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Real Estate Listings Going into Cell Phones

September 20 2009

ARIZONA DAILY STAR—Searching online home listings on your desktop is becoming oh so 1990s.

The push is on in real estate to capture the mobile market—and the elusive 35-and-younger demographic that comes with it. Numerous brokerages and listing companies have launched mobile websites and smartphone applications to showcase homes on cell phones. There are also text feeds that send prospective buyers information on listings.

But the founder and president of Tucson-based Nova Home Loans, Ray Desmond, is dialing up something bigger. He has launched a new platform that lets users search listings, prequalify for loans, call up title reports and even submit offers—all by cell phone. Deals could be made—or at least tentatively agreed to—in minutes.

The platform, known as Sikku, was launched in Phoenix about a week ago, and it's starting up in Tucson and Las Vegas this week. It soon will be launched in San Diego, Los Angeles and Portland, OR. If it takes off, it could change the shape and pace of real estate as buyers, fueled by instant information, blast out offers. Sikku can be found online like any other website. But the real target is the cell-phone-savvy consumer who no longer uses the phone to talk, but instead uses it for text messages, emails and Internet surfing.


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