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Coldwell Banker centers app revamp around location, video

By
January 8, 2013

Coldwell Banker has revamped its mobile application with more of a focus on utility-driven features to streamline the house-hunting experience.

The Coldwell Banker Real Estate app is available for free download from Apple’s App Store and Google Play. Additionally, Coldwell Banker also has an iPad app and a mobile Web site.

“We were the first national real estate brand to have an app – for us, mobile is a big piece of what we do,” said Michael Fischer, chief marketing officer for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, Parsippany, NJ.

“More people are using mobile on the weekends, so it’s a natural extension to connect with our users through a mobile Web and app strategy,” he said.

Mobile house hunting
Coldwell Banker is rolling out the new app after seeing a 126 percent year-over-year increase in mobile traffic.

The company also sees 25 percent of all traffic coming in via mobile.

One of the big areas of focus in the app is video, which ties into Coldwell Banker’s YouTube On Location channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/coldwellbanker.

Via the app, consumers can watch short video clips that show information on listings and communities.

Search is also key to the app. For example, a feature called Map Sketch lets users find home listings by tracing their finger across a map to help narrow down their search.

Furthermore, the app is integrated with Yelp to show house hunters stores what the neighborhood is like.

Additionally, consumers can contact a nearby agent and share content via social media.

Consumers can also save their favorite places and get driving directions from the app.

Coldwell Banker claims that users can view up to 1.5 million property listings in the app.

Past initiatives
Coldwell Banker is no newbie to mobile.

For example, in 2009 the company rolled out an interactive billboard in New York’s Times Square with an SMS component that let users text in a keyword to find nearby listings (see story).

Mobile makes a natural marketing platform for real estate companies because it takes part of the hassle out of house hunting by letting consumers get a peek at what a house looks like.

“We want to make sure all information is available regardless of the device or platform that our consumers are on,” Mr. Fischer said.

“We have to be where our customers are and for us, that means that mobile is always going to be a key element in everything we do,” he said.

“The access people have to their mobile devices is just growing exponentially and will be a part of our strategy going forward.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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