NEW YORK — Minnesota-based Edina Realty has released a new iPad app that allows users to compare photos of different properties side by side, conduct geolocation-enabled searches, and display listing details using augmented reality.
The consumer-facing app, built by mobile app developer MobileRealtyApps.com LLC, allows users to search for properties listed by Edina Realty agents and those in the multiple listing services Edina Realty is a member of.
"We are always reviewing online tools and mobile applications to ensure that we’re not just keeping up — we’re staying ahead of the marketplace," said Bob Peltier, president and CEO of Edina Realty, in a statement.
Edina Realty, a HomeServices of America subsidiary, made waves in May when it stopped syndicating listings to Realtor.com. Peltier said the move was partly an attempt to capture a greater share of traffic to local real estate websites. To do that, he said, Edina Realty would invest in its own website and technology like mobile apps.
In 2012, visits to Edina Realty’s mobile apps and mobile website made up 23 percent of all of the company’s online visits, the company noted. An understanding that mobile traffic could surpass desktop traffic as soon as 2015 has helped inspire investment and innovation in mobile, Peltier said.
"Edina Realty came to us and asked us to do something different," said Aaron Kardell, founder and CEO of MobileRealtyApps.com.
One of the standout features, Kardell pointed out in an in-person demo, is the photo display gallery view that presents a set of thumbnail-sized listings with their images front and center.
Screen shot of Edina Realty’s new iPad app in listing image tile view.
Kardell showed how users can swipe one of the tile views that are presented in a grid in order to see the different images associated with a listing, while still maintaining a view of all other listings chosen. It’s a great way to compare listings, he said.
Another key feature of the app, Kardell said, is the integration between its native and Web versions. Saved searches and properties are shared between them, so all leads go to the same place.
The app also takes advantage of the geolocating capabilities of mobile devices. Users can point their device at a listing they’re standing in front of and activate the app’s "Home Scan" augmented reality program to retrieve detailed listing information for the property shown on the screen.
If users point the device’s camera in another direction while still in Home Scan mode, nearby homes for sale in that direction show up on the device’s screen. Users can then tap on one of the listings that pop up for more details.
Users can request showings and share listings on social media platforms from within the app, too.
Kardell said iPhone and Android versions of the Edina Realty mobile app are coming out soon.
MobileRealtyApps.com has developed mobile apps for large multiple listing services, including Northstar MLS in Minneapolis, Northwest MLS in Seattle, the MLS of Long Island, and numerous brokerages, including large Kansas City, Mo.-based HomeServices of America subsidiary Reece & Nichols.
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