What’s your favorite real estate app? You don’t have one or?… Oh wait, you don’t currently have one on your phone. Do I need one?… You ask. Well, that’s an excellent question! Do you even need real estate apps?
Let’s keep in mind what the real estate consumption process entails for the average consumer. In Northeastern PA, like many other areas throughout our great nation, there exists a process whereby the person goes through certain stages in hopes of reaching his/her goal, namely buying or selling a home. Before purchasing it, most will begin to fantasize about their future home. At times they may be daydreaming, but everyone needs to have a little fun sometimes! Next he/she really begins to dissect location, school districts and neighborhoods; think about the type/style of home he/she would prefer; interior specifications and the like. Many will begin their online search right away. Some will contact their REALTOR® (you know… the very knowledgeable one whom you love, whose picture still graces your refrigerator!) to get an inside perspective on the local market and the areas and specifications they desire. Once consumers understand the market better, they can make wiser decisions about the fair market value of homes on their radar, and this is certainly an area where a real estate agent can be invaluable.
Whether the person has begun the pursuit right away or is utilizing his/her REALTOR® at this stage, chances are there’s an abundance of searching going on. There’s over 3,000 apps available related to real estate, most of which assist with this process. The top apps include REALTOR.com, Trulia, Zillow, HomeFinder, just to name a few. One of my personal favorites, offering an element of fun, is Homesnap. You should experiment with it. Three that you should definitely have on your smart device are Google Maps (Android version), Quick Scan (an efficient way to read QR codes) and CalcsFree. PictNote is also an app that can be quite useful when house hunting.
So let’s rewind a bit. The question you asked: Do I need one? You don’t absolutely need real estate apps on your phone, but if you’re seriously hunting for your next home and desire to have all the tools at your fingertips, in addition to your trusty REALTOR®, then my suggestion would be yes, you need one (probably more than one!). Recent studies by Flurry, an apps analytics firm, and Experian Marketing Services, a smartphone research company, show all indications that mobile usage is increasing ‘slowly and steadily’ toward TV usage. Flurry measures smartphone and tablet usage only for apps. Their numbers indicate that the average app user spends 127 minutes/day using their mobile device’s apps. According to their most recent study, Experian’s user, through talking on the phone, texting, using social media and gaming, spends just under one hour per day on his/her smartphone.
The numbers are astounding if you ask me. Before the advent of the iPhone in 2007, these numbers (six years later) would have seemed a little absurd. Average mobile device users are interacting with others or entertaining themselves for one to two hours each day. When augmented reality, or as I like to say “augmented realty,” becomes more popular and useful, we’ll see neighborhoods come alive through the portal of our phones or tablet devices. You’ll have even more information at your fingertips (literally) and will be able to make sound, investment decisions after also consulting and relying on your real estate professional. Real estate apps can be important. Google, like Layar and Acrossair, is making strides in these areas in relation to our industry. It’s the next big thing!
Stay tuned and download those real estate apps!