Millions of people use all kinds of mobile applications. Some are created for fun, some are supposed to be useful, some really are useful. No matter how many applications there are in the world, there is always a way to build something cutting edge and breaking through. Especially it concerns specific apps that are done for particular areas or specialists. Real estate business is no exception. And even though real estate app development might not be the most popular branch of development, it definitely deserves attention as it may simplify lives of many agents there in the field.
First of all, there is much more of a target audience that can be seen from the first sight. Real estate applications can be interesting not only for agents, but also for established businesses and startups that aim at developing and growing into the online markets. To get there the application becomes an absolute must in nowadays world.
Such applications can also be interesting for usual people who are looking to buy or sell real estate. For them, it is a way to see what’s on the market and how it really looks like. It is very actual as there are more and more people moving around the world. They sell house in one place and want to buy another one in a totally different location almost at the same time. It requires some coordination between agents, that can be reached through usage of special applications. Houses, apartments or offices can be shown there along with pictures, descriptions, geolocations, promotions and new offerings.
So, if you are in any way connected with real estate, you may be interested in real estate mobile app development. It is one of the best ways to attract new customers and truly satisfy needs of already loyal clients. To bring people what they want is a key to business development, and application is often a great tool helping to do that. So, this topic might be interesting for wider audience than it may seem from the first sight.
One of the most important things for a realtor is to be accessible at all times. Of course, there are phones, but more and more people prefer writing in messengers rather than direct calling. It means better customer service and more satisfied clients. Being present everywhere people can reach out to you is a great benefit of the digital epoch. It is especially true for younger clients who prefer digital communication and fast solutions. Mobile app brings you to the fingertips of such interested clients, and this fact means more deals done for you (that is great, right?).
Real estate app developer can also add a variety of beneficial features that your clients will definitely find valuable. For example, it can be a loan calculator providing customers with ability to calculate mortgage payment costs right away without the necessity of contacting you directly. It saves time, and people are often grateful for that. For those who don’t want to waste time special deals and promotions through push-notifications can also be handy. Imagine a person traveling and getting alerts about real estate of interest. That can be done in no time with a real estate app, at the same time driving more deals likely to happen.
For any real estate agency, a mobile app can be useful in several aspects. Let us concentrate on some of them and tell about the new possibilities that can be opened for real estate businesses that decide to have their own mobile applications.
1. As a digital marketing channel
No extra cost is required for promoting business through a mobile application. And there are various ways to market your services. Among the simplest are special offers and interesting deals that can be delivered directly to your both potential and actual customers. Add social networks, and the efficiency will grow even more. There is a possibility to integrate connection with social network account for more personalized offers.
2. As a sales process catalyst
Getting all information fast and with no hustle is priceless as we live in the world of instantaneous gratification. As mentioned above, now is the time when people buy and sell houses often, so the ability to make it fast is a great advantage. Mobile apps can accelerate the process and significantly simplify it. With the help of apps, people can basically sell and buy on the go without having to change their daily routines. Of course, we are not saying that people actually buy houses through the app without seeing the property with their own eyes, but it may start happening in the nearest future.
3. As a fast search of property
Mobile apps are amazing for brokers and agents as they show clients’ properties and make search way more efficient. All the details are gathered at the same place, including area, price, descriptions, images, and all of it can be available through personalized application on iphone. It sounds great and it is great, and it allows to be really fast. Add convenient filters and you get a tool that can be truly valuable for all the parties that are involved in real estate business.
4. As a business identity driver
Unique business identity is not created overnight. However, with mobile app the process definitely goes smoother. It increases the size of potential audience pool and serves as a natural business card driving attention and appreciation. Of course, you need to hire real estate app developer who knows what should be done and how it should be done. If the developer does the job properly, you end up having a mobile product that your clients will love. Friendly UX/UI design, convenient navigation, intuitively clear browsing: all of it is important. However, the most important is the idea that a real estate company has to outline to developer for representation. That will be the main feature and “face” of the company.
6. As a customer support and a communication tool
All real estate professionals know that long-term relationships with clients are built through communication. Mobile applications allow to keep the direct contact with customers without being annoying. Agents don’t have to worry that they bother clients too much or call them too often. All the updates, listings and good deals can be sent any time without being afraid to bother anyone. It is a game changer for many agents who hate the idea of calling in an unsuitable moment. With the app such problem simply disappears.
In general, being present at the app stores for ios and android is always great for any business. It becomes more visible to clients, thus more available for usage. It is a huge advantage over the agencies that have no apps in real estate market. As mentioned before, it can help drive more new clients as they see the app, try it and use it when needed.
Features that are important for a real estate app
So, what are the main features that can lure and excite people? Mobile apps for real estate agents can be different, but they should have some basic things that are the most needed and expected. Here is a short list for general understanding.
There are not many solutions where Google maps are redundant and unnecessary. Navigation is in Top-8 functions that are used on smartphones in the US in 2017. They can be easily integrated into most apps and used for many purposes. The most important for the business is to help agents locate real estate objects faster and in a more convenient way. For clients, the situation is the same. The can get a potentially interesting deal and see what it is all about in a couple of moments. Location does matter, and there is no need to go browse addresses on the laptop, just the integrated maps.
