Coldwell Banker Launches iPhone App

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Not a dedicated app, mind you. But if you visit ColdwellBanker.com on your iPhone’s Safari browser now it’ll pull up a specially formatted version of the site.

They’re not the first company to do this (Realtor.com has an iPhone-ready page, as does Intero) but they are, as far as I know, the first to launch a major marketing campaign advertising this fact.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McKSek1Q-ns[/youtube]

The app itself looks great and is nicely thought out and pretty functional. You can search for current listings and, like Trulia (see iPhone Real Estate App Showdown), open houses as well. Search results return reasonably quickly on both WiFi and 3G.

The individual listing pages are fleshed out, though not as tightly integrated with multimedia as Utopria’s (see Utopria Brings Property Listings to iPhone). You can see all the photos associated with the home however. Clicking on Map Property link will bring you immediately to the Google Maps application for driving directions.

Unfortunately, because it’s not a dedicated app, the overall usability of this function gets a bit frustrating. Getting back to your search results requires several taps back and forth to switch between the map and the browser.

Also, CB’s tool does not seem to tap into the iPhone’s location awareness capability which seems a bit of a shame – you still need to tell it where you want to search.

Probably the biggest issue however is that (perhaps not surprisingly) ColdwellBanker.com on the iPhone only returns CB listings from Realogy. Unfortunately, since you’re only ever seeing a fraction of any market’s listings, this severely limits the app’s use for consumers. As a result I can’t see many people turning to this tool beyond mere curiousity, despite the fancy ad.