Why Mobile Applications? This is a question we hear time and time again from our clients. For starters, let’s review the expansive reach of the growing mobile market. In the US, there are over 120 million smartphone users and more than 50% of web searches occur using mobile devices. When you dig even deeper, research shows that the largest percentage of tablet users are medium to high income individuals, the ideal target for the real estate industry. Finally, people spend more time on their mobile apps, than all other web consumption combined.
Moral of the story: get mobile.
Having a mobile app allows you to form an interactive relationship, particularly helpful when shopping for a new property. Here are 4 Good Reasons Why Dedicated Mobile Apps Make Sense for Your Next Development Project.
1) Control your content.
By creating an interactive mobile app, the interface can allow you to control the virtual user experience. Whether this is walking them through potential units or touring them around the entire condominium complex, mobile applications allow clients to immerse themselves in the project from the comfort of their couch. Think about apps as a dynamic selling tool that clients can reference at home as a substitute or in addition to traditional print material. As a completely unique shopping experience, your clients can virtually immerse themselves in the project identifying with the brand and creating a thorough understanding of the property. This in turn will generate trust with the buyer and foster confidence in their purchasing decision.
2) Wow Factor.
Mobile applications done correctly tend to have a certain “wow factor” about them beyond a traditional website. Innovative mobile applications are being developed with increasingly more sophisticated technology, increasing the quality of the rendered images and enhancing the user experience. This is particularly important in the real estate industry where highlighting the property and its design features are key to generating sales. Moreover, the best applications are highly interactive allowing the user to immerse themselves in the property in order to learn and explore in depth.
For instance, using GPS in your app is an excellent way to lead clients directly to your sales centre site. Technology like GPS and SMS typically work better with your mobile device through applications and are an additional benefit to making your application more useful.
3) Connect with foreign buyers in their local language, measurements and currency.
Many of the projects we work with target foreign investment for a significant portion of sales. When marketing internationally, mobile apps allow your project to be displayed exactly how you intended without worrying about host server, bandwidth and other disruptive internet issues. Rather, after the application is loaded on to your prospects mobile device, they can use it without even being connected to the internet. Three main real estate related content issues that can vary between countries:
3) Sqft vs. Sqm
In addition, foreign buyers will appreciate the design and communication elements created specifically for individual geographic markets. For instance, if you were focusing on Chinese buyers, the featured units should highlight design feng shui features, have mortgage calculators in renminbi and mandarin as an alternative language.
4) Sales Convenience
Finally, mobile apps offer a lot of convenience for both in house and external sales staff. First and foremost, many apps don’t require access to the internet to utilize the application. This means if the user is mobile and without WIFI they can browse your app to their hearts content without bandwidth or roaming issues. It's accessible technology. Again, this can be particularly valuable to foreign investors, who may be using your website overseas and have only limited connectivity. However local prospects and sales staff will also find this useful as they can literally browse properties anytime, anywhere.
Bonus Tip: Mobile applications are always evolving in their sophistication. For example, functionality is continuously improving through innovative technology like augmented reality. Augmented reality can take your marketing campaign to the next level of interactivity with a major wow factor. The augmented reality ideas that are popping up in the real estate marketing space are particularly exciting. Imagine a virtual 3D Ipad tour of a new home or new 3D skyline views growing out of your print advertisement. Augmented reality truly offers an innovative way of differentiating yourself from other real estate developments.
In essence, mobile applications are an exciting marketing tool to promote the design and character of any development. They are fast, convenient and dynamic technology, ideal for the design nature of the real estate industry and attracting international buyer’s attention.