For proprietors, purchasers and brokers it is essential to be able to set a calendar and update schedules on a regular basis. Implementing calendar may not seem like a big deal, but don’t underestimate it. All the tools should be built in so that there will be no need to leave the app and switch elsewhere. Calendar is one of the most distracting apps as people tend to forget about the dates. So, implementing the calendar into the real estate app is a good idea.
3. Currency converter
The advice about going global can often be heard, but in real estate it is especially meaningful. With so many people moving around the world, international clients should be taken into consideration seriously. In-built currency converter can help with the rates in different currencies, so that more clients all over the world find value in your app. Try to think more about small things that can be useful. Currency converter is among them.
4. Interest rate calculator
Those who buy and those who sell can find it very beneficial to have an interest rate calculator right there in their app. The acquisition of a property requires paying the interest that can be calculated with the help of this tool. Once again, what makes people stay on the app is useful and needed.
6. Forums and messengers
People enjoy discussing things. It concerns everything, and real estate is no exception. Brokers and potential buyers can find each other on such discussion forums. Once they realize that there are some common grounds, good deals may happen anytime. Communication often serves as a key to great success that benefits both clients and agents.
7. Virtual tours
The last but not least to mention, it is essential to provide your customers with the possibility of having a virtual tour of the property. It is a must for auctions as for some potential buyers there are no other ways to get acquainted with the property that they might buy. Of course, they are more likely to buy after actually seeing what is there for sale. It also concerns window-shoppers that can turn into real clients any minute. Let people “visit” property, and they might become interested enough to buy.
Of course, there can be more features added. These are just some of the most important ones that can be used as an inspiration source. Basically, each service that a real estate company or agency provides can be turned into a mobile app feature. It should be discussed with those who make a real estate mobile app for android or ios. Once you decide that you are ready to start the process of app creation, you will have to find the right developer who will be able to hear you out and implement everything you need.
The real estate app development cost and process
There are many mobile app developers on the market, but it is very important to find the right one. The first step would be to create a prototype with all the desired features and test it. If the concept works out fine, getting further will not be a problem. It is a very interesting process, and a long one.
First of all, it is very important to outline the real estate app idea. It serves different purposes at the same time. For the real estate company or agent, it helps to save money and effort as unclear ideas require more time to be explained to anyone, including the developer. It also takes many re-do’s in case there was no clear plan from the very beginning. Imagine, an MVP is done, but then the company realizes that they don’t actually need all the features represented there, but need something totally different.
The developer has to start over and do it all again. On the one hand, it means more money for the company that are being simply thrown away to the wind. On the other hand, it also somewhat annoys developers as they work for the garbage bin (even though they don’t usually say that loud in case they are well-paid).
What needs to be solved from the beginning is the question of platform. Real estate application can be built for Android or iOS. It does not really matter which one you choose as long as you stick to this choice. There are ways to convert apps, of course, but it is nothing close to the quality of the native app development. It might be hard to choose between these two big players, but at least there are only two of them on the market now. There are many articles dedicated to this topic so we will move on leaving this question for your personal consideration.
Real estate app development cost may vary, but the general frame should be about $5.000 – 20.000. This is a price for native applications for iOS or Android, and it is a good one. The application built for such cost is to have all the main features implemented. However, if your company needs custom solutions, the cost may grow accordingly. Really impressive apps may be looking at anywhere between $20,000 to $30,000. Prices also vary depending on the country where the developer (or developing agency) is based.
Of course, the development market is huge even within one given country. Some agencies that only start their work may offer significant discounts, but the results are often unpredictable. Someone is lucky to get a fine app for $1000, another one pays the same but ends up with nothing at all. It depends on luck; however, serious businesses never leave such things to the chance.
Once the app is built, some other additional expenses may imply. For example, initial marketing events should be considered an important part of the process. Without promotion, the application is under a risk of being totally unnoticed. If you do everything right, people are to start downloading. According to Statista, the average cost per installation (CPI) for Android and iOS apps worldwide as of February 2017 was $0.44 and $0.86, respectively.
But even when it is noticed, it is too soon to open the champagne. Even when users start downloading, you need to make sure they do not uninstall the app in a couple of days. Unfortunately, no one can force them to keep the app. However, great user experience can be helpful here. There are people who don’t even plan on buying a house, however, they keep those apps and browse through them occasionally just because it feels good and something interesting can come up at some point of time. That’s why it is important to find professional real estate app developers for hire. They can make the app look well, to stand out and be valuable for wider audience.
Summing things up
To summarize, real estate mobile app development for agencies and businesses is something to pay attention to as this market is growing right now. Businesses that think they can make it with only a general website, are most likely doomed to stay in the shadow of bright mobile applications. Future is likely to be overtaken by those who are fast and flexible. Now is a great time to bring real estate to the new level.
If you decide that you need a real estate mobile app after all, consider contacting our team. Lunapps has experience with such applications, so it might be easier to get to the point and be understood. It all starts with the discussion, so just try and see how it goes.