Sponsored Post – Realtor.com Has a Cool New Mobile App

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Realtor.com for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Realtor.com AppThe following is a sponsored post I did with SocialSpark on behalf of Realtor.com. The opinions are 100% mine.

 

When I was asked to check out the Realtor.com App for iOS, I had to put on the hat of "what does it feel like to be a home buyer?" Before I clicked on the app, I thought that what I'd want would be a way to sort houses by features, like cost, and maybe number of bedrooms, and that sort of thing. This app does that, but I can't wait to talk about the feature I liked the most. 

Realtor.com App

The app is for iOS right now, and has retina support for iPhone5 and the new iPad, but I have a 4S and it looks plenty fine on that. (As it's primarily a map-type app, I'm not sure what the difference is, but I don't have a 5, so maybe I'm missing all the coolness. Looked great to me.) 

So, not only do you look by price, but you can look by whether you want to see foreclosures or not, new listings only, etc. I liked how narrow I could make the search if I really wanted it to go that way. 

Realtor.com App

If I were selling or buying, some of the search features I saw in there looked pretty useful, because I could parse by "recently sold," and thus, what if I saw a neighborhood where there were a lot of homes recently sold? If I were selling, I might have to think on how to work with my Realtor to ensure mine gets sold, too, or as a buyer, it might be a question I'd have. 

Realtor.com App

The map feature was pretty cool. If I clicked on various pins, property would come up and then I could drill down, and drill down some more. And then I saw the big "ask question" button when I drilled down even more, and I got this screen: 

Realtor.com App

What I really liked was that it gave me the option of calling this guy directly or sending an email. That was a neat feature, indeed. But not my favorite. 

I went back to the map and I saw the word "draw," and I thought, "What? Like draw a smiley face on the map?" Well, no. 

Realtor.com App

So I drew this rough circle around a lake, and POW, a bunch of listings came up in the circle. Thus, if I maybe didn't even know what I wanted to seach by, criteria-wise, but I knew I wanted to live somewhere around that lake, pow. I've got it. 

I did not expect that feature. And it might seem simple, but think about how useful that is when house hunting. 

I didn't push every single button on the app, but I liked that I could search for apartments and I could pick condos or whatever else I wanted. Oh, and as you would likely expect of an app like this, it's free. 

Some of the features I didn't yet mention are that this thing lets you search by current location. Have you ever driven through a neighborhood and thought, "well, this would be a cool place to live?" Push one button and you're searching for property. Heck, I was driving through a ritzy part of Connecticut last week, and if I had had this app, I'd have just wanted to see how much all the gorgeous homes around us cost. A ton more than my budget, but fun to dream, right? 

One last feature that I imagine would be really useful if you're hunting over a period of time. You can save searches, so you don't have to go back and do it over and over again. 

All in all, a pretty cool app, and if you're in the market to buy or sell a place, this seems like a cool tool. It was fun to try it out on some towns and areas I like. 

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  • George Black

    Chris, the “call/email this guy directly” feature apparently connects the user with the listing agent for the property–the guy representing the sellers. That’s not a good thing if you are a potential buyer. Buyers deserve and have a right to their own exclusive representation. Contacting the agent for the sellers directly can compromise that right and potentially damage the buyer’s negotiating position.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

      It’s a great position, George. Some people do, in fact, choose a buyer’s agent. I’m not opposed to there being a buyer’s agent, but I also believe that that’s a choice. If you’re working with a buyer’s agent, I presume you’d work with them and pass on the contact info to him or her.

      So while you’re right that some people choose a buyer’s agent, I don’t think Realtor.com has to build that kind of function into the app.

      • http://tnbuyerbroker.com/ George Black

        Clearly it is the consumer’s choice to engage a buyer’s agent or not, Chris. Shouldn’t it be an informed choice? At early stages of a home search, many buyers are unaware of risks involved or choices available to them. A naïve buyer who places himself in direct contact with the professional agent representing the seller is at a significant disadvantage and may compromise his position in subsequent negotiations.

        In the interest of fairness to consumers the contact feature ought to display some kind of warning or advisory. One possibility: “Be advised that this agent represents the seller of the property. As a buyer you are entitled to your own exclusive representation. Unrepresented buyers engaging directly with a seller’s representative may find their options for representation unnecessarily limited.”

        • http://chrisbrogan.com/ Chris Brogan

          I like your idea of a potential notice.

          May I ask if you’re a buyer’s agent?

          • http://tnbuyerbroker.com/ George Black

            Yes I am–an exclusive buyer agent (entire brokerage dedicated to buyer representation; don’t list property or represent sellers) for about 12 years. BTW I met you in Columbus Ohio about 4 years ago at a social networking conference. Kind of kept up with you since then online. I now practice in Johnson City, TN.

  • Richard Montgomery

    While there are very good real estate agents in the pool, finding them is not always easy. The best way a consumer can approach a real estate transaction is understanding the agent, like all of us, is working for themselves first. Agency law is complex and not well understood, even by many agents. If this app can provide consumers direct real time information it may be helpful.

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