Monday, November 19, 2012

Coming soon...

The iPhone (iOS) and Android powered phones have been around for a while now and 1000's of 'apps' have been downloaded to enable users to go about their daily lives, hobbies etc.  Developers were not slow to target estate agencies and convince them that their own App was a 'must have'.

I have always been resistant to their charms and pleadings as I firmly believed an agent's app was nothing more than egotistical vanity! After all, I would rant, why does anyone want to use a search tool for just my listed properties? Homebuyers are looking for their next home and they really don't care who has it for sale - that's why Rightmove has been so successful.

That was until I was introduced to Paul Fuggle (rhymes with Bugle)  . Paul is currently creating me an app that let's me communicate with everyone downloading it, via Push technology. I can reach out to people rather than passively waiting for them to search my website or use the more usual app. 

Definition from Kenneth W. Umbach, Ph.D. Of California State Library

Push technology is a relatively new means for automating the delivery of news and information to computer “desktops” on the Internet and on internal organizational intra- nets. Push methods differ from e-mail in their immediacy--real-time data delivery versus a typically delayed “store and forward” methodology used for e-mail--and in their capacity to provide complex graphics, sound, hyperlinks, and scrolling data that e-mail is not designed to accommodate.

Say you are looking for a 3 bed semi in Ely at £200,000 or less. Record that requirement in the app and as soon as we have one we'll alert you - straight to your phone. It’s not like a text message as you can access all the rich content of a website like photos, video, floorplans etc through the app. But, like a text message, you don't have to read it straightaway. The app user can wait until they have access to a wi-fi network to look at this information. 
The other area that has been concerning me is that more and more people access the web and search online from mobile devices (phones and tablets). If your website is not mobile compatible then the chances are users will get fed up scrolling about their smaller screens to see everything they need to. In addition to the app, when mobile users type in our web address they will automatically be taken to a mobile-friendly version of our site containing all the essential information of the main site.  Rental property won't be left out and there will be documents and information for landlords and tenants.

Mobile searches have grown 400% since 2010

By 2013, more people will use mobiles than PC’s to search online

Local searches account for 40% of mobile search usage, with 70% of these queries resulting in action within 1 

For tenants we've included the 'Tenant Cam'. Basically you use your phones' camera to photograph what you are having a problem with and send it to us. This enables us to route the appropriate repair person to you with the knowledge of what's needed and should help us get things sorted faster.

If you are a buyer new to the Ely area it may be easy to lose your car in the town's car parks so we've included 'Find my Car'. Get out of the car, allow your built in GPS to locate you, press the button to 'store' this location then off you go. Time to return to the car? Just click on 'Find' and the phones' GPS will take you back to your start point!

We are a little way from launch but be assured we'll 'Push' this info to you as soon as it's ready!

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