Category Archives: Midwest Homes
by Victor Lund, WAV Group
Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the MLS of the Chicagoland. It encompasses Chicago and the surrounding region. It is among the largest MLSs in the nation. As you know, here at WAV Group, we love data and charts. Any ability to track trends in our industry that are supported by data lends credence to the strategic planning efforts across our industry.
Lets take a close examination of this graph.
The first thing that you notice is that mobile adoption is not a hockey stick. It was in 2011 and 2012 when adoption doubled from 7500 users to 15,000 users (62% growth for those who are counting). But it failed to grow to 30,000 users in 2013 (41% year over year growth). The numbers in the chart represent use by MRED Realtor® customers only.
MRED has just recently begun tracking the client use of mobile when accessing data sent to them by their broker. If you were to add those numbers to the chart above you would see parallel growth amongst consumers – with volumes reaching an 8-fold increase in counts per device type.
In the graph above, the purple tips are Windows 8 tablets. The green is Android. The red is the Apple iPad and the Blue is the iPhone. Within a reasonable range of variance, this graph would indicate that there is little market shift in the utilization of Android vs. Apple. This is notable because Android devices outsell Apple devices by a significant rate. You will also notice that Blackberry is officially in its grave, resting peacefully beside its fallen brother, Palm.
What is remarkable here is the emergence of the Windows 8 Tablet. If you are in the technology business, you need to go out and purchase one of these devices immediately. I have been using the Microsoft Surface. It is an extraordinary device that marries the mobility of the iPad with the utility of a laptop. Moreover, it runs full desktop versions of your installed applications. That means full versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Explorer. It also runs mobile apps, and it syncs with iCloud. All of my favorite iPad apps are available on the Surface – including Evernote, Flip, Skitch, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Bank of America, Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, ESPN, YouTube (plays all videos, even the ones that are not formatted for mobile), iTunes, Adobe, DocuSign, Find my Phone, Chrome, iCal, mail, QuickTime…..and of course the bell ringer…….solitaire! Like the iPad, it offers touch screen, but as a bonus…..there is a pen! If you long for the days of the pen that came with the Palm Treo, you will be back in the saddle.
3-Year Mobile Technology Forecast
Over 90% of REALTORS® use laptops over desktops today. They bring their work with them. Since just about every Windows laptop from every manufacturer is incorporating touch screen, you will see widespread adoption of Windows 8 Tablets by industry professionals. This may accelerate as these tablets come with Internet connectivity to the 4G or LTE networks. Right now, you need to connect to a wireless network or pair it with your iPhone or Android phone. In three years, I would expect to see fewer iPads and more Windows Tablets. They are about the same price and the Windows Tablet replaces two devices – a tablet and a laptop.
This practicality has the potential to kill the iPad.
Android and Apple will not give up. These great companies (Google and Apple) have proven that they can react quickly to market demands and reinvent the future in a short period of time. Hence, this is why I choose to only look at a three-year forecast. Mobile moves so quickly because of the two-year contract. Everyone gets a new phone every two years whether they need one or not. Even that two-year spacing is being challenged by 1 year upgrade options. Frankly, I am surprised that the laptop industry has not implemented a similar upgrade pattern with the offer of 2 or 3 year leases. Even the MacBook, which once had a 5 year life, has been reduced to 2 or 3. They get slow like PCs, encouraging upgrades.
If you are an MLS and you are not watching patterns emerge with mobile adoption, you need to. With a few notable exceptions, the MLS system operates on mobile browsers and WAV Group believes that responsive design of web applications is the long-term viable strategy. Mobile apps are great toys, but they lack the industrial utility of the full application. MRED and their technology partner dynaConnections are moving forward with a complete responsive redesign of their workhorse connectMLS™ system. Based upon the consumer usage mentioned above, they will be focusing first on the real estate client side of the system – making the consumer happy makes the real estate broker happy. Study mobile usage and adoption of both the consumer and the REALTOR®.
It may be unreasonable to test your MLS applications on every mobile device and operating system, but you should have a Windows Tablet, Android Tablet, and iPad for Quality Assurance. MRED’s award winning Help Desk maintains a complete stable of mobile products for both application testing and troubleshooting customer problems. Compatibility with all three of these operating systems is a requirement, not an option.
Check out MRED’s latest web cast – it’s on the Midwest Homes™ Agent Branded IDX Search App:
There is No Debating the Value of the new Midwest Homes™
LISLE, ILLINOIS (October 18, 2011) – Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) (www.mredllc.com), the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS), has announced the introduction of an agent-branded IDX listing search as part of its Midwest Homes™ app suite. This mobile app puts the agent’s brand in front of their customers, turning every home listed into a virtual flyer promoting that agent and generating real-time leads.
Earlier this year, MRED premiered Midwest Homes™ to give their real estate professionals an MLS home searching app. Midwest Homes™ was developed in partnership with iKenex, the mobile division of DoApp, a top five mobile developer. Featuring interactive map searching and geo-location technology, Midwest Homes™ makes it easy to find nearby for-sale listings. While doing business on the go, MRED practitioners can log in to obtain a rich set of data for all of the homes listed for sale in their MLS. Midwest Homes™ can be downloaded for free at the app stores and is fully functional on iPhones, Androids, and iPads.
With the introduction of the Agent Branded MLS Search App, MRED customers can now personalize the Midwest Homes™ app, directing their clients to their preferred app store for a free download that is personalized to their agent. With consumers gravitating to the mobile world at an ever-increasing rate, Midwest Homes™ offers agents the ability to deliver a cutting-edge mobile MLS consumer search while reinforcing their relationship with their clients. This functionality is available for only a $30 set up charge and $5.99 per month for unlimited downloads.
“MRED is known for their leadership in world-class technologies that make agents and brokers more productive and successful,” said Dave Borrillo, Chief Technology Officer of DoApp. “Because we share those goals, we look forward to continuing our partnership with them to provide mobile apps that not only increase productivity, but also help agents better serve their clients. We are really excited about some brand new capabilities specifically geared for the unique needs of MRED.”
“We are totally committed to mobile and providing our customers with the tools they need to succeed on all of the major mobile platforms existing today,” said MRED CEO Russ Bergeron. “Midwest Homes™ provides a top of the line mobile MLS search for our real estate professionals while giving them the ability to deliver branded search capabilities to their clients. This is a win for everybody, especially the consumer.”