Realtor.com is adding iMessage functionality to its iOS mobile app, growing the suite of tools offered by real estate listing services to help potential buyers spot and learn more about homes for purchase or rent, according to the company.
The new feature allows users to search for recently viewed and saved listings, review basic details for the property, react with virtual stickers, and send the listing and other comments to recipients.
The additional functionality comes in response to buyers of all generations using mobile devices and social media platforms while searching for a home.
Real estate listing companies are rapidly adding and enhancing mobile apps to aid in the home search process. The technology targets members of the millennial generation, in particular, as they are more likely than previous ones to search for a property on the internet and to seek feedback via social media, according to research by Zillow.
In January, Realtor.com announced plans to add two features to its Android mobile app that would allow users to collect details including price, photos and agent contact information on properties in the field. Additionally, the company rolled out an automated response application for its Doorsteps rental listing website on Facebook Messenger in December. Rival listings website Zillow also recently added iMessage functionality to its iOS real-estate app.
Just as buyers are likely to use a smart phone to aid their search for a property, they are increasingly willing to use them in the operation of those homes.
In a recent report from Wakefield Research and Schlage, nine in 10 millennial renters responding said they would be willing to pay more for a home outfitted with automated or remote-controlled devices.
Homebuilders are responding. KB Home recently introduced a series of home automation features controllable through Apple’s HomeKit platform in two communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, while Brookfield Residential said it plans to bring similar features to the Mid-Atlantic with a line of homes whose systems are controllable through Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant platform.
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