Until now, I thought using a personally branded app was a luxury. I questioned whether people would download the app or even use it. Now I see there are options out there that are easy to download and encourage agents and clients to actually use the tech.
Following one of my recent articles, I was contacted by Will Grewal, app developer and co-founder of HomeStack. His company uses proprietary software to deliver speedy updates and an ultimate home search experienceto each of its users. During our conversation, Grewal began justifying his case for why my brokerage should have its own app and it really got my wheels spinning.
In fact, the product truly blew me away. However, at the time of writing this article, I have yet to commit to a vendor or make a decision on moving forward with app development. All the same, I think my discussion with Grewal is relevant.
As an indie broker-owner I have to ask myself the big questions: Should big-box brands be the only option? Why go with a portal that’s selling the lead, when you can have your own app with tech tools that make it inherently easy to track client engagement? If a buyer wants info on a house shouldn’t it go to the agent they are working with?
This is where branded apps come in. They can put the power of home search in the hands of the agents and allow the agent to essentially build out their own real estate app and convert more deals in less time.
To get behind a product like this, I have to do my research and create an effective way to present this technology as a value-add to my clients. If I am working with buyers, I want them to understand the advantages of using my app versus realtor.com or Redfin.
We all have the same data. The same houses listed for sale. The same listing details, all relatively updated in the same amount of time online.
After doing a little digging, I’ve found there are several compelling things that HomeStack in particular gets right. Some of which are faster data speed, accuracy and new ways to brand yourself as a top agent. However, a specific feature that caught my eye is HomeStack’s one-touch search and sharing option.
The platform is able to send me actionable data on what my clients are looking at and engaging with in real time. Plus, it provides a simple, fast and effective way for us to communicate on properties that grab their attention. This is a win-win, as it keeps my clients off other platforms that are selling the lead.
And as a broker-owner, apps like this present a clear advantage that could help me get my team of agents behind it, trained on it and using it.
Of course, there are a handful of great vendors and multiple solutions for agents and brokerages who are looking to partner with a white-label app solution (meaning the developer’s name would remain behind the scenes).
The news of SmarterAgent being acquired by Keller Williams demonstrates further that broker-owners like myself see real value in branded mobile apps. But, what are the real advantages of having a branded app? Here’s what I’ve discovered.
In addition to HomeStack, I am investigating a number of products, including SmarterAgent, AppyPie and SnApp. And though my sights are set on HomeStack and its innovative suite of agent-centric features and next-level lead generation tools, the verdict is still out.