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Homes.com caters to house hunters with updated app

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October 27, 2014

Catering to house hunters

Catering to house hunters

Homes.com has updated its real estate mobile application to feature a modern look, improved speed and enhanced searching features to better cater to house hunters looking to buy or rent the perfect property.

The real estate Web site, which is also optimized for mobile, took owner and renter profiles into account when updating the app, which aims to give as much relevant property information to the user as possible. Features include easier navigation, more sorting and filtering search options and a commute time calculator.

“The latest app focuses on consumers on-the-go, allowing home shoppers to quickly estimate drive times to places of interest (work, school, daycare, church) from prospective properties,” said David Mele, president of Homes.com, Norfolk, VA. “We have already seen 40 percent growth in daily average property leads in the new version of our app, so we are encouraged that mobile users are engaged and more likely to inquire about properties.”

Streamlined searching
Homes.com examined research from the Renter Profile Insights Report that displayed consumers’ preferences for close proximity to work and schools as top factors taken into account during the home search process. The Commute Time feature for the app was developed to automatically calculate commute times to locations the user finds important.

Homes.com believes this feature will enable consumers to receive the full advantage of the search process, and will resonate with on-the-go users. Other app highlights include infinite scrolling capability and “at a glance” listings.

Homes.com believes the Commute Time feature will entice users

Homes.com believes the Commute Time feature will entice users

“Consumers can quickly filter properties by price, beds, bath and various other features to find homes of interest,” Mr. Mele said. “If they’re not sure if they want to rent or own, they can quickly toggle between for sale, for rent properties and local home values providing consumers a complete picture of local market, all within one app.

“Once a home of interest is located, users can quickly compare drive times between places of interest (school, work, etc).”

Real estate on mobile
More real estate brands and sites have been making a push for mobile in order to connect with busy consumers and provide quick information on listings that may catch a potential client’s eye.

“While we can’t guarantee our app will drive more home sales, we believe the decision to buy a home is made a little easier with our intuitive app,” Mr. Mele said.

Homes.com’s updated app comes on the heels of Coldwell Banker’s eMarketing platform, designed to bolster the gap between real estate agents and clients and provide a more customized experience (see story). Homes.com’s app also allows for quick contact with an agent for any questions a consumer might have.

The updated app offers easier search options

The updated app offers easier search options

The site experienced a 28 percent mobile traffic increase quarter by quarter, and sees 62 percent of inquiries come from mobile devices, proving that the real estate sector does go hand-in-hand with mobile.

“Mobile is huge,” Mr. Mele said. “In the most recent Google survey of real estate cross platform searches, 47 percent of all real estate searches came from mobile devices, up 7 percent in one year with trends to overcome desktop by the end of year.

“Homes.com is seeing similar traffic trends with more consumer inquiries on mobile than on desktop. Consumers expect high-performing mobile technology in other areas of their life, and real estate is no different.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at alex@mobilemarketer.com.

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