Recently, WAV Group has completed several customer satisfaction surveys from around the country in the Southwest, Mid-West, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. In every case there has been a lot of discussion and requests for more MLS access via smartphones and especially for iPads and other tablet devices. While many MLSs think of their iPad application as a property search tool, agents want their MLS iPad apps to go much further than that.
Even for those that have launched Tablet solutions, there are two major areas of dissatisfaction that MLSs need to address to make mobile MLS applications truly useful for their agents and brokers.
Setting up a listing in the field
First, agents are demanding that an iPad application become “THE” place to set-up a listing. It makes sense considering that the agent could access the iPad application while they are in the home of their seller. It’s not enough just to view properties from an iPad. Agents want it to become their core tool for setting up new listings.
They would like to be able to take photos of the rooms and upload them in real-time. Ideally, the system will be able to easily indicate which room the photo is from and allow the agents to easily set the priority of display for the main photo from the application as well.
Agents would also like an easy way to measure room dimensions using the device instead of having to measure every room by hand. Ideally this method of measurement would be more accurate than hand measurements as well. They would like the tool to automatically pull in public records information for tax information and then be able to over-ride square footage with more up to date information as necessary.
Marketing and Staging
Ideally, the tool would also create the private and public versions of a virtual tour in real time. This may create a great opportunity to create an upgrade path to generate non-dues revenue from inside the application.
MLS software developers may also consider offering something like Houzz, an application that provides ideas for interior design. While discussing staging the home with a seller, an agent might be able to pull up a photo from this application to demonstrate how to more effectively merchandise their home using an example from the site. It would be even more exciting if the agent could take a photo of a room and then the app could create virtual “makeovers” for the room instantly.
The second largest area of opportunity for Tablet Apps is better usability. Agents are used to simple, easy to use, wizard-based iPad apps and they are demanding that MLSs deliver the same simplicity and ease of use as other applications.
They also want the property search tools to be just as robust as REALTOR.com mobile apps. I would love to see REALTOR.com license their application to MLSs and allow them to brand it as their own. Why recreate the wheel when we already have a great application “in the family”? The Realtor.com app could be private labelled and offered as a consumer-facing app. for MLS Consumer Websites as well.
As WAV Group predicted over a year ago, the Tablet is quickly overtaking the smartphone as the mobile device of choice. If you don’t have a tablet app or smartphone app, skip the smartphone and move directly to Tablet. If you already have a tablet device, it’s time to take your application to the next level.
If you want to learn more about developers that may be able to help you launch or update your mobile applications click here: