• It's not easy to get repeat business in real estate. Apps are a great start, but nothing beats dogged sales pursuits and demonstration of value.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

I’ve been somewhat skeptic of an app’s ability to keep agents in touch with customers after closing.

It’s nothing against the features or capabilities of the software products in question. The developers are diligently trying to use technology to solve one of the industry’s biggest problems.

But are apps the best way to solve it?

I believe it’s a user issue above all else — a combination of mobile device user trends and real estate industry competition. We cycle through apps and agents as often as we change Facebook profile pictures.

However, I applaud HomeKeepr’s version of the solution above many others. And with its newest update that allows agent users to track customers’ interactions with its data, I’m adjusting my skepticism.

A quid-pro-quo referral system

For the non-cognoscente, HomeKeepr is a home maintenance app that sends alerts and insight to homeowners. Agents “gift” the app to clients via a link for download.

The app lists community businesses and vendors that can help with the slew of ongoing upkeep chores that every homeowner faces.

Now, agents who provide the app can monitor how their clients use it via the Client Activity Tracker.

When a client “clicks to call” a plumber or opens an electrician’s profile, the action gets recorded in the agent’s account dashboard.

The app also records when a user refers a vendor.

The dashboard is simple, offering names, dates, vendor categories and action descriptions.

Tracking activity gives agents a reason to be proactive. They can use the data to request a review of the professional from their client.

Instances where there is no activity on the app can be used to follow-up on their level satisfaction with the home, for example. In these cases, no data is still data.

Tracking activity gives agents a reason to be proactive.

Activity Tracker provides hard data for an agent to use when talking with vendor partners about ongoing referrals.

Don’t confuse vendors with solely trade professionals. Attorneys, accountants and other professional services colleagues may be more willing to hand your card to a client when they see that you’ve sent a few their way.

That’s why I see this new feature as a powerful way to augment your sphere of influence.

Easy-on-the-eyes aesthetics

HomeKeepr’s overall user experience is very pleasing.

The app is clean and well-designed, and nothing is more than a couple of taps out of reach.

There is also a new design pending for the monthly alerts to make reminder and vendor information even more readable and accessible.

Other iterations of these apps are primarily passive in nature. Agents get clients to download a branded version and hope it’s still there in five years.

HomeKeepr is taking development actions to make the app a proactive sales tool. I think that changes the game a little.

Nothing is more than a couple of taps out of reach.

Back in August, Keller Williams announced it integrated HomeKeepr’s functionality with its company app. Consumers who download KW’s search app won’t have to set up an individual HomeKeepr account.

I wasn’t super positive about this product the first time around.

I think it was exceptionally professional of company CEO and co-founder Rob Morelli to reach out to me with the update. It’s what business leaders do.

I’m glad I took the time to have another look.

You should, too.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe.

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