Does a Real Estate Agency Need a Mobile App?
This article might come in help if you are looking to hire real estate app developer and wondering over advantages and disadvantages of building a personalized app, whether you’re the startup founder or individual entrepreneur.
As estimated by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, US Department of Commerce, in 2014 the US real estate industry turnover amounted to 6% of the price of gross domestic product.
In recent years, the purchase of real estate in the United States is becoming one of the most profitable ways to invest money. This is due to several reasons. Firstly, the US’ real estate as compared, for example, with the European, looks more attractive in financial terms. Housing in the US occupies more space for its construction, too. In Europe, especially in small countries, the situation is opposite - each square meter counts. This is despite the fact that transatlantic quality is no worse and often even better than the European. It is also worth noting that after the mortgage crisis of 2007-2008, property prices in the US fell, which is an additional advantage. In the years of sustained economic growth, in California alone the growth in property prices reached 10-15% per year. Moreover, it is a minimum, and in fact, here and there the sharp price jumps - up to 30% per year - took place. This situation was similar to the whole of America and likely to happen again after the US economy comes out of recession.
Mobile technologies in the real estate agencies’ work
Mobile technologies today are the multifunctional and indispensable tool for millions of people, and every day they tap into more and more spheres of activity. A growing number of consumers are using their mobile phones as the main and sometimes the only unit for the majority of their personal and business communications.
All in all, the real estate industry is perhaps one of the most technically advanced when it comes to using new technologies and new forms of media in the marketing, advertising and selling the product. This gives industry professionals many utensils to help their business in the tracking and management of their existing customer base.
One of the central, most useful tools of the trade are mobile phones, or more precisely, smartphones (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone). These devices have changed the existing search and sales patterns of real estate. More importantly, they have become a necessity for real estate professionals willing to sell their services as efficiently as possible and the real estate app development is a great help to that.
Digital housing hunt
In 2015 NAR (National Association of Realtors and Google collaboratively researched the online real estate searching trends. The research discovered next tendencies:
• Over 90% of the buyers start their home search online;
• All of the buyers use the Internet at some point during their home search;
• In the past 4 years the real estate related searches amount in Google.com increased by 2,5 times;
• Around 70% of the buyers prefer to tour the proposed housings with the usage of cameras.
What kind of functionality can such application include?
• Easy and quick search of real estate on the basis of real-time data in various forms - a list or gallery, with an elaborate filtration system.
• Instant notifications about new objects, proposals and changes to existing ones, with the use of PUSH-notifications.
• Direct contact to the agent working with the object of interest to the client.
• Marking-up of objects on the map.
• All the necessary object details (this may be photos and videos, for example).
• Submission of client ads about selling/renting their housing.
• Advance calculus: filling the virtual questionnaire request will allow to instantly receive automatic estimation.
• Request for consultation: the custom request is sent and upon the subsequent callback, a consultant will provide the customer with the necessary information.
• Online booking: the appointment time reservation will eliminate the annoying phone call hassle and waiting in queues.
• Interactive map: the route layout based on the geolocation will help the customer successfully get to the agency.
The most advanced applications can make some evolved features such as the cloud computing powered amortization calculator for brokers, floor plans of buildings/premises display, implementation of electronic signatures and 3D virtual tours.
What tasks are the real estate applications invoked to solve?
Various real estate operations: rent, sale/buying, etc., is not an easy task and their solution should be entrusted to professionals. Property agencies triumphantly perform both a realty and people, interested in it, searches and the legal issues resolutions.
High loads and a variety of tasks require the agencies to optimize their work processes, such as communication with clients. In all of these matters, the best esspecially created applications for mobile platforms come to the aid. Due to the wide range of their base functionality, the automation of many functions, and thus costs reduction, becomes possible.
Mobile applications created for the purpose of management and operation of real estate, are vital for professionals working in this field. These applications are very useful for owners of real estate, real estate, and property management companies, professionals that provide technical support services, as well as other forms of services in this market. Such applications allow the creation of informative reports, for example, about the objects that require operational or emergency repair service. Moreover, these reports can be created real time, directly at the object site. The very same commercial real estate app will allow including the clear-cut object state information, including its denomination, location address, and the necessary comments. The application’s database can also store the pictures, taken with the device’s camera, clearly showing the problem or malfunction. Likewise, informative reports can be created by the said applications for a single or series of objects. A lot of benefits, isn’t it?
How much can a real estate app development cost?
Erminesoft is a real estate app development company. As we already discussed recently in our article «How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile App?», it all depends on the complexity of implemented functionality and development company's hourly rate.
To make a real estate mobile app for android or iOS (iPhone) with a standard set of functions with our help, would cost to our client an average of $30000-$50000. Real estate app developers for hire of a Senior level with a vast experience in real estate apps development are available in Erminesoft to make simple as well as high complexity native apps.
Exemplary real estate app has the following functionality implemented:
• Property ads placing;
• Property proposals search;
• Property proposals gallery;
• Detailed description of the offers;
• Social media integration (posting to feed);
• Maps/geolocation services integration;
• Direct connection to the sponsored ads issuer or the agency via phone call, SMS or e-mail;
• Server backend for data storage and synchronization.
That is a very approximate appraisal of real estate app development cost.
What amount of ROI can be expected from such an application?
It is worth noting that according to VisionMobile’s research, real estate applications for the full cycle agencies are the most profitable on the market with an average monthly income of $5456. The banking/financial institutions applications are at the second place - $5143, and telecommunications apps are third with $4760.
As discussed above, introducing a mobile application to their business, the real estate agency creates a lot of opportunities to communicate with prospective customers. A well-designed application will help their business to stand out from similar agencies. Moreover, in such a highly competitive industry like real estate, you need to use every opportunity and advantage to reach prosperity. Along with the increase of the time, users spend using their mobile devices, the value of the published applications grow inherently. Simply put, the application provides an excellent opportunity to interact with people using their favorite platform.
All the skilled real estate agents know that by satisfying the needs of their customers, they provide themselves with excellent reviews and referral links from satisfied customers.
There is a notable demand for the mobile app development for real estate agency and the development of mobile apps for real estate agents at the market. If you are considering the creation of such apps - contact us today and let us solve your challenges together, taking in account different technologies and their pros and cons.