Mobile: Is it technology that real estate pros really need?

I recently read a fascinating article about the emergence of mobile on TechCrunch: “Web 3.0: The Mobile Era”. Very insightful, really well thought out in forecasting where the world is obviously headed: "With Mobile Web 3.0, the user experience opens the door for another level of innovation in advertising and promotion. Now technology services have the ability to leverage not just the social graph data from Facebook, but even more real-time / real world information. Your current location, weather, traffic, local merchants, other friends nearby, how often you've been to this specific store or location are available (or will be soon)."

This has me thinking about the real estate industry and whether it’s ready to embrace this trend or if mobile will have a similar impact as compared to other industries.

On one hand, mobile is clearly where the world is heading. Every big site, every app is working towards making their site mobile friendly. But many of these sites are social/consumer-oriented sites like the obvious one such as Facebook, Instragram, Pinterest, Groupon, Zynga and the other popular sites. In the real estate industry, sites like LoopNet, which allows users to search commercial listings, research properties and list availabilities, are taking advantage of the trend towards mobile, but very few others are there just yet.

But, all of this talk about mobile and its future is not really focused on business applications. The launch of CoStarGo, which gives commercial real estate professionals access to property, tenant and transaction data via a mobile device, is one example of a real estate company developing a business-focused audience. There are actually features accessible via CoStarGo that are NOT accessible via CoStar's traditional website. Perhaps CoStar sees the trend of brokers needing to have information and tools at their fingertips, maybe even more so than they do when they're at their desktop computer. While most real estate professionals still use a desktop computer to search for information online according to our research, we will start to see a spike in those using phones and tablets to access such info. Demand for real-time data, the proliferation of new apps and advancements in technology will help drive this adoption rate.

What’s keeping you from accessing data via a mobile device? Can you see yourself getting your trade news on your Android, iPhone or tablet? I think the answer is yes, but it might take a while--a long while in fact.