When I had the opportunity to be the first person ever to get Real Estate Webmasters' custom iOS app for real estate listings, I had to seize it. Utilizing technology has always played a large role with my team, and I'm a strong believer in leveraging success with the best tools possible.
Our mobile app project officially began in September 4 and took a little over two months to complete. When the iOS app finally launched on November 21, 2013, it was an instant success.
323 people downloaded the app in the first week, and it has continued to receive double-digit downloads every day since. As of April 23, 2014, our mobile real estate app has been downloaded over 4,000 times and has received 1,937 lead registrations.
The initial build for our custom real estate app cost me about $20,000, and the ongoing rate is $500 a month—but it's worth every last cent. The mobile app's success has already been overwhelming and we're only just getting started, as the number of mobile users are expected to increase over the next several years.
Leads, leads & more leads
Our app's conversion rate is fantastic. Over 48% of the people who download our mobile real estate app register and become leads. We're currently receiving an average of 12.5 lead registrations from 25 downloads every day. Unity Home Group gets 375 new leads a month from this app alone.
If I'm paying $500 for 375 leads per month, that works out to about $1.34 per lead. That's it.
Being wrong never felt so great
I knew a mobile app was the way to go for our clients needs, but there were still some concerns I had to consider. Not a lot of research exists on mobile apps in the real estate industry, which meant we were running full speed into uncharted territory.
One of my concerns was that the people downloading the app would only be existing clients. We want to cater to them too, of course, but it's new leads that help keep us the #1 KW team in the NW Alaska region. As it turns out, this concern was entirely needless and 93.31% of mobile users indicate they aren't working with one of our agents during registration.
Another concern we had is that these leads would have registered for the website anyway. But a quick analysis of our visits indicates otherwise:
25.25% of app users visited AKHomeShow.com, then came to the app
26.96% of app users visited the site only after using the app
47.79% of app users have never been to our site
Even if we assume that every single person in that 25.25% also signed up on the website (which is highly unlikely), 74.75% of our registered leads are solely from the mobile app—not the website. This indicates that we're getting at least 280 leads per month directly from our app.
If I could go back in time...
Would I do this again? In a heartbeat.
The initial investment is equivalent to the commission on two average-priced houses. That's it. Since then, I've enjoyed one of the lowest costs per lead out there, while providing one of the coolest apps in the industry. Our mobile real estate app takes AKHomeShow.com and the Unity Home Team to the next level, and allows us to provide our clients with an enhanced real estate experience they won't find elsewhere. In return, we're seeing serious results.
Our society's obsession with mobile devices is not going to end. You probably even know a few people who had their desktop die, then never saw the need to replace it. People love their mobile devices and everyone predicts that usage will increase, so it only makes sense to provide tools and apps that cater to mobile users. What's a REALTOR® to do?
Attention REALTORS®! This post is the first in our new "REALTOR® Advice" column, where we will regularly be providing tips and advice on how to take your real estate business to the next level. Bookmark our blog to stay tuned!