are internet users and 67% are smartphone users
- 49% of smartphone owners ages 18 to 29 use messaging apps; 37% of smartphone owners between the ages of 30 and 49 use messaging apps; and 24% of smartphone owners 50 years old or older use messaging apps
- 36% of smartphone owners surveyed report using messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Kik or iMessage
Another report from BI Intelligence finds that messaging apps have actually surpassed social media networks in monthly active users, as illustrated in the following graph:
In addition to these reports, a flurry of new articles are being published every week about how messaging is taking over social media and how younger consumers are choosing private chat apps like WhatsApp and Messenger over historically-popular social media networks like Twitter.
How Other Industries Are Cashing In on Messaging
The response to messaging app usage data by other industries has been quick and explosive.
Every day, new messaging apps are popping up out of nowhere, created and launched by businesses all hoping to leverage this newly preferred method of communication to better serve prospects and connect with customers on a more personal level.
Here’s a snapshot I was able to quickly compile after searching for messaging apps for a few different industries on Google:
- Hyper, Kayak Snap, Lola: messaging apps for the travel industry
- Kurbi, HealthTap, Siilo: messaging apps for the healthcare industry
- Remind, Classes, ClassDojo: messaging apps for the education industry
- Operator, Alfred, Facebook M: messaging apps for the virtual assistant industry
If you spend some time looking through these examples, it’s easy to see the added value that messaging apps are bringing to other industries—increases in productivity, more convenience, easier and better access to services, and above all, more effective communication and collaboration between parties.
So the question is, what are messaging apps doing for the real estate industry?
How Messaging Apps Are Changing The Real Estate Industry
Messaging apps are proving to be incredibly useful to real estate agents looking to connect with more prospects, increase referrals, and grow their businesses. Here are just a few ways messaging apps are changing the industry:
Messaging apps are improving communication between agents and buyers – First and foremost, messaging apps are creating a huge opportunity for agents to improve communication and collaboration between their clients and the other agents the work with. In the past, communication had to occur through a number of methods: over the phone, through email, and face-to-face. Messaging apps are centralizing communication and allowing everyone involved to collaborate more effectively through the convenience of one platform.
Messaging apps are helping buyers feel more comfortable and less overwhelmed – The process of buying a home can be a pretty daunting process for a lot of buyers, especially for those buying for the first time. The same is true when it comes to selling a home. It’s hard to know where to start, who to trust, what steps to take, and how to find the right home.
As we saw in the data above, more and more people continue to adopt other messaging apps as their preferred way to communicate with family and friends. As a real estate agent, the best thing you can do to ease stress is communicate with your clients and prospects through a channel (messaging) and technology (smartphones) they’re already comfortable with. Messaging apps like ours are making this possible.
Messaging apps are making information accessible from anywhere at any time – Messaging apps are also making it easier for you, your clients, and other agents to access information from anywhere at anytime. As we all know, responsiveness and speed are often essential in order to move deals forward. Before the process of moving a deal to close was slower—it involved a lot of phone calls, faxes, meetings, and paperwork.
Messaging apps are bringing everything together into one place and allowing everyone to pass information between each other in less time. Even better, decisions can be made from anywhere, meaning you no longer have to meet in person in order to coordinate with clients, communicate with other agents, and move the buying or selling process along.
Messaging apps are allowing agents to differentiate from competitors – When it comes to selling real estate in today’s world, competition is fiercer than ever. The introduction of internet brought a lot of great tools to the industry, but it also essential leveled the playing field and really put the power of choice in the hands of buyers. As a result, real estate agents have to work harder to differentiate from competitors online in order to attract and land new clients.
By using a messaging app for your real estate business, you’re able to provide an additional service to your clients that other agents in your area aren’t all willing to offer. You’re also able to show your prospects and clients that you’re more available than your competitors, more relevant, and more willing to communicate with people in ways that they understand and prefer.
To continue attracting new clients to your real estate business, you have to be willing to innovate and adopt new technology and processes. Messaging apps are growing in popularity across all demographics, and providing businesses in all industries with an opportunity to connect with people on a more personal and convenient level.
This is especially true for the real estate industry, where effective communication is crucial in order to close deals, boost loyalty, and drive more referrals. Whether you’re ready or not, messaging apps are already changing the real estate industry for good. It’s up to you to decide when to start using them to grow your business.