The internet has changed everything, and now mobile internet is doing it again. Apps are a new channel to reach users who access the internet from their mobile devices, improving the agency’s image and attracting new properties.
Real estate apps are a primary tool to support salespeople since they can search and show properties to potential clients when they are out of the office.
The real estate app also allows creating a notification system to receive them when new properties are published, depending on the desired area or prices.
Table of Contents
How should a real estate app be?
A real estate app must offer, at least, functionality similar to that of the agency’s website:
Property search engine: It should be similar to the one on the web (filter by city, type of property, price, bedrooms, etc.). It should also connect (directly or indirectly) with the real estate software or the agency’s website to manage its content separately.
Basic or summary information of the agency: It is not necessary to make an exact duplicate of all the web pages in the app (history, services, etc.). It is very likely that whoever downloads it already knows the agency and uses the app mainly to be aware of the news of your portfolio of properties.
Contact information: By clicking on each tab like address, email, telephone, website, social networks, etc., its natural actions must occur.
Map of office location: This option and phone calls are especially new in the app compared to the web designed for computers. You can also add a section with news from the sector, blog, local information, content in various languages, etc.
For which platforms to develop it?
Although there are several platforms for developing the apps, Android and iOS (iPhone) cover the entire market practically. On the other hand, platforms such as Symbian or Blackberry, once very popular, already have very low market shares. Moreover, the emerging Windows Phone or FirefoxOS have not yet reached a significant number of users that justify developing an app for them.
In addition to the own cost of developing the apps, there are other additional costs of publication and maintenance:
Publication cost: You have to open a developer account to publish an app in stores.
Maintenance cost: In the case of a real estate app with a property search engine or with a news section, the information does not download when you install the app, but instead is sent as the user demands it (when searching in a specific area, type, price range, etc.) or as it is produced (in the case of new news). It implies that the app must constantly be communicating with a data server that, on the one hand, sends information to the app, and on the other, feeds on new information, for example, from real estate software for new properties. This data server will have associated registration and maintenance costs that must also cover. The cost will depend on the company that manages them.
There is a considerable (and growing) number of users who access the internet from their mobile devices. Traditional web technologies are not the most suitable method to reach them; they need to respond to their devices.
And apps are a perfect answer; they are a new medium, a new channel, to reach those users.
So perhaps the time has come to incorporate this new channel into the ones we already use to promote our properties, combining it with them or even replacing the one that no longer provides us with many benefits.
By the way, have you visited your real estate website from a smartphone? After reading this article, it could be a good time.