realestateVIEW.com.au - Mobile Apps - realestateVIEW.com.au
Best Mobile Expanded Service or Application
Head of Product & Marketing, realestateVIEW.com.au: Teresa Sperti. Technical Lead, jTribe: Daniel Bradby. Project Manager, jTribe: Janet Horwell. Producers, realestateVIEW.com.au - Associate Site Producer: Lionel Jackman, Site Producer: Geeta Arulampalam. Marketing Coordinator: Stephanie Oh. Consumer Marketing Assistant: Talya Savion. Agency Marketing Support: Senior Account Manager, KeepLeft: Gillian Yeap. Creative Director, Taylor & Grace: Grace Camobreco. Senior Design, Taylor & Grace: Simon Taylor. Director, The Royals: Steve O'Farrell.
realestateVIEW.com.au recognised the need for a suite of mobile apps to take the hard work out of the competitive buying and renting process.
We kept the search experience simple and fast so property seekers could easily access the latest property listings, and combined this with innovations like the integration of relevant market data as well as a visited feature to allow property seekers to keep track of properties they have and haven't seen.
realestateVIEW.com.au set out to build a suite of apps for the iPhone, Android and iPad to simplify property searching and provide public access to our relevant and timely local data.
Buying a property is one of the biggest commitments a consumer will ever make and thus realestateVIEW.com.au wanted to provide more than just another app to search for property. With much of the consumer's property purchase journey done in the field, having access to local data on the move is essential to enable consumers to make informed decisions when they need to most.
As the 3rd portal to the mobile market, we also knew that we needed to provide additional unique features to attract users to download the app and utilize it as their preferred app to search for property ongoing given competitors had already gained significant uptake in their property apps.
Since our apps launched, our extensive marketing activities have enabled realestateVIEW.com.au to grow app downloads to over 70,000 downloads as at the end of June 30 2012.
In addition mobile traffic now represents 20% of total realestateVIEW.com.au traffic, this has grown from 6% in November 2011.
Project Innovation / Need
With the market already flooded with Real Estate search apps, realestateVIEW.com.au's research was key to affirm local data could be leveraged as a key point of difference in its late entrance to the market. Research revealed that 66% of consumers looking to buy property want access to property data on the move, therefore we integrated the latest sales results (updated daily) as well as quarterly and yearly median price data into the interface. Furthermore, we aimed to integrate this data into the app experience without disrupting the user flow. This was best executed in the Android app where a user can be viewing a property and then toggle to view the latest sales results seamlessly.
In addition a common finding among property seekers was their difficulty remembering properties they have already visited. As the property search process can span 12 months or even longer, property seekers can see countless properties making recall difficult. As their mobile phone can act as an organization device for their property search, we introduced a visited feature that allows users to mark properties they have visited to keep track of what they have and haven't seen. Planning a journey in chronological order is also a challenge for property seekers and thus we also added a journey planner that maps the user's journey, in number order, for them on a particular day.
The iPhone, iPad and Android have been developed to highlight realestateview.com.au's point of difference and integrate these features in a useful way to simplify the property seeking experience.
The local data is overlaid on the map surrounding a property search to demonstrate the sold price of surrounding properties. This enabled the user to discover the information naturally, when it was most useful to help them make educated decisions around price.
As statistics support, 36% of our users were using the mobile as their primary tool for property searching. We considered the users location in our mobile design and features and introduced the Journey Planner feature, to organise property inspection times.
Another consideration was the overlays for shortlisted and visited properties on the map. A common pain point for users was confusion around which properties were new and old. The visited button identifies properties the user has visited, saving them time and improving their mobile experience.
From a device perspective, we also designed the interfaces on the basis of user device behavior. For example;
Our iPhone offering provided a clean search application making use of the apple top menu buttons and navigation. The Android app integrated the pull-down menu and grid navigation for the Google Play audience.Due to its larger screen, the iPad is often used in the home and in the preliminary research phase. We therefore designed the iPad app to emphasise suburb discovery and feature full screen maps with extensive data overlays.
The apps were launched to market through a phased launch approach to gauge consumer feedback. In November 2011, we soft launched the iPhone app, followed by a larger campaign in market over the Autumn selling season to market all 3 apps.
The soft launch was heavily focused on driving trial and downloads through PR activities. We leveraged key research conducted in the development phase to create stories of interest for lifestyle publications as well as a strong focus on technology publications that get the early adopters to trial the app.
Outcome: Within the first 7 days in market the iPhone app became a featured app in the Apple Store.
In Autumn the apps were marketed on a much larger scale. An integrated campaign was launched to drive awareness, engagement and downloads. The campaign concept was established on the basis of the time-saving features of the app (like the visited feature, viewing data on the move and also the journey planner) and thus the campaign was built around a campaign message of Turn View Time Into You TimeÃ‚Â.
Given users are most likely to utilize their mobile device on the way home from work and weekends, the campaign was focused on targeting people in these prime mobile times.
In the outdoor context we used mobile billboards and street teams handing out chocolates and postcards printed with QR codes in and around train stations to increase awareness and drive activations.