Remember those days when searching for a home was a tedious and lengthy process? Not so long ago, say nearly a decade, it was like searching for a needle in a haystack, and yet we were not sure we had “homed” in correctly. Reference points were word of mouth or glib-tongued estate agents who claimed theirs was the best listing service in town and, of course, newspaper advertisements. Most of our friends and our social circle were privy to our home searching exercise and the search results were deemed more of providence rather than by design.
All that has changed dramatically, thanks to digital technology and real estate apps on your mobile. The mobile phone, more of an extension of ourselves, seems to have become a symbol of our personal empowerment which has all the right answers, including sieving through all possible alternatives to present to us our dream home.
It is not that modern real estate websites don’t have apps for your mobile handsets to inform you about their various offerings. They surely do, but that is restriced to one particular vendor. Smart real estate apps utilise some features of mobile handsets and internet technology to make home searching on mobiles very convenient for customers with various parallel alternataives.
Thanks to mobile internet, realtors and potential buyers can be online with each other over mobile handsets for immediate information exchanges. This mobility feature of being able to take decisions on the go is most helpful when one is weighing various possible alternatives.
Another utility that is useful for customers is the geolocation feature, usually an integral part of the smart real estate app. This facility indicates all the information available around the vicinity where one is considering purchasing a property. Infra like hospitals, schools and supermarkets. As digitisation is deepening, these apps even pop up the latest additions to the properties up for sale, complete with visuals from inside and outside the properties.
This real-time information availability and exchange through instant automated notifications is providing immense customer delight. Negotiations on price change, availablity, instantly cuts back heavily on the time consuming process adopted earlier. Developers of such smart apps
are actually using some interesting tools already available to cleverly package unique and purposeful customer end-user experiences.
Map feature, for example, uses GPS technology to present the whole picture of all real estates listings availabe in a given area while one is driving through the area or even sitting at home. Virtual Reality has emerged as a favourite of the real estate industry. It not only gives the facility of viewing the property without having to visit it in person, it also save a considerable amount of time when one is house hunting across various alternatives.
Many apps use the inbuilt cameras of smartphones to create floor plans or add furniture or kitchen objects, instantly saving not only precious time but also helping in scenario creating. Inbuilt mortgage calculators are also a great boon when one is working out the various financial alternatives or different properties.
Apps with electronic signatures assist not only with online sign-offs but also with document tracking and reminder services. Customer Relationship Management and task management services too are of great help in managing the services in the real estate sector.
Conventional methods of home searching notwithstanding, smart apps not only provide flexibility in search operations, but also give comparisons across various alternatives, making the buying process of otherwise hassled home buyers less stressful.