Impact of mobile usage on property sales in India

The growth of mobile phones in India is having a huge impact on property searches, new data suggests, and Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are set to revolutionise future searches even more.

Mobile devices are gaining momentum in India and competing with desktops for property searches, according to the new India Goes mobile report from a real estate portal.

“Mobile technology has changed the way we live our lives by giving us the flexibility to get things done at our convenience.

“Mobile devices have gone beyond the property search arena and now host a whole spectrum of functions like customized feeds, booking mechanisms, site visit modules and most importantly GPS enabled services. Mobile devices are gaining momentum and competing with desktops in the property search arena. People are also spending twice as much time on the mobile when compared to the desktop.”

There is evidence that mobile searches generate more sales, a spokesperson told media. “Customers who search for properties in mobile tend to spend more time in the search process and evaluate more properties compared to desktop searches. Customers searching in mobile connect with more sellers as it is much easier for them evaluate and contact sellers immediately. Mobile customers also tend to be more sticky and come back often which provides more opportunities to show case properties and help the customer find their dream home.”

Mobile searches for Indian property by international investors are also growing. “Even though currently desktop acts as the predominant means of searching properties for international customers, traffic from mobile is growing at a very good pace.  Customers from foreign countries searching for properties in mobile have increased by a significant amount (37%) in the current year. Especially mobile traffic from Gulf countries have almost doubled and traffic from Northern European have also increased by more than 50%.”

In the last few years the average time spent searching for properties on mobile has more than doubled, the report says and mobile real estate searches have vastly gained traction. In March 2014, only 10% of the buyers looked for properties via mobile devices compared to 90% on desktop. Now the searches are 50/50 between mobile and desktop devices and in the past year, property searches on mobiles has grown 10-times faster than that on desktops.

The pace of mobile growth in Tier II Indian cities has picked up by 30% since 2014 when compared to Tier I cities, led by Vadodara on 56% Mumbai on 49% and Kochi on 47%.

More female buyers are searching for property on mobile than men (53% v47%) and spending longer time on their phones in the process.

A higher number of people search for properties on mobile devices during weekends in India (53% v47%) and property searches on mobile holds steady through the day whereas desktop search peaks from 12noon-6pm.

Mobiles are set to change the way people search for properties in the near future, says the real estate portal. “A chat-based collaborative search where buyers and sellers can come together and communicate in real time is a distinct possibility. Using this medium, sellers will walk the buyers through the features of their property making a better case to sell. This could alleviate a lot of trust issues clouding property transactions now.”

Location based services available on all smart phones are likely to have major impact. “Once a potential buyer visits a property site, he could get a whole host of valuable information about the property & the surroundings. This could range from crime rates, pollution levels in the area to schools, hospitals and other essentials around the property.

“The Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality experiences will drive mobile property search in the future and would lead to integration of print and digital marketing media,” the report concludes.

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