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Brokerage Releases iPhone App, Includes Augmented Reality

iPhone App

zip realty iphone appFree iPhone application called Home Scan which allows users to stand on a sidewalk and open their iPhone and visually see which homes are for sale, their asking or sold price, details and photos for what Zip Realty claims to be 4,897 cities. This real estate augmented reality app pulls data from Cyberhomes for value information and has a mapping feature to support the AR app.

The real estate industry is doing well to create interesting apps for the iPhone like Corcoran’s FourSquare integration and’s iPhone app, but Benn has been talking for a while about looking forward to brokerages and data providers to move toward an agnostic system wherein a browser recognizes a user’s phone type (Pre, iPhone, Android, etc) and offers up a unique experience rather than requiring this download nonsense that alienates much of the mobile phone market.

More about the ZipRealty iPhone app:

As with any new release, opinions run the gamut. Mark McDonough with David Winans Real Estate in Dallas, TX said that “there are are two major downfalls that would keep this from being my recommended home search app. First, you can’t search by address; the only way to look up properties is to find them on the map which always starts where you are.”

McDonough continued, “Second, there is no way to identify whether houses are “open” or not that weekend. I believe the primary use for home search apps is for home buyers that are driving around neighborhoods with their phone in their hands. If people are at home, they’re much more likely to be on their computer than an app without all the features.”

Regardless of the flaws, Zip Realty agent, Ralph Bell in Austin, TX said, “Clients can simply drive a neighborhood and see the listing price, sold price,(except Non Disclosure states such as Texas), DOM, SqFt, etc. simply by holding their phone in front of a house.” Maybe the bottom line in this world of increasing noise is simplicity after all?

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Is your broker offering any iPhone apps? What does your dream consumer-facing app look like? Let us know in comments!

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Matt Stigliano

    March 5, 2010 at 6:27 am

    I downloaded the ZipRealty app as soon as I heard about it, but so far I have not been able to get it to run on my phone at all. It opens and stares me in the face, but it hangs up right after it asks me if it’s ok to use my location information. The little wheel just keeps spinning. I’ve waiting it out, but to no avail.

    I had similar problems with app freezing and crashing my iPhone after it locked up.

    I can’t wait to try out the AR part of the Zip Realty app.

  2. Mashel Rathmell

    March 5, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Just heard the term augmented reality the other day at a meeting, pretty high tech stuff. I can’t wait till it is a easier app to use. Sounds promising!

  3. Ralph Bell

    March 5, 2010 at 7:59 am

    The iPhone app still allows you to search for homes the traditional way. Homescan is just one part of the app and only works with the 3GS iPhone.

  4. Myron Lo

    March 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks for the interest in our iPhone App. Just a point of clarification, the application allows you to search by City, State or Zipcode (For example, ‘Berkeley, CA’ or ‘94563’). Address search should be coming in a future release. Let us know what else you like or don’t like about the app. We’re always trying to improve it.

  5. Myron Lo

    March 5, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    In case you’re interested, here is a video of the AR piece in action:

  6. Jay McGilicuddy

    March 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    I thought I saw it had a 2 star rating. Wil have to double check it.

  7. Nick Nymark

    July 30, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Anybody know if their is an App like this for a Motorola Droid?

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