US Finance: Real Estate Goes Wireless

Real Estate Agents, Homebuyers Go Wireless

(NUI) – Today, people are more connected to each other than ever before – without wires. More than 100 million Americans have mobile phones, and personal data assistants are becoming increasingly popular.
Many of these devices have the ability to browse the Web. People are doing everything from paying bills to buying cars to looking for love online with their PDAs and cell phones.

And now, many are looking to the Web to help them buy their next home.

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly three out of four homebuyers use the Internet as a tool when searching for a home. Real estate Web sites allow users to search homes by location, size and price and research neighborhoods’ schools, amenities and other key features.

Trends also indicate that more real estate agents are using the Web and wireless devices to help them sell homes. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors, more than 60 percent of Realtors have a personal Web site. The survey also showed that the use of wireless Internet increased by 6 percent and wireless e-mail increased by 4 percent among realtors in 2003.

ERA Real Estate says it was among the first to reach out to cell phone and PDA Web surfers by making its site completely accessible on the Web.

ERA.com Mobile helps agents and buyers alike. With a wireless device, agents can have a “virtual office” while on the road. While on appointments with potential buyers, agents can use their wireless device to display home listings and features. Agents also can cut down on the paperwork they need to carry. If someone likes a property, vital information and a link to a virtual tour of the home can be e-mailed with ease.

Buyers can use their Web-configured cell phone or PDA to access tools on ERA.com that will help them choose a home or agent. Listing pages provide property details and can include multiple photos and a virtual tour. Agent profile pages – highlighting agents’ awards, designations and languages spoken – enable people to look for the agent that best fits their needs.

To learn more about finding your next home with the help of your wireless device, visit www.ERA.com.