Using a mobile phone for internet access has become the worldwide standard. As of last year, people used their phones more often to do research or just confirm simple information than they did on a regular computer. The same can be said about people preparing to buy a home.
With mobile use on the rise, many companies have realized that if they want to help more consumers, they have to find them on their phones. When home buyers use their smartphones, they may discover that searching for a home, organizing their thoughts on particular properties, and interacting with their real estate agent has never been easier.
First thing’s first: Do yourself a favor and get a car charger. If you’re driving around to look at homes, the last thing you want to happen is for your phone to die, and suddenly you need to go home and call it a day.
1. Get a Bird’s-Eye View
Although using a smartphone during the home search may require downloading a few new applications, there are a couple of easy ways to start. The first choice tool is Google Maps, which most smartphone users may already have installed and know how to use. Google Maps is an app with a lot of features, designed to search for an address, or looking at the local traffic patterns. The app also makes it simple to take notes about a neighborhood, zoom in for a closer look, and even measure the dimensions of a property.
2. Organize Useful Files and Information
Having a smartphone on hand to check an address or write down a phone number is certainly useful. However, people who take that information and then try to get it home to a computer may find that the process is entirely too disjointed and time-consuming. As mobile use takes an increasingly larger percentage of people’s digital access, developers are creating practical apps to keep in step with users’ needs.
For example, downloading files from email for future review is a nice function to have for people who have a good place to store them. Apps such as iBooks or Google PDF Viewer make quick reference of all kinds of documents easy to organize and locate; especially complicated contracts and paperwork related to the sale of a home. This kind of technology may make printing out lots of documents to take on a home search a thing of the past.
3. Check Out Social Media
People who are just starting out a search might not feel ready to jump in, and they should know that the real estate world is perfectly willing to meet them where they are. Most people spend many hours a week on social media, and they can get access to quite a bit of information about local real estate there. Sellers who are looking to give friends and family an inside edge often advertise a listing on their social media accounts. Asking friends, relatives, and acquaintances about the best neighborhoods or recommendations for a real estate agent is also easy to do using a social media platform like Facebook.
4. Download Useful Apps
For buyers who are ready to focus their efforts on the task at hand, there are many apps intended to simplify the search, integrate several aspects of the home buying process into one place, or find out more about mortgage financing.
People who are used to swiping left and right to indicate their preferences may love the engagement of Doorsteps Swipe. With this app, interested buyers can find out about available homes in their desired neighborhoods, get a sense for their individual preferences, and learn more about how to negotiate for a better deal.
In some cases, there simply is no replacement for having all the information at the right time. The perfect home that seemed a little overpriced may have had a recent price reduction, and Realtor.com’s mobile app keeps all this data updated to the minute. Users can get current information about available showings, directions to the property, and arrange to receive notifications based on their preferences.
Buying a home is a complicated process, especially for people who may feel overwhelmed even by thetask of finding a real estate agent. The Real Estate app by Xome allows people to get information about properties all over the country, in an integrated environment. The app can offer recommendations about local real estate agents, and serves as a place for buyers to communicate with agents about home showings or their opinions on a particular property.
Sometimes, finding the perfect home involves a bit of serendipity. People may come upon a home for sale as they walk or drive by, and want to know more information about it. Homesnap intends to make this literally a snap, by delivering information about available properties when the user takes a picture of the home. People can also use the app to engage in discussions with their agent and other relevant parties, in a format that is easy to refer back to later.
For many people, using a smartphone for various activities throughout the day is becoming a matter of practicality. For the savvy home buyer, taking advantage of smartphones may be a way to smooth the buying process and make it more customizable. Locating the perfect property, learning about it and negotiating for a fair sale price is now more accessible than ever.