Realtor.com ramps up mobile strategy with new app for renters
The online real estate site launched its first app for home buyers in 2010 and has seen significant growth in mobile from these users over the past few years. The new app for renters combines many of the same features found in that app as well as adding a few new ones.
“We really wanted to take a lot of the great things we’ve been able to provide home buyers and people looking for homes and deliver that to an audience looking to rent,” said Scott Boecker, chief product officer at Move, the parent company for Realtor.com, San Jose, CA.
“We also saw a need for very timely and accurate information similar to what we deliver to home buyers,” he said.
“Also, it was an opportunity for us to combine our single family home rentals information with the thousand of property managers we work with and combine it in one app.”
Users will be able to search nearby rental apartments, homes, condos and townhomes on their mobile phone using the app and stay up-to-date on the latest listings, with approximately 90 percent of rentals listings data updated every 15 minutes.
The app enables users to scroll through rich images of properties directly from the search feed to make it easier to navigate from a smartphone and making sure users see the information they are most interested in first.
Users can also filter by listings they have viewed directly on the map or in a list, view and filter by properties they have contacted, as well as get notifications when new rentals fitting their specifications hit realtor.com.
Additional filters enable users to find results that meet their individual needs such as parking, in-unit laundry and pet-friendly listings.
Other features of the app include the ability to share listings via email or text message, to draw a custom search enabling users to highlight an area right on the map, view rentals in a list or on an interactive map that is automatically updated and add notes directly to listings.
The new app is available for iOS and Android.
Action-oriented mobile users
Realtor.com will drive downloads for the rental app via its main Web site, with videos on YouTube, a digital campaign across the Web and by promoting it on Facebook, Twitter and the company’s own blogs.
Mobile is playing a larger role for Realtor.com, which launched its first app for home buyers in 2010.
“It has been a critical component to our growth and a huge success for us,” Mr. Boecker said. “Our user growth has grown over 200 percent across our mobile apps year over year, our page views have grown over 100 percent and our lead generation has also grown over a 100 percent year over year on our mobile applications.
“People who go and select and download an app are very serious and very active and we see that in the numbers, which show that they are five to eight times more likely to engage with a professional or generate a lead than folks looking on the Web site,” he said.
“The Web site tends to be much earlier stage information gathering while mobile tends to be more action-oriented.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York