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Realtor.com Android app released for consumers today

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This morning, Realtor.com is launching a mobile app for Android users after enjoying rapid success with their iPhone app which has been downloaded 2.1 million times, making it “the most downloaded real estate search application,” according to Realtor.com.

The reason the race to get to the Android market is hot is because Android use and purchase is increasing at a breakneck speed with Android being the number one most sold smartphone in the U.S. today, according to The Nielsen Company. Of special note is ComScore’s data released today of mobile phone use just in 2010 alone proving an astonishing pace of Android growth while others decline:

We got our hands on the app before launch. Our findings:

AgentGenius was given access to the Android app, as the entire leadership team here is proudly using HTC Evos. There are a lot of cool things this app can do, and when launched, it knows via GPS your exact location (great for being in the field). Our favorite feature is being able to “draw” with your finger an area you want to search in and even refine, so I wanted to search a nearby neighborhood but not be shown the tiny starter condos, so I outlined it and told it to only show me three bedroom homes over $200k and voila!

When signed in, users can take notes on the listings they like and save favorites and can even take notes without typing by simply speaking their notes (which we think is a really neat feature), making home searching in the car simple. Without even signing in, it remembers the last properties users have viewed in detailed form and keeps a running list which is helpful because not all users will opt in to registration. The only major flaw we can find (and keep in mind that we’re running a pre-launch version) is that no matter how many pictures a listing has, the app only shows the first four which we anticipate will be repaired, but if not, it will certainly be damaging to the listing.

The app is super fast, doesn’t seem to be resource heavy (a common complaint of apps for EVOs which can notoriously have their batteries drained by certain apps), and the user interface is super clean and intuitive and Realtor.com claims to have the most listings of any search site and maintains they have the most accurate data, both of which are being demanded by consumers, therefore it’s ultimately a benefit to Realtors.

“Today’s buyers and listing agents know the importance of connecting with each other, and that communicating promptly at every stage of the search process is a critical aspect of successful property search,” said the President of Realtor.com (who advertises on AG), Errol Samuelson. “By ensuring Move’s mobile real estate search apps quickly surface fresh and reliable listing information accompanied by multiple contact mechanisms, we believe buyers and agents will experience a more successful partnership in today’s competitive real estate market.”

Download the Android app here.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Joe Loomer

    November 4, 2010 at 6:20 am

    I’m going to have to download it today. Good to hear you’re using the HTC Evo. Would like to see a modification whereby agents can send the app to their clients with their own intuitive login so any searches done by the client can be tracked and followed-up on by the agent.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

    • jay

      November 4, 2010 at 7:18 am

      No doubt realtor.com will start selling branded version of the app to agents–hopefully for a more reasonable price than smarteragent.

  2. jay great falls virginia real estate

    November 4, 2010 at 6:58 am

    1. Andriods are amazing phones–I go through 3 batteries/day on my Incredible and it blows my previous Blackberry away. flash on the phone makes using the internet great as you can fill out forms online, access drop down menus, etc. while surfing.

    a. it’s seamless integration with google calendar, tasks, contacts and email is great but that is the tip of the iceberg of how effective the phone is for business purposes.

    2. realtor.com — I hate it. It is my competitor and all it does is steal buyers in the marketplace AWAY from searching my website. It funnels buyers directly to listing agents to make their inquiries which is anti-consumer in the end.

    a. Would somebody clarify again the relationship between NAR and realtor.com Seems like anything NAR or my local assocation does is slanted towards helping listing agents.

    jay
    JustNewListings.com Realty, Inc. (owner)

    • Matthew Rathbun

      November 5, 2010 at 7:51 am

      Jay,

      I once felt the same toward Realtor.com. However, NAR reports that only 15% of consumers use it. Even with that number we get ALOT of consumer connections. It’s very inexpensive for the return on investment and frankly isn’t even near us in SERP responses. We’ve worked harder to rank higher in our marketplace than Zillow, Trulia and R.com and it’s mostly worked. But why leave potential consumer connections on the table?

