After speaking on the mobile workshop panel at Real Estate Connect San Francisco, all the panelists, including myself, agreed that creating an engaging or FOMO (fear of missing out) user experience is the most important factor to increasing downloads and engagement for your mobile app. The underlying theme here is leveraging mobile technology to bring your brand to all of your users’ smartphones.
The benefits are clear. You are able to better target your clients with information and stay top of mind with your brand on their phone at all times. After hearing at #ICSF that homeowners could not remember their previous Realtor’s name as a top reason for not hiring their agent again, staying top of mind in people’s mind could not be more important than it is today.
With the plethora of mobile options available to agents today, deciding what to choose can be overwhelming. From my experience building apps though, one fact remains constant: Apps that offer a simple-to-use interface and provide utility makes for a winning strategy. For example, Uber, Trulia and Dropbox all provide a simple-to-use interface and keep users engaged. They do this by providing easy access to the information consumers want.
As an agent you must decide how to best deliver an experience to your clients worth downloading. Here are three tips to make a decision for your mobile strategy:
1. Only buy a solution you would use yourself
The fact is that most real estate agents’ websites are an eyesore and left in the ’90s. I guarantee most agents would not even use their own sites, and I want to prevent this from happening on mobile. Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer and decide if your website creates an engaging user experience. With Gen Y entering the housing market, this is the first generation that grew up with technology, and their expectations for a technology experience are extremely high.
2. Go native
When trying to deliver the best experience on a smartphone, a native application is hard to beat. Even with big advancements made it HTML5 and cross-platform technology, native continues to deliver a superior user experience. As apps become more integrated with our smartphones, I am predicting native will be a few steps ahead of Web technologies for the near future.
3. Deliver utility
A successful mobile app delivers utility to its users and keeps them coming back. With the potential of Zillow and Trulia merging, I am betting most consumers will go there first to search. What does that mean for real estate agents? I think it is important to figure out ways of providing value that enhance the homeownership experience. With so many tools out there for consumers to find and almost buy their home online, real estate agents possess the knowledge on the local community. Leverage this information to deliver a memorable homeownership experience.
The ultimate goal when delivering a mobile experience is to make people feel that they are missing out if they do not download your app. Provide a compelling reason to people and users will follow.
Will Caldwell, a San Diego resident, is the CEO and co-founder at Dizzle, a mobile real estate tech company that helps Realtors generate more word-of-mouth leads.