After searching Manchester for a new apartment over the past 2 months, one thing became transparent - The property market in Manchester to rent or buy is absolutely booming right now!
Between the high demand for places to live and the prices rising it's starting to make sense as to why there are more property-tech companies popping up. You've got businesses like Housemates designed for students, MoveStreets which is essentially a tinder for finding your dream property and then other rapidly growing companies like Street Group who create slick software for companies to integrate into their business.
I wanted to dig deeper into this trend and find out exactly what drove it to take off in the first place and why businesses and founders are investing in retail estate apps.
Today’s society is more mobile dependant than ever before, with users constantly searching for instant gratification and convenience when shopping for clothes or groceries, looking for recipes, sending emails, reading the news, or looking for houses. The fact is, todays user expects to be able to quickly locate information and complete a desired action, all on the go. Whilst retailers were quick to adapt to these changing consumer behaviours, it’s easy to see that initially, real estate was an industry which was slower to adapt.
But as people’s expectations of estate agents grew, there suddenly emerged a huge gap in the market for a fully functional mobile app that would allow users all the benefits of in person visitations and online desktop browsing, 24/7 and on the move. Real estate customers are spending an increasing amount of time looking for properties, property information, and viewing options (e.g. video walkthroughs) on their mobiles, rather than in person or at a computer. The demand for a new way to search for and sell properties was there. And it was growing.
There are so many benefits to utilising technology and providing customers with a mobile app for their house search. This includes a vast array of features that automate and streamline so many aspects of the process. Key features include:
So what does this mean for the estate agents? Here are some key benefits.
Buying a property is most likely one of the biggest and most expensive purchases that a person will make in their lifetimes, not to mention one of the most stressful. These customers need a convenient, hassle free, and intuitive mobile app that will take out some of the biggest pain points.
To make house hunting as stress free as possible, mobile apps designed for this purpose offer many benefits to the customer, including:
With these benefits, it’s easy to see why 73% of people utilize apps to search for homes! I expect this number has been inflated even further because of COVID and restrictions on some in-person house viewings.
By offering buyers an easier alternative that ticks all the boxes above, a business is building itself a great reputation, meaning customers are likely to become long term customers rather than one off users.
Utilising data about customer housing preferences means that you can tailor marketing and conversations to what they are looking for. By showcasing high quality and relevant information to the right people, businesses are utilising a hyper-targeted approach to sales and marketing, providing a better experience to the customer and reducing time to sale. This is beneficial to both the customer and the business, as it builds a more positive relationship and an overall better experience, whilst enabling higher quality leads through better targeting, and therefore more sales, for the business.
When you can share documents and chat anytime and anywhere with each other, communication and file sharing suddenly become much faster, more efficient, and smoother. This feeds again into a better customer journey, but also allows realtors to be able to manage multiple enquiries, deals, and customers at anyone time without having to book in face-to-face meetings. This simplified and streamlined process perfectly fits in with modern-day consumer behaviour, which prioritises speed, efficiency, ease, and instant gratification.
With happier customers who are loyal to the brand, and technology taking much of the legwork out of house-hunting for both the customer and the agent, it’s no surprise that real estate mobile apps speed up the start to end process, meaning that businesses can make more deals, quicker, whilst keeping their customers happy. More deals mean more money.
Of course, by keeping much of the process and communication channels through a mobile app, it reduces the need to meet in person, visit the agent, and send things through the post which means that whilst people are continuing to isolate sporadically, house hunting can still continue because the need for in-face contact is minimised.
Real estate in general was slow to adopt mobile app technology to update and streamline their business models whilst catering for todays digital, tech savvy, and busy consumer. These consumers expect speed, efficiency, and ease as part of most transactions now, and buying or renting a property is no exception.
As mobile apps are rapidly increasing in popularity for real estate there are new businesses emerging and many other businesses who are adapting existing business models to integrate mobile app development. It’s definitely an exciting time to join these businesses as they embark on brand new software development projects and start delivering new mobile app products to market.
If you’re looking to be part of the real estate digital journey or looking to take your next step in software development more generally, please get in touch with me directly to discuss our current roles.
Alternatively, visit our website to browse our live vacancies.