The niche of real estate has always been one of the most popular and reliable sources of investment. The business sector is developing rapidly introducing new digital tools that come on form of web and mobile applications. Those tools are aimed at replacing live brokers and intermediaries letting clients save their time and money. They do not have to pay commissions having all best offers in one place.
For this reason, web developers try their best to develop new efficient real estate applications. The competition becomes tougher each day. This time, we will introduce some of the latest trends and products available in the field.
The internet rocks US real estate business like a hurricane
The role of live real estate agents and brokers is changing with the development of online tools. Although some of them still prefer operating offline, one would hardly argue that digital platforms offer more opportunities. A simple mobile app will let you have your personal broker in the pocket. Web tools appeared to be a tough challenge for all those agents who are unable to cope with the competition. The recent researches reveal over 90% of estate buyers who perform an online research instead of opting for live brokers. 68% of those homebuyers are using specialized mobile apps.
Zillow and Trulia are the ones to blow the wind of changes. Both are web portals that actually do not operate in the field of real estate selling. On the other hand, they provide a clear picture of the current market featuring plenty of offers. These digital platforms transformed a traditional housing lifestyle making it easier for consumers to search for the best variants available on the web. Here you can compare prices, read reviews and benefit from tons of useful information provided by the Internet community.
Portals have recently established collaboration turning into one of the biggest representatives of the real estate ad niche. Such partnership results in million-dollar revenue obtained from brokers whose names are indicated in the description of real estate objects available for sale. Mobile applications will appear to be beneficiary for companies as well.
What is Zillow?
Zillow has always been a major player in the field. It is not the first collaboration of the portal with other award-winning web resources. It has a good experience in establishing an efficient and beneficiary partnership. Some of the acquisitions include:
- StreetEasy – NYC-based website related to real estate industry;
- Agentfolio – an online tool for real estate agents and brokers;
- HotPads – a rapidly developing housing search engine;
- Retsly – it customizes data available on various listing services making the information easy to use and implement by web developers in their products.
What things you may need to develop a prize-winning app equal to Zillow or Trulia?
It is hard to say what commercial application is the best when it comes to real estate business. Both giants come with a bunch of tools and options in addition to a selection of applications that can exceed your expectations and meet the business needs. You can have a look at their websites to have a clear picture.
Whenever you come up with an idea of developing an alike application, you will certainly benefit from some of the key aspects that will turn your app into a beneficiary product. Some of those features will certainly come in handy.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the leading apps developed by both companies. They include Zillow Real Estate and Trulia Real Estate. Both platforms deliver all possible details, listings and descriptions of properties available for both rent and sale. Frankly speaking, they do not differ a lot from each other when it comes to functionality. On the other hand, some aspects contain the key to success. Let’s revise them not to miss your magic ingredient.
The importance of database
The database is the key to success. You will hardly think of an essential feature for the real estate app. The first question is where to get that data. You may use MLS systems as well as other digital databases provided by NAR and other sources like Zillow and Trulia do. At the same time, you can turn to third parties and other companies that operate in the real estate market. Some information can be obtained from professional brokers and agents.
Whatever you do, keeping in touch with the MLS system is vital. It comes as the dominating force in the field of real estate. Here you can find detailed listings of homes available for rent and sale. On the other hand, a newly-established partnership owes 71% of housing traffic. Who knows, maybe Zillow will eventually establish a network putting all agents away from traditional online databases. They may eventually become the sole owners of the entire information and real estate traffic. Even the proven experts advise using APIS available on portals-giants instead of opting for NAR or other multiple listings.
NOTE: Keep in mind that if you use real estate data from Zillow in a wrong way, you may find yourself in a tight corner. We have a good example of such confusing situation with the app known as Flipt. Our article will let you avoid common mistakes when developing an award-winning web or mobile application.
Great functionality is more an obligation rather than recommendation
What makes a good real estate application flawless? The answer is a “perfect filtered search function”. User-friendly and intuitive navigation is a must for your app. It must come along with the well-structured data delivering an exciting user experience. At the same time, your structure should meet some basic requirements and standards including an availability of all criteria and factors when it comes to real estate. A user should have an opportunity to filter the search function by location, price, type of property and other possible options. The more filters you provide the better. Add some additional information like parking availability, infrastructure and other facilities.
Let’s have a closer look at Trulia and Zillow’s functionality. Portals represent two separate apps. Here you can find rental offers alongside houses available for sale. All you need is to browse the menu and choose the necessary section. One would say there is no need to introduce two equal apps with the same level of functionality. However, the main mission was to acquire as many users as possible. Moreover, both players use their apps as the main sources of promotion for other products related to the niche increasing their customers’ loyalty and other crucial parameters.
Get your users engaged
How to attract as many users as possible? What is the best way to introduce the information? The answer is rather simple. With a growing popularity of charts and inforgraphics, you have a great tool letting you represent your data graphically. Some data includes patterns that are hard to identify. Graphics makes it easier for the user to depict all required information. There is never too much information when it comes to visualization!
You have certainly paid attention to the fact that both portals introduce actually different types of listings. However, they have one important thing in common. The entire information includes various visual and graphic components. You can benefit from a wide selection of tools that will make the information look alive. It may include various images of locations, property photos, pictures and more. Adding the images of surrounding neighborhood would be a wise decision as well. Try to add as many useful features as possible. For instance, Zillow lets users calculate the monthly for rent as well as market value of a particular object.
Developing a Nice Map: what to put on it
Many users pay attention to every detail when looking for a place to live in. Imagine that you have found the house of your dream. The photos are great, the price is appropriate. As soon as you drive closer to the place of your dream, you find piles of rubbish everywhere. Street gangs are walking around in search of their new victim. You will hardly appreciate staying here for a couple of extra minutes, wouldn’t you?
The best bet is to provide as much information about the surrounding environment and infrastructure as possible. Provide a closer look at local communities. Markers play a key role when it comes to a nice map. They will inform users on all shops, cafes and restaurants available in the neighborhood. Try to reveal as much data as possible. Trulia, for example, informs users about the level of crimes committed in the area. You may additionally include such indicators as the frequency of disasters, the level of road congestion, boundaries, average age and more.
Providing a functional map is only 50% of success. It should be easy and pleasant to use. Zillow offers a so-called “draw” map that looks really great. You can check with some superb features like using your finger to point out and circle necessary area. You will get a detailed information within a zone of your prior interest.
Search saving tools
Most developers mistakenly think that likes and favorites are mainly for users. That is wrong. A search saving function is more beneficiary for brokers and realtors. They have a clear vision of what real estate objects are of prior interest. A good app should also include a special notification system that will inform a user whenever a new house or object that meets necessary requirements is available.
Of course, it does not mean that you should include ONLY the above-mentioned components. We are talking of essential features that are obligatory. Otherwise, you will find it impossible to compete in the niche. In spite of all those great tools, Zillow still has to fight for its place in the market. New portals and online services appear. They include Century 21, Realtor.com and many other great online agents. On the other hand, it also means that you can enter the market with your own unique and original app grabbing your place in the niche.