July 7, 2011

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Tracking the Mobile Momentum

At the start of the year, we looked at what 2010 might have in store for real estate agents. One of our predictions was that a mobile presence will become a necessity for agents this year.

But isn’t this a bit of an overstatement? Are Internet-enabled mobile phones, or smart phones, really becoming that important? Well, now that the first few months of 2010 are behind us, we thought it was time to take a look at where mobile stands.

So far, it looks like enthusiasm for smart phones is only growing. Back in January, Forrester Research published survey results showing the percentage of adults in the US with smart phones grew from 11 percent in 2008 to 17 percent in 2009. While you could be forgiven for thinking Apple’s iPhone was the most popular device, Forrester’s research found that Blackberries actually out-number them two to one.

A further 15 percent of US adults were found to own quick message devices - defined by Forrester as those that carry a qwerty keyboard and/or a touchscreen, but run on a proprietary software platform rather than a smart phone operating system. So that’s nearly one in every three US adults carrying a smart phone or quick message device.

Over in the UK, comScore had a similar story to tell. According to their research, there were approximately 48 million mobile subscribers aged 13 and over in the UK by October 2009. Of these, 13.3 million accessed the Internet from a mobile browser and just under 17 million used a mobile app of some sort.

comScore also found something that should please Google Maps: of the 17 million mobile subscribers who used an app in October 2009, maps were the most popular type of app, followed by weather, social networking and search apps.

For a more global perspective, we can look to Quantcast’s 2009  Mobile Web Trends Report, which had mobile’s share of Internet consumption growing by 148 percent as measured by pageviews. This is an impressive figure, but the company also points out that mobile accounted for just 0.99 percent of worldwide Internet consumption.

While smart phones might not be replacing computers as the browsing device of choice, there are still plenty of people out there buying them. Gartner has smart phone sales up 41.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 over the same period in 2008. According to mashable.com, market research firm IDC had similar findings, reporting that the number of smart phones shipping in the fourth quarter of 2009 was up 39 percent compared to Q4 2008.

In amongst all those figures, it seems a story about a global shift toward smart phones - if not away from computers - is emerging. With no sign of the trend slowing, we’re sticking by our prediction that some sort of mobile presence will be expected of agents by the end of the year.

Wondering how to establish your business in the mobile space? Start with this article on the various mobile website options available to agents.


Related posts:

  1. New Mobile App from Smarter Agent
  2. Mobile Websites: A Closer Look
  3. New Mobile Option Links Print to Web
  4. NAR Survey Shows Low Tech Agents
  5. Three New Options in Mobile Advertising
  6. planetRE Launches New Mobile Portal
  7. Two More Mobile Apps Surface
  8. Technology Trends from the NAR Conference: Part 1 – Mobile Internet
  9. How Hard is Your Mobile Working?
  10. US Ad Spending to Move to Mobiles



  1. [...] Mobile’s momentum continues to build this month with the release of another search application and a collection of new app creation options emerging for smaller players. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Executive, a real estate firm in Western Washington, is covering all bases with its new smartphone application. The app is available on standard cell phones and smartphones across all mobile carriers including the iPhone, BlackBerry devices, Android devices, and Palm Pre and Pixi. According to the company, that’s 95 percent of cell phones across all mobile carriers. [...]

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