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Part Instagram, part Pinterest, property search gets social with Rila

This new app, inspired by social media, is perfect for real estate listings and agent lead generation. Fun and engaging, the app's success will fall largely on consumer adoption
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This new app, inspired by social media, is perfect for real estate listings and agent lead generation. Fun and engaging, the app’s success will fall largely on consumer adoption.

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

Rila is a social media real estate marketing app.

Platforms: iOS
Ideal for: Urban, luxury listing agents and independent brokerages

Top selling points:

  • Consumer lifestyle-driven
  • Heavily image-oriented
  • Agent branding benefits
  • Engaging, familiar user experience
  • Good marketing support

Top concerns:

Rila is going to have to get the app in the hands of consumers for it to excel, which is no easy task.

What you should know

Rila knows exactly what it wants to be — and it’s good at being that.

This hybrid Pinterest-Instagram property profiler is the ultimate influencer tool, mobile-scroller ideal for those high-end, open-air beachside listings dying for a fashionable couple to be showcased on a sunset-bathed patio.

The idea here is simple, and that’s to showcase homes. Users — agents — upload photos of exteriors, interiors, specific features or amenities, or even art, and publish it to their feed.

Consumers and other agents thumb through listings based on a location search. Each photo can be shared or commented on, and if needed, flagged for being in any way inappropriate.

The search tool is terrific. Fast and clean. Toggle thumb-size sliders to filter by beds, baths and a “priced around” text field according to monthly payment.

Rila’s search screen is what more home search apps should aspire to emulate if they want to capture younger buyers. Just give me the basics please, and I’ll worry about heating types and appliances later.

Agents who are most active on the app will have their profiles surface into priority for Rila users. Tapping the agent’s photo opens a page with a license number, image, brokerage affiliation and their post history. They can be texted or called directly from the app.

To best leverage Rila, get creative. Don’t limit postings to price changes and open houses. Capture the really unique stuff that shows well in this kind of environment. Forget about breakfast nooks, and instead, showcase views, patio space, and the places that get people excited about owning.

I have a friend and colleague buying her first house, and you know what we’ve chatted about the most? It’s very cool fenced-in backyard. Buyers today are highly lifestyle-driven, and COVID-19 is only reinforcing that fact.

Each listing featured in a photo can be looked at in detail with a couple of taps. Any number of pictures an agent wants will load into a library with a call to action for more information. The price and number of likes are displayed as well.

Users can direct the app to “reject” showing some properties if marked as “Not For Me.” If you like it, tap “Fit Me.”

Users aren’t inundated with tons of property details, mortgage calculators or other sometimes pesky ways to earn your attention or activity data. It’s a fun, rather harmless and lifestyle-focused search app.

Again, Rila is super easy to use and enjoy using, especially for those home dreamers who merely like to see what’s out there (and end up costing agents lead money on other platforms).

It’s going to take some money to get this app in front of consumers. Makers are doing a pretty good job to date in making it known to agents.

The app is moving into new markets, but is good to go in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Orange County, Dallas and Miami. I would expect New York and Boston to start showing up next.

There’s certainly some great potential here, but it might take a cash infusion for it to be realized. Until then, it’s on you to market your properties.

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

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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