Today’s consumers are mobile-dependent. They expect to be able to do everything on their mobile devices, from ordering food to getting a ride to shopping for clothes.
The expectation of mobility is no different for the home renovation and real estate industries, although traditionally, these sectors have been slow to adopt new technology.
There was a time when it was enough to have a mobile-friendly website, but that time has passed. Now, you must have a mobile app or risk losing out to your competitors.
As this ComScore chart shows, mobile users overtook desktop back in 2014:
According to PwC’s yearly trend report for real estate, “We are getting to the point where, if people don’t recognize technologies are existing and, moreover, how to integrate them, opportunities are being missed.”
When it comes to buying, selling, or renovating a home, prospective homeowners are increasingly demanding the capability to have all pertinent data available, no matter where they are.
And there are a couple big reasons for that, which we’ll cover here.
Zillow set the bar for mobile apps
What if you could offer your clients the ability to look at a home and then use their phones to immediately pull up information such as:
- The number of permits for home renovations in that area
- How much the property value went up on homes that were recently renovated
- Which companies did the renovations
- How to calculate the ROI on the home you’re looking to buy, if you were to do a renovation
If you can provide all this info without the customer having to leave your app, that keeps them from going elsewhere and, heaven forbid, buying a house from a competitor.
Zillow disrupted the real estate industry by creating a platform that houses digital data for real estate discovery, property values, mortgages, and more, making it the go-to place for real estate buyers, agents and industry analysts.
Zillow has changed the game, dominating the real estate mobile app space with 161 million monthly users (as of February 2017), 1 million+ active listings, and a No. 1 rated placement on iTunes among real estate apps. It also set the bar for consumers, who now expect to complete what have traditionally been paper transactions from their phone.
With its recent purchase of rival Trulia, Zillow seems poised to continue its momentum beyond 2017.
But mobile apps can do more for real estate agents than simply provide a better connection with potential buyers. Hiring a contractor for small jobs is now 100% enabled on mobile devices as well, with companies such as Thumbtack leading the way. For large-scale projects, a personal touch and word of mouth referrals still remain key. But more and more home remodels are being managed via mobile device.
New tech has upped the mobile game
Technologies such as 3D visualizations in the planning stage of renovations and virtual tours to help potential buyers make decisions have reduced the need for physical showrooms. Even augmented reality, which involves overlaying a digital image of a renovation on the physical world, has made its mark in the industry.
Looking to take advantage of this new tech yourself? Here are few steps realtors can take toward upgrading mobility:
- Bring a tablet or iPad when showing prospective homebuyers properties so they can access specs about the property and renovation tools in real time. This shows the buyer that the realtor understands industry trends.
- Urge homebuyers to bring a fully charged mobile device when visiting open houses or returning to properties they are considering purchasing and renovating. Often, they’ll notice things on site that they wouldn’t learn from a listing. The ability to factor these elements into the cost of a potential on the spot is critical, and it can save both of you time in putting in an offer. The Kukun app provides all this information in one place on their mobile device.
- Create your own mobile apps, as it improves the user experience. Don’t just duplicate your website in the app but offer exclusive tools and content. Mobile apps allow for better user personalization, increased features, better conversion, and can work faster than mobile websites.
This is the future … don’t get left behind
Whether it is knowing the cost of a renovation, applying for a home loan, vetting construction professionals or even managing a typical remodel, all of these features will be fully conducted on a mobile devices in the near future.
The U.S. home improvement and repair expenditure is estimated at 326.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and rising. That is a huge industry and those who do not make the transition to embrace technology will be left behind.
Have you gone mobile in recent years? How difficult was it for you, and what kind of response have you gotten from your clients? Is there some real estate management software that helped you out? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re looking to get started on creating your own mobile app, browse our directory of application development software for the right tool for you.