Nate Moch, Vice President Of Product Teams, Zillow
From seamlessly integrated apps, to better hardware, to integration with other devices, advances in mobile technologies have dramatically shifted consumer expectations over the last decade. People expect to push a button and make magic happen, whether it’s requesting a ride home, ordering dinner, or finding someone to walk their dog.
For businesses to succeed and grow in this environment, it’s a given that they must leverage technology to exceed consumer expectations and provide them with services they not only need but love and find delightful. When it comes to mobile applications, it means taking advantage of new hardware, software, and device integrations to create an experience that isn’t simply a search or single-function app. Companies must create a deeply-integrated tool that provides everything a consumer needs to complete their task.
This trend has taken strong hold across sectors and industries. For example, in the connected home industry, there are countless products that enable people to manage their home’s climate, lighting, security features, and entertainment systems, all from their phone. Soon all your appliances will be connected.
In residential real estate, there are huge opportunities to deploy mobile technologies to continue improving the experience of buying and selling a home – a life milestone that’s been largely untouched by the explosion of connected, intelligent devices and services that come at the push of a button.
Today, we’re just beginning to see some of these possibilities come to life. Using only a standard smartphone, we can capture detailed, 360-degree imagery of a home that we seamlessly stitch together to create a 3D home tour. As phone cameras and lenses improve over the next several years, we’ll be able to enhance this rich media experience even further by adding measurements and depth to the tour. The benefit for consumers? Anyone who is short on time or house hunting remotely can turn their mobile device into a virtual portal to their next potential home, empowering them with a better understanding of the home without spending the time, energy, and resources to visit it.
Mobile apps have also led to the possibility of unassisted home showings. Likened to an ‘on-demand’ open house, these new types of showings allow people to tour a home for sale on their own timeline, with their phone serving as both the house key and audio guide as they walk through the property.
In the case of finding a home to rent, mobile apps have already completely transformed an often challenging and time-intensive process. People can now complete a rental application, obtain a credit check, apply for a rental, and pay rent – all from a single app. Ultimately, we envision a future where buying and selling a home, including the complex and prolonged process of obtaining a mortgage, is as streamlined as ordering takeout or a ride to the airport.
Creating a delightful, easy to use, and seamless experience for the consumer – from looking at their first home listing to signing the final paperwork – is our north star. This future is far closer than many may imagine, and as with most large-scale businesses today, building deeply-integrated mobile applications plays a central role in achieving this vision.