It is quite telling that the largest company in the world, by market capitalization, is Apple. And Apple’s biggest product – its cash cow – is the iPhone. We could dive into a whole world of statistics about mobile phone usage, how much time people spend on mobile devices compared to other platforms, the billions of users, and so on. But we would only be proving what you already know to be true, intuitively or otherwise.
The fact that any business needs a strong online presence, with an effective, well-developed website needs no repeating. But additionally, if your company’s strong marketing strategy does not incorporate a strong mobile component, you are missing out on a big chunk of your market.
For real estate companies, in addition to a responsive website, a well-designed app is a good way to set yourself apart from the competition. So in this article, we take a look at real estate mobile app features that can give you that edge and set you apart from the competition.
Creating a user-centered app is all about making life easier for the customer in the end. Here are seven considerations to keep in mind.
Users need to be able to get to what they want in as few clicks – or taps in this case – as possible. So helpfully organizing content so that navigation is easier really improves the user experience and casts your mobile app in a more favorable light. Add categories and implement filters so that your app users can quickly and easily narrow down their searches and save their thumbs some scrolling mileage. They’ll thank you for it, if not with a positive rating, then hopefully by keeping you in mind when the question “what is the best real estate app?” comes up.
Having filters and categories is great, but what’s the point if you have to do it over and over again whenever you return to the app? Even grocery stores have baskets, or bookmarks, and other such features to help clients shortlist products before they commit to a decision. Real estate hunting demands a lot more consideration from the buyer than whether or not it is the low-fat milk you want, or the even-lower-fat one. You want your app to facilitate this process, on one hand for the sake of the buyer, and on the other to help you track your leads down the sales funnel and provide timely assistance where necessary.
If there’s one cliche in the real estate industry, it would have to be the one about the three most important things in the industry: “location, location, location.” If your real-estate mobile app does not provide features to enrich this aspect of the property search for your users, then you are making a fatal oversight. Maps not only help clients find the properties they are interested in, they show the neighborhood and facilities around the real estate. All of these are crucial to the decision-making process, something your app should facilitate.
For your clients – or, for that matter, anyone outside the tax bracket that builds rockets for a personal trip to outer space – buying real estate is not just a back-of-the-envelope calculation. They want to know what the deposit will be, interest rates, taxes, possible payment plans with different time periods. It can all get overwhelmingly frustrating very quickly. If your app can ease this aspect of things by providing them with an easy-to-use property cost calculator, it can go a long way to really providing value for your clients.
The economy of clicks (or taps) is crucial to the user experience. So if, after endless searching, they finally land on a good candidate and want to get more information, they should be able to connect with the seller effortlessly. Add features to enable them to call or message the relevant contacts directly from your app. This will improve the experience for the user, and also have the added benefit of keeping them within your real estate mobile app.
Data is gold. Part of the benefit of having an app in the first place is that it helps you learn a lot about your clients and gives you information that will help you to serve them better. You can learn what works, what interests users, and adapt your content to satisfy their needs. Where possible, you can use this data to help you make predictions and inform your decision-making. By learning about your users, you can improve your services to really provide what they are looking for.
Users love cool stuff. So a killer feature to have is to provide them with a virtual tour. If they can walk around the property without ever leaving their couch, well, that saves everybody a lot of hassle. It also sets your real estate app apart from the competition. Virtual tours let your users experience, not just see, the property. It provides a kind of stimulus that other methods are not able to. You want to give your users a good impression of the quality of your services. If you can provide high-tech, comprehensive experiences that answer your clients’ questions before they even ask them, this can only do you a world of good.
The case for having a strong online presence is an easy one to make. You definitely need a good website. But it is also worth noting that the world has gone mobile. If you want to meet your clientele in the digital space, that is also where you want to be. Granted, purchases as big and as serious as real estate probably won’t be made on a mobile device, but as clients look around for the real estate they want, that is probably where they will be doing it a lot of the time. So a great website plus a well-designed, feature-rich, user-friendly mobile application helps you provide a cohesive all-round experience for your clients and lets you cast a wider net. With the features we have listed in this article, you will be well on your way to leaving your clients satisfied.