HomeFinder.com releases location-based open house iPhone app
December 15, 2009
Finding homes on mobile
HomeFinder.com has launched Open Houses, an iPhone application to help home buyers find geographically-targeted open-house listings.
Open Houses aggregates its content from the PC Web site, which has content from more than 130 newspapers across the country. The free application joins the already established mobile site HomeFinder.com.
We wanted to give people looking for a house a simple, valuable tool that takes advantage of the capabilities of the iPhone and our unique open-house data, said Doug Breaker, vice president of product development at HomeFinder.com, Chicago.
Finding open houses is something thats still too hard to do with todays sources of information, he said. Either you have to pull out the newspaper, or comb through a bunch of Web sites and print everything out before you hop in your car or set out on foot.
This app changes that.
HomeFinder.com is owned jointly by Gannet Co. Inc., The McClatchy Co. and Tribune Co., and features content from dozens of newspapers such as The Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
The Web site and mobile properties have more than 3.5 million real estate listings.
Interactive Mediums developed the application.
Finding a home on a phone
Open Houses searches for open houses around the consumers location the iPhones GPS functionality.
The application can also search a consumers area for properties that are within the consumer-set price range, areas and property types.
Through the application, consumers can click-to-email or click-to-call the selling agents of a specific property.
Consumers can also view photos and floor plans and save properties for later viewing.
Mr. Breaker said the main challenge the application solves is the consumer problem of finding open houses while walking or driving around.
Its pretty hard to take your laptop house hunting, and taking the time to print out a bunch of stuff beforehand and create maps of where you need to go is a pain, Mr. Breaker said. With this app, consumers can do away with the tedium of researching multiple Web sites, printing out reams of paper and poring through newspapers.
Mr. Breaker said the target demographic for the application is anyone with an iPhone that is looking to buy a home and specifically those who want to attend an open house.
HomeFinder.com said creating an iPhone application is the best way to solve the consumer problem of finding an open house.
Mr. Breaker said the iPhones GPS, mapping and advanced user interface capabilities, combined with HomeFinder.coms comprehensive open house data, give consumers capabilities that it has never been able to offer before.
The rise of the iPhone and Apples App Store, has propelled consumer use to a point where it makes sense to offer an app, Mr. Breaker said. The Apple app platform allows us to reach a enough consumers to make the investment in an app worthwhile.
We launched a mobile site last year, and get pretty good traffic on it, the majority of which comes from the iPhone, he said. That data and the activity we saw with other real estate apps, gave us confidence that there was enough of a consumer audience to justify building an app.
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