Zillow has upgraded its real estate app to feature iMessage functionality, allowing users with iOS-based mobile devices to readily share photos and information concerning a home for sale or rent with their regular contacts via text messaging.
The new feature will allow users to browse recently viewed and saved homes, which the app stores in separate tabs.
- A recent Zillow report on consumer housing trends found that 86% of people shop for a home with a spouse or partner and 13% do so with a friend or other family member. In November, people using the company's app to browse homes shared information on the property through text message more than 1.68 million times.
Zillow’s update comes as more real estate companies develop software aimed at improving the online search process for a new home or rental property.
Earlier this month, Realtor.com announced that it had developed an automated response application (or, bot) for Facebook Messenger that lets users of its Doorsteps rental listing website receive new home picks at a set time each day that meet their preset criteria.
Demand for more internet and mobile-based applications to aid in the search for homes is largely being driven by younger first-time buyers, who are expected to become a growing force in the market in 2017.
Investors are responding to the burgeoning demand. Real estate startup Opendoor, which purchases and resells homes online, announced last month that it bagged $210 million in funding as it looks to roll out its platform to 10 cities in 2017 and 30 cities by 2018.
For more housing news, sign up for our daily residential construction newsletter.