Re/Max targets time-strapped home seekers via Apple Watch app

Real estate brokerage service Re/Max is targeting time-strapped consumers looking for new homes by rolling out a new application for the Apple Watch that enables users to scroll through for-sale listings and agent contacts with the swipe of a finger.

The real estate brand is offering a streamlined solution for consumers on the lookout for new homes or agents to work with, and hopes that users will respond well to the convenient format. More services in the sector are heading toward mobile and wearables in efforts to become more reachable to on-the-go consumers.

?We are rolling out a new strategic initiative which is a comprehensive enhancement to the main technology systems provided throughout Re/Max,? said Tim Drouillard, senior vice president of information technology at Re/Max, Denver, CO. ?One of our key focus areas is to drive greater consumer engagement through mobile devices, and deliver a more innovative technology roadmap to benefit both consumers and agents in the Re/Max network. 

?The Apple Watch platform presented a great place for us to start our innovation agenda.?

Easier house hunting
Apple Watch owners can now download the Re/Max application in the Apple App Store to access the wearable-optimized features, including location-based search options.

This capability allows users to scroll through a slew of for-sale listings in their desired locale, as well as details for contacting real estate agents. The listings display the exact distance of the home from the consumer, in addition to the asking price.

If users are interested in speaking with a particular agent, they may hit the ?request info? button that appears below the agent?s name and photo.

The brand also hopes the Apple Watch features will provide agents with valuable tools they need to stand out in the competitive selling sector.

The wearable app is likely best used alongside Re/Max?s mobile app, which also taps location-based filters to show matches. Additionally, consumers may use the interactive map feature to navigate and explore neighborhoods, receive turn-by-turn directions to a property and save their favorite listings to their iPads for future perusing.

Apple estimates that the number of Watch users may jump to 15 million after the first year of the wearable?s rollout, meaning that there is a significant market to tap.

?The Apple Watch app will work in conjunction with the iOS version of our mobile app to provide another level of location-based home searching, scroll property lists, and contacting a Re/Max agent,? Mr. Drouillard said.

Real estate on mobile
A growing amount of real estate companies are realizing the marketing and revenue opportunities that mobile is able to offer, particularly when thinking about targeting tough-to-reach demographics or on-the-go consumers.

Move Inc.?s Realtor.com recently unrolled a new graphic identity for its Web site and mobile applications, and tapped Hollywood actress and director Elizabeth Banks to represent the brand in a series of mobile-optimized Web videos in a bid to reach more on-the-go consumers (see story).

Also, a Coldwell Banker executive at the sixth annual Mobile Marketing Day revealed that the real estate brand?s mobile sites and applications function as an optimal sharing medium for its buyers, sellers and agents by allowing for personal anecdotes, videos and photos that augment the sales process (see story).

Re/Max is likely well-poised to grab the attention of wearable owners with its new app.

?We understand the market of consumers who are using an Apple Watch is currently smaller than those who are using smartphones, but for those who are adopting the Apple Watch we feel our new app will provide another convenient and useful way to search for listings and begin a conversation with a Re/Max agent,? Mr. Drouillard said.

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York