Why Every Real Estate App Needs Rich Messaging and Personalization

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Searching for a new rental apartment or house is the 2017 version of The Art of War. You must know the players. You need a game plan, and above all else you can never look back.

But making a quick decision on where you’ll live for the next year is harrowing– and “quick” is generous. Rentals are here one second and gone the next.

Think an app will help? Sure, but not every app is optimized to help you cut through the clutter and snap up that perfect apartment with views, a dishwasher, and a washer/dryer. The key to convenience is mobile messaging, but even then there is so much more that the leading real estate mobile apps can do to help.

Here’s a rundown of who is doing it wrong, doing it right, and the next gen approach that would set any of these apps apart.

Fixer upper templates

Success in real estate is about the careful balance between quantity and quality. You need your audiences to know that you can provide options, but with efficiency being so critical to keeping mobile audiences engaged offering hundreds is more likely to overwhelm. Apps like StreetEasy and Zillow have a long way to go in finding the right balance and their use of a standard template for push notifications screams for advancement.

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Mint condition media

The addition of photography is what sets apps like Trulia, Zumper, and Hotpads apart from the fixer upper approach. Trulia and Hotpads take the approach of adding multiple images for a single property to hit the quality mark. Zumper works to combine quality and quantity, using imagery to attract the user, but making it clear that there is more than one property if that visual doesn’t hit the mark. This is the first step in taking advantage of recent advancements in push — the ability to have multiple states for your message, including an expanded view.

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Lifestyles of the rich (and famous)

Android and iOS make it possible to add images and media attachments to your push notifications. This rich messaging experience can even be based on your own custom UX. The potential for rich push is simply amazing. Your apps becomes instantly relevant to your audience even before they open it.

We don’t see a single real estate app going this extra mile to engage their audiences, so we’ve mocked up what this would look like for any app using Sailthru.

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Through a combination of all approaches — a template, imagery, and rich media — this style of push messaging is the ultimate balance of quantity and quality.