I recently reviewed the current crop of iphone apps and mobile sites from the property portals which I am tipping to become an important aspect of the portal wars. As mobile surfing increases rapidly it is important along with the benefits of GPS location searches.
Since writing the report I have spoken to a few agents using the app to their advantage and one way is to identify competitors properties when out in the area, removing the time consuming work involved in preparing to do mail shots or ‘door knocking’. If you find yourself with a spare 15 mins, just whip out the iphone and off you go! So is this new app going to be even more useful for agents?
mouseprice, a leading source of UK property market information who’s parent company creates the Land Registry price index, is to launch what they describe as a ‘groundbreaking iphone app designed to help estate agents and property hunters get a better feel for valuations on the go’.
This will be the first of its kind in the UK and mouseprice are hoping to follow the success of the Zillow application in the US (reportedly 730,000+ downloads). While other UK property portals have applications for checking property for sale, such as the Rightmove application, the sole purpose of the mouseprice.com app is to enable users to check the sales history and get current valuation estimates for any home in their vicinity.
I can see a use for this app for agents, particularly those who are shoddy in their preparation for their valuation appointments to be able to do a quick search from outside the property, but I can also hear lots of agents being critical of the quality of data and making it clear that the best agents should a) do their prep thoroughly before leaving the office and B) know their local market back to front anyway.
Unfortunately the app will not be free but will cost users £2.99 to download it. This is a downside for users and whilst I can see why mouseprice have decided to charge for the product, the most successful property apps are free and the chargeable ones… well…
I guess the proof will be in the eating and we can have a taste in a few weeks time. Apple’s approval process will dictate the launch date but I will let you know as soon as it is ready and you can watch this space as I will be shelling out the £2.99 (what credit crunch) purchase price in order to inform you if it is any good or not.