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Think Boomers Hate Tech? Think Again.

February 12 2014

moving shared some interesting statistics on tablet ownershipinteresting statistics on tablet ownership recently. While most of the data was exactly what you'd expect, one area may surprise you. Thirty-one percent of adults age 50 to 64 own a tablet. Why is this important? Because this is the group that controls much of the nation's disposable income, and one of the most significant groups for real estate purchases. And this is the group that you may be worried about turning off with mobile technology.

We hear it all the time: "My senior and Baby Boomer clients don't care about mobile; in fact, many of them are frustrated by it. I try to keep things low-tech so that they're comfortable." This may be one of the reasons you're reluctant to adopt mobile tools like digital signatures or mobile apps. But you're wrong—and it could be hurting your business.

Business is Booming for Boomers

Last year, Nielsen reported several vital facts about Boomers:

  • They'll grow more than any other group between now and 2030.
  • Despite the then-troubled economy, 63 percent of Boomer households had at least one person working at the time of the report.
  • In the next few years, Boomers are expected to control 70 percent of the country's disposable income.

And, as we mentioned in the beginning of this article, they're adopting tablets like crazy. In other words, they've got money to spend on real estate, and they're living on their tablets, just like younger generations. So real estate professionals need to adapt.

Mobile Tools for Real Estate Consumers

What do you have to offer these mobile-savvy Boomers? The array of tools developed to work on tablets is growing by leaps and bounds. For real estate consumers, the most obvious of these are mobile applications for property search. They may be branded apps from an agent or broker, or apps from property search portals like Zillow or®.

Of course, there are a vast number of mobile apps built to service real estate professionals. And, there are a few mobile apps that serve both professionals and consumers. Digital signatures are a great example of a mobile tool that benefits agent and consumer.

Digital Signatures and Tablets: Marvelously Mobile

One of the primary benefits of digital signature technology is that it has allowed for increased mobility. Agents and consumers can sign real estate documents anytime, anywhere, just as long as they have an Internet connection. When you add tablet computers to this equation, the value increases exponentially.

Many digital signature vendors have created mobile applications of their software for this very reason. We spoke with Paul Koziarz, DocuSign VP of Marketing, Real Estate, to learn more about their mobile app.

"One of the primary benefits of digital signature technology is the freedom it provides to agents and consumers," Koziarz said. "By leveraging mobile technology, you can increase that freedom exponentially—giving both agents and consumers the ability to better manage their work/life balance. With DocuSign, the agent can create, tag, and modify documents for electronic signature, as well as view real-time document status so they get an up-to-the-minute picture of their transaction status no matter where they are. And the consumer can easily sign documents from the comfort of their home, their seat on the subway, or their chair by the pool."

Koziarz continued, "Boomers may not have been raised with mobile technology, but that doesn't mean they're not realizing the benefits. After all, many of them are at a time in their lives when more freedom is exactly what they've finally achieved. Mobile tools and digital signatures aren't going to get in the way of that hard-earned freedom."