Real Estate App Development: Must-Have Features and Monetization7 min read
The interest in real estate app development is picking up. That is not a surprise, because developers who manage to be the first in successful investments in tools that provide a presence in the new market are naturally one step ahead of their competitors.
This direction is one of the most promising, as the demand for real estate is almost constantly increasing. People today are more mobile than ever, and companies that fail to ensure a digital presence of their businesses will eventually lose potential customers.
Any business can benefit from technology. Even if you are not completely sure about this, the numbers speak for themselves: 58% of millennials and 46% of Generation X found their homes using mobile devices (NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2017).
In this article, we will provide you with some tips to help you to develop a real estate app like Zillow, Trulia, or a similar real estate-oriented product.
Mobile App Benefits for a Real Estate Agency
Both a small agency specializing in one city and a large business focused on the whole country will benefit from a mobile app.
Here are a few important advantages you will get:
- Increase market coverage. This is another digital marketing channel, which allows you to attract attention from an additional audience.
- Sales growth. The more new potential customers you attract, the higher your business profit will be (depending on the monetization model).
- Improve the brand’s reputation. Even if you dismiss the monetization issue, an app still provides advantages in terms of increasing brand awareness and audience loyalty.
- Data is always within the reach. People almost always have their smartphones with them and can use the app at any time.
- Customer support and feedback. Long-term customer relationships are important for any business and, by providing a mobile application, you can stay in touch with people without irritating them.
In addition to the advantages mentioned above, we are sure you understand you also get an important competitive advantage over the companies that do not have any applications.
8 Must-Have Real Estate Mobile App Features
1. Onboarding and registration
There are different types of mobile app onboarding, and we believe it is an important element for any commercial app. In this case, you should use it to provide users with the ability to quickly familiarize themselves with the app’s basic features.
[by Christopher Magruder]
The registration procedure should be made as simple as possible with the possibility of authorization using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
2. User profile
This helps audience retention and allows collecting useful information about users. In addition, you can implement useful features such as adding an object to your list of favorites or getting in touch with the object owner (agent).
3. Advanced search function
An efficient search routine allowing the user to quickly obtain relevant results is very important for this type of applications. The advanced filter can include criteria such as:
- floor space
- number of rooms
- price range
- type of real estate (apartment, house, townhouse)
- primary or secondary market
- neighboring objects (e.g., school, supermarket, etc.).
An advanced search function for a real estate app is probably one of the most important requirements, not just a tip.
This is among the most important functions. The users should be able to quickly see the object location on the map along with all important infrastructure objects nearby if they choose to enable this function.
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Never force a person to switch to a browser or to turn on their laptop. The map should be accessible directly from your app.
5. Object card
This information is the most valuable for the end user. It is crucial that all photos are of high quality. This feature is of great importance for both selling apartments and for your brand reputation.
Here is the most necessary information we recommend including on the object page:
- floors and number of rooms
- floor space (general and habitable)
- nearby infrastructure.
The app can also display an optional list of similar apartments available in this or another location.
6. Push notifications
These are an important marketing tool encouraging users to come back and use your app more often. In a real estate app, they can be used when:
- the real estate price changes
- new objects matching specified criteria became available
- a response to a request was received through feedback.
For more information on this topic, read our article on using push notifications in a mobile app.
7. Saving search queries results
Saving keywords that are most often entered by users while searching in the app solves two important tasks: displaying user tips during the search process and providing app developers with useful statistic data.
You can also allow users to save their search results and configure notifications on new available objects meeting the specified criteria to be sent to their email.
The potential customers should be able to not only familiarize themselves with available offers but also contact the seller or the company representative to clarify the details. This option will be useful for any product in this niche.
We have listed the main functions relevant for most real estate apps. If desired, the scope of the app’s capabilities could be greatly expanded. For example, you can provide your customers with the opportunity to make virtual tours, increasing the involvement and conversion.
The Database as a Key Element
Just imagine how much data of various forms you will have to store: object photos, properties, maps, routes, and much more. This data not only occupies a large volume of your server storage facilities but also requires a high level of stability to ensure uninterrupted user access.
When developing a real estate app, you should design the database architecture, taking the future scaling potential into account. The rapid growth of objects and users in your database should not negatively impact the app’s operational stability.
In this case, the design is not important as data storage and data access arrangements. This is the very “invisible” foundation on which your app’s success largely depends.
Real Estate App Monetization Methods
The model of profit-making depends on the specific business, but we can pinpoint several basic monetization methods used most often:
- Promo ads. Agencies, realtors and property owners can be given the ability to advertise individual objects, highlighting them among others in the catalog.
- Ordinary advertising. You can connect to the Google Ads app to display usual adverts and banners in your application, earning on clicks and views.
- Premium account (freemium). That is a model aimed at user monetization. The point is to offer users the option to gain access to advanced features, disable adverts, and so on. Users can purchase their premium account using the same app.
- Content fee. The point is to offer access to the most valuable content on a monthly subscription basis. For example, it could be a closed app section with exclusive offers or the option of getting notifications of such offers on a priority basis.
Let’s Sum Up
To stay profitable and develop, any business should use new technologies. Although websites have already become the norm and even a necessity, real estate apps are still a novelty and provide the business owners with the possibility to bring their business to a whole new level. To stay competitive, you have to be in step with the times.
If you have not gained enough experience, time, or budget, there is no need to do everything at once. You can start small, applying the concept of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and gradually improving the product based on user feedback.
If you have in mind the idea of developing a real estate app, experienced developers from the Lvivity team are always at your service. Contact us, and we will assist you in developing a truly high-quality product meeting your business needs to the fullest degree.
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