What might you be doing wrong with your real estate mobile app?
The world is increasingly going mobile. More and more people are on the go with devices in the palm of their hands that get more powerful every year. In this climate, including a mobile app with your business offering is simply a crucially important ingredient of success.
However, as with any strategy, your results will only be as good as your implementation. The mere fact that your real estate business has a mobile app is not necessarily a guaranteed route to an upturn in fortunes. In fact, mobile app development mistakes can be extremely costly, and even damaging to your business if your apps frustrate most of your clients and they end up going over to your competitors.
So here, we’ve listed a few pitfalls to avoid as you go about developing a mobile application for real estate.
The benefits of having a mobile app in real estate are as extensive as in any other industry. To start with, it gives your users the opportunity to connect to your services at any time or in any location convenient to them. They don’t necessarily have to reach you during business hours, or search for and possibly log into your website to use your services. If you have a well-designed, feature-rich app, just a few taps are enough to get users to interact with your services.
This level of convenience brings with it increased customer engagement. Mobile devices have the advantage of being equipped with hardware that gives apps more functionality than simple websites for example. So you can add more services that take advantage of the cameras, GPS, and implement things like augmented, and virtual reality.
With that comes higher conversion rates. People spend more time interacting with your product and become more likely to commit later on the customer journey. Mobile apps are simply better-placed to hold the attention of your users and get them to perform calls-to-action, than websites and other platforms.
Apart from that, a mobile app in real estate will improve your ability to track – within ethical limits and regulatory requirements of course – the behavior and preferences of your consumers in greater detail and with more context. You can track analytics, the behaviors of your consumers and tie this information to demographic data that helps you draw up better client profiles. With enough data, you can even predict important metrics. This gives your company the edge as you can be more proactive, understand your clients’ needs better, and have the data to refine and improve your value proposition.
Another benefit is that a well-designed, user-friendly app helps to enhance the image of your business. It underscores your commitment to making life easier for your clientele. They will appreciate the additional convenience you offer and, against competitors without mobile applications altogether, or with badly designed apps, this provides you with an important competitive advantage.
So how do you go about avoiding the common app development mistakes?
For starters, let’s run through some of the things that make the real estate industry a little different from many others.
For one thing, the real estate market deals in high-value assets. The purchasing habits of clients, the typical sales cycle, customer journey and consequently the marketing approach, are all therefore quite different. Before a client commits to a purchase decision, they want to have every doubt dispelled – even the most trivial. It is therefore important to proactively identify each customer’s preferences and address them with information that is timely, detailed, accurate, and presented in a convincing way.
To achieve this, app development in the real estate industry employs cutting edge technology, not only to detail all the aspects of a project that a client may want to know about but also to deliver that emotional impact that is so crucial to persuading clients of the value of what they are looking at.
So while a supermarket can basically have a product page, shopping cart, and checkout page, things are a little more complex in the real estate market. Developers use tech like VR and AR so clients can tour virtual spaces as if they were there, at the actual locations, in real life. They can see them at different times of the day, and in different weather and lighting conditions, from different angles and perspectives. Painstaking design is implemented so that the client can really experience – not just see – what they are being offered. Talented CG artists bring a level of detail so precise, that even the play of light on different materials and surfaces at different times of the day are true-to-life and accurate.
All that said, simply cramming all these capabilities into your real estate mobile app will not be the silver bullet for any and all problems. This needs to be done within a cohesive overall strategy in order to work.
An awesome feature is only an awesome feature if it is awesome for the client. The first mistake that people often make is to develop their app with preconceived assumptions about their target audience. The app you design should be intended to, first and foremost, address the pain points of your users. And who better to find out from than the users themselves? Survey your customers, research existing apps on the market and identify their weaknesses, and take this into account before developing your app. Sometimes clients’ needs are much simpler and less complicated than developers’ expectations. Ensure you take their feedback on board and use it to inform your development process.
Users love simplicity. They want the shortest, most painless route possible to the solution that fixes their problem. An overly complex interface, while it may offer exceptionally cool features, simply stands in the way of the client. Your app should be intuitive, you should develop it bearing in mind that it should cater for different types of people, including those that are not highly tech-savvy. By simplifying your interfaces, you improve the user experience and even impress your clients with the elegance of your solutions.
In the same way, a cluttered UI gets in the way of what users want to achieve with your app, unnecessary features also worsen the user experience. It is tempting to shoehorn the latest, greatest tech innovation into your application just because you can. But if it does not serve any practical purpose, its presence simply confuses users and adds to the mental burden of navigating your application. It may also slow your app down, make updates heavier, and unnecessarily complicate the development process. Ensure your app does the basics well. This is all users ask for. So make sure you add only the real estate mobile app features that you are certain your users will thank you for.
In the quest to tick the we-have-a-mobile-app checkbox, you may be tempted to simply adapt your existing website into a mobile app variant. Especially if you already spent considerable resources researching, preparing, and developing your website. However, the function of your site is quite different from that of your application. A website may, for example, be more informational. It might be designed simply to give users an image of your business and what you offer. An app should provide functionality that exploits the capabilities and hardware of today’s mobile devices. It should be fully dedicated to using these unique features to provide functionality that addresses your clients’ needs. So the app development exercise is a completely different process from that of your website.
As we said in the beginning, a mobile application should exist within a wider cohesive strategy. It should not be just another entry on your marketing to-do list. You research your clients, understand their needs and then address them with the best means available. This might mean providing information for prospects using your websites, including calls to action that get them to download an app, and using the app to hold their attention while you provide additional information and learn more about their preferences. Obviously, the actual process is much more complex, will require research, and ultimately the final strategy will differ from business to business, but the underlying premise remains the same. Your mobile app should function as a piece of a larger puzzle that delivers on your aims.
At the end of the day, a mobile app will bring a lot of benefits to your real estate business. However, it is important that you avoid mobile app development mistakes that will end up making the app development process an expensive venture that may even harm, or not help your business. In this regard, experience is crucial, as is the technical expertise required to deliver different kinds of real estate web and mobile app development services that have been proven to work time and time again.