      I agree that Dual Agency is not good for the consumer and we don’t practice it, however in Virginia (where it appears you are) “Non-Client” and referring to another Buyer Agent is a plausible option. The seller hired me to sell their home, so if I get the potential buyer for the house I’ll do whatever I can to ensure they get into that house and it’s put in the best view. If they want to buy – then it’s time to find another agent for them. It’s not R.com’s responsibility to please the individual actions of the practitioner. IMHO

      Realtor.com does a better job than I can do marketing the service to that group of consumer that they reach. It’s now part of my tool kit and not the enemy.

      This is a drastic change in view for me, so again I know where you’re coming from. For those folks who remember me floating in and out of AG back in 2007ish they’ll tell you that this is a 180…

      Not saying the product is perfect, but it’s been one of the best investments for me.

      Thanks Lani, for posting this. I was just asking where their Droid app was…

  3. Benn Rosales

    November 4, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Wicked app, really. I love my evo too.

  4. Rob McCance

    November 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Nice post. I’ve been building sites and showing homes, but some day I’ll circle back to this fun stuff.

    I have the app on my iPhone and it’s really nice.

  5. White Bear Lake Homes

    November 4, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    I’ve had the Realtor.com app on my iPhone since last winter, and it has been nothing short of splendid! It’s so great to be able to pull up what a house down the street is selling for when a buyer asks as we drive by to the property that we are scheduled to see.

  6. jay

    November 5, 2010 at 7:59 am

    @ matthew rathburn

    I also have started advertising on Trulia so I do appreciate some of their tools [assume realtor.com has great tools too now] and use them on the personal side for viewing real estate in NC where I’m likely headed in a few years.

    What is immensely frustrating is having trulia rank higher for specific searches than me; you know what I mean.

    @everybody

    the realtor.com app is amazing and I’ve tried the main 5 or so out there from move.com, real estate droid, zillow, etc.

    The draw a map feature is AWESOME. Does it do that on iPhone???? On the android it’s so cool.

    Hope they’ll offer branded version to share with clients and the marketplace from websites and facebook for a small monthly fee like $10. I used another one that was branded and after sending it out by postcard to 100s of people, having it on my homepage (10,000+ visitors/month) and it auto response emails to registrations, only about 7 people had downloaded the branded app so it’s monthly fee should be minor as it’s not what the marketplace uses yet.

  7. Robert Earl

    August 19, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Is all of this creating more confusion for the buying and selling public? Is REALTOR.com in the business of selling homes (no, we are in that business) or are they in the business of being an advocate on behalf of it's members and the buyers and sellers that they serve?

    • Jill Kipnis

      August 19, 2011 at 11:17 am

      @Robert Thanks for your question. Realtor.com is committed to connecting consumers with real estate professionals so they can increase the number of real estate sales transactions. Our mobile apps are another tool to connect potential home buyers and sellers with Realtors. They offer direct connection points to Realtors through email or by phone. Consumers really enjoy using mobile apps in today’s market—they can get real estate information whenever and wherever they are, and can reach out to a professional so easily!

  8. jay Great Falls Virginia

    August 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Listen to this bullcrap by Realtor.com. You only help listing agents get leads/contacts….It is 100% slanted towards listing agents. For selling agents you SUCH away buyer registrations by ranking higher for keyword searches than most agents do/can.

    REALTOR.com is absolutely a competitor and is taking $$$ away from me and business away from me and delivering it to listing agents directly. Let's be honest about it instead of spinning; we have enough of that in DC metro where I work.

    The app is great period. But realtor.com is anti-selling agent and a competitor to often lose potential buyers to who end up contacting listing agents. So it's one-sided all the way so don't lie to us as if it's a benefit for all realtors–it decidedly is NOT.

    @Robert, you need to get your license over to me for 95% splits and TOTAL domination of the keyword searches in N VA together 🙂

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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