Browse for homes, and maybe even close a deal.
The days of picking up a real estate book at your local grocery store are fading fast, and mobile apps for house hunting are growing in number and their ability to cater to your needs. As the online real estate marketing industry becomes increasingly competitive, the resources for consumers are getting better for finding accurate housing information. Check out some of the most popular and useful tools to use when searching for your next house.Real Estate by Zillow
Real Estate by Zillow
(Courtesy of Zillow)
As the most downloaded real estate-related app for both Apple and Android phones, Zillow’s mobile app provides users with the responsive
capabilities of its website in mobile form, including an interactive map and home value estimate that are signature features offered by the brand. With more than 100 million homes in its database, Real Estate by Zillow is another way for users to access information – more than two-thirds of
Zillow’s traffic comes from mobile devices, Zillow reports.
realtor.com Real Estate
(Courtesy of Move, Inc.)
With the ability to search for homes by school and district, the realtor.com app makes it easy to find neighborhoods that meet your location needs. Tapan Bhat, chief product officer for realtor.com, says the app is user-friendly and provides accurate, updated information. “Today’s apps are folding in the latest advances in technology as soon as they’re available, so it’s important to update often and see what’s new,” he says. Among the newest features Bhat notes is a "hand-off capability" for the realtor.com Express Real Estate app for iOS 9 that allows users to switch between desktop and mobile devices with ease.Dwellr
The mobile real estate app run by the U.S. Census Bureau gives you access to information about the city or neighborhood you’re considering – from basic statistics like population, down to specific demographics that can help you get a feel for the area you move to. Though it’s meant for a wide range of purposes, including travel and simply getting to know your hometown better, for real estate purposes, it’s helpful for gauging priorities before making a major move. For instance, the app asks you to rate the importance of different factors in your life such as job type and climate.Doorsteps Swipe
(Courtesy of Move, Inc.)
Also powered by realtor.com owner Move Inc., Doorsteps Swipe is the
Tinder for real estate. Presented with
photos of homes on the market based on your search criteria, you can swipe
right if you love it and swipe left if you don’t. While it may not be the best
idea to buy your new home based on a right swipe alone, it’s the fun way to
get a feel for features you like and homes that
suit your style. You may even have fun browsing random homes on the market
throughout the country.
Real Estate by Trulia
(Courtesy of Trulia)
Another of the most downloaded real estate apps, Real Estate
by Trulia gives users the desktop site experience in a mobile platform, with a focus
on design that makes it easy to use for everyone. With its new “discovery”
feature, Trulia’s app opens to packages of photos, rather than a map, that
show features you may like. “You might get categories of photos of homes with
things like updated kitchens, or fixer uppers of different categories that you’re
not going to see with different apps,” says Jeff McConathy, vice president of
engineering for consumer products at Trulia.
Real Estate by Xome
(Courtesy of Xome)
Xome’s real estate app takes homebuying or selling a step further by not only showing you listings and connecting you with agents, but also assisting you throughout the rest of the process, says Allison Cornia, chief marketing officer for Xome. For example, you can use it to schedule tours and share thoughts on a home. “All the other pieces are integrated so that the consumer and the agent can both use the mobile app to communicate and collaborate, and complete the transaction,” she says. Not only that, but Cornia says consumers who close a deal with a Xome agent get a minimum of 1 percent back on the purchase price on their home.Homesnap
(Courtesy of Homesnap)
Homesnap gives house hunters the reins on its mobile app, with
its signature feature where you can take a photo of a home and the app will provide details about the
property from the local multiple listing service or public records. Gayle Weiswasser, vice president of marketing
and social engagement for Homesnap, reports the company recently launched a new
messaging feature, which allows you to communicate directly with your real
estate agent and others in your house-hunting process, such as a spouse or
friend. Weiswasser points out that the app allows you to refer back
to conversations as needed. “[It's] very custom-designed just for home searchers
and for agents,” she says.
Real Estate by Redfin
(Courtesy of Redfin)
Aimed at redefining the real estate industry, the Redfin app provides a way for users and Redfin agents to communicate. The app’s “hot
homes” feature also highlights homes with a lot of interest and will predict how
quickly they might receive offers, says Redfin spokeswoman Rachel Musiker. “If
[buyers are] really interested in a home, and we’re predicting that it’s going to go
under contract quickly, they might cancel their happy hour plans and instead go
see that home,” she says.
She has appeared in media interviews across the U.S. including National Public Radio, WTOP (Washington, D.C.) and KOH (Reno, Nevada) and various print publications, as well as having served on panels discussing real estate development, city planning policy and homebuilding.
Previously, she served as a researcher of commercial real estate transactions and information, and is currently a member of the National Association of Real Estate Editors. Thorsby studied Political Science at the University of Michigan, where she also served as a news reporter and editor for the student newspaper The Michigan Daily. Follow her on Twitter or write to her at email@example.com.