Homebuilding and land development is not my area of expertise. However, a thoughtfully designed mobile app that integrates data and analytics is right up my alley.

I recently spoke with Jeff Meyers, president of Meyers Research, about his company’s new data-driven mobile app, Zonda.

Zonda is a new iPad app developed for the homebuilding industry that incorporates a well-crafted, thoughtful design powered by robust data and analytics.

Meyers said a tremendous amount of time and energy went into the design and user experience.

“We spent the past year designing and perfecting Zonda’s patented user experience to empower anyone, at any level,” Meyers said. “From homebuilders and land developers to institutional investors and commercial banks — with the same tools, insight, and data that used to be available only to trained analysts.”

The premise of the app is simple: Select a location, drop a pin on the map and generate a comprehensive site report. The site reports integrate almost 200 metrics that impact the industry and can be emailed as PDFs.

Promotional video for Zonda iPad app.

Jeff and his team gave me beta access to the app, and I was instantly delighted with the graphical user interface (GUI). A clean strip of navigational elements resides at the top of the app, followed by a map and statistical information. The layout and lack of clutter would certainly translate well to a property search app.

Each navigational section contains statistical information located directly under the map. The statistical information and options for display are served up by the app in a fashion that’s similar to the JQuery Accordion user interface (UI). This sophisticated, user-friendly technique works well on touch devices.

The elegant design is complimented by a wealth of data and analytics. A developer or investor can gauge the market from a 30,000-foot view, or drill down to the hyperlocal level by researching a single ZIP code or county.

At the hyperlocal level, subscribers have access to critical data such as crime rates, job growth and school information at their fingertips. The service includes the nation’s top 50 metropolitan areas in terms of housing construction and market analysis from more than 270 counties.

Additional features include historical contexts, forecasts and accelerated field research. As Zonda puts it on the company’s website, with more than 200 metrics that influence the housing industry, “Zonda provides access to monthly and annual historical trends, future projections and timely briefs from our seasoned analysts across the country.”

The app allows users to “create and manage a digital library of your sites, including field pictures, time-stamped notes and market insights, and create “price charts based on new, resale and foreclosure transactions.”

The market reports are extensive and contain valuable insight into the economy and community growth of an area. I found the community summary in the reports particularly interesting. The reports provide a nice balance of visuals (pie charts and graphs) and written content highlighting key takeaways.

It’s important to note that Zonda was developed for homebuilders and investors. In most cases, this tool is overkill for the typical residential real estate agent.

The app is available through iTunes, but requires a subscription to Meyers Research. Prices range from $300 to $10,000 for national access, depending on the number of users. If you’re a developer or investor in the housing industry looking to generate site reports from the field and utilizing robust analytics to make sound business decisions, Zonda could a good fit.

You can learn more about the app here.

Tom Flanagan is the director of information technology at Residential Properties Ltd. in Providence, R.I. You can contact him at tflanagan@residentialproperties.com or @tflan on Twitter.

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