Are you leveraging technology to fast track your house hunting?

by Chris Lang on November 23, 2011

iPhone to assist house hunting

Before the Internet and smartphones came into being, all we had to assist us in house hunting was newspapers, estate agents and word-of-mouth. But now that we have all these wonders of technology, what’s our excuse to insist on pen and paper as best tools for house-hunting?

According to the new survey by real estate portal nearly 50% of house hunters still use pen and paper to organize and manage their house-hunting process, and 10% admitted they look at newspapers, walk around suburbs and rely on real estate agents’ help.

Over 2000 people were asked nation-wide to participate in the survey, and the results look quite shocking to me. I seriously doubt that 50% of respondents weren’t busy and therefore could afford to waste time on inefficient house-hunting. The real reason must be in the mindset, and how quickly people can adapt to the new tools available.

For example, the iPhone-lovers have many real-estate apps at their disposal. I know about at least three of them – has one, the Commonwealth bank has one, and now, has launched one – which, in fact, is very good.

From renters’ point of view, and compared to other apps, this one is more convenient. Its features can help at the stage when you are shortlisting properties, as well as at the stage when you’re inspecting the shortlisted homes.

While shortlisting, you have a choice of two views – a list of search results, and an alternative map view.

This is what a list view looks like: iphone app

And this is what a map view looks like: iphone app

You can go through individual properties in a suburb one by one, or switch to map view, bring up the map of the suburb and zoom in the area that interests you – to look for rental properties only there. One feature that I’d love to have would be sorting properties in the list by price or listing date, in the current version of the app it’s not possible.

The app allows you to shortlist properties by tapping on a star, and then you can go over the chosen properties only. iphone app

You can mark a property as “Visited” (look at the image above) – a very handy feature, not existing in other apps. This way you can remember which properties you can legally apply for, and which are yet to be inspected.

One more feature that I would add is some room for making notes on each shortlisted property – very often I want to quickly write down some details while inspecting the property (is there an air-conditioner? is there a dishwasher? is the street quiet or noisy? etc). These details always fade away, especially if you have more than one inspection a day.

You can add inspection times straight to your calendar with one tap (nicely done!) iphone app

You can ring or email the agent straight from the app, by tapping on “Contact agent”: iphone app

So, as you can see, house-hunting with iPhone and app can be a breeze.

What technology are you using to look for a house?

Photo source

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Robert Williams December 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Hi Chris ! Good posts. Now technology is good process for searching a house. It’s a easiest process to find out the better house for your family. I also know a very good site for selling house at house–buyer(.)co(.)uk !!!!


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