South Africa's Private Property is increasing its market reach by launching an Android app – a move prompted by the highly-successful release of their iPhone app.
According to Private Property chief technical officer Grant Elliott, the company has had apps for iPhones and iPads as well as customised website experiences for desktop browsers, smartphones, tablets and feature phones. In adding the Android app to the product suite, they now "have all the bases covered".
“We can now offer our Android customers the ease of use and mobility that a smartphone app brings to their property search experience,” he says.
Specifically, Android is the world's dominant mobile operating system, so supplying an app to this target audience will bring a wider range of interested buyers and tenants to the Private Property agents, home owners and landlords. The app targets anyone who has acquired an Android smartphone in the last few years as well as the numerous Blackberry and Nokia customers that are migrating to Android.
“The Android market is expanding on a daily basis, meaning that developing and launching this app was a key focus,” Elliott says.
The Android app will offer customers all the features on the website including searching for sales and rentals; browsing the vast collection of listings via a simple and visually-engaging interface; subscribing to emails and SMS alerts; messaging agents, home owners and landlords; and adding favourite properties to a personal wish list.
Settings that are changed in the Android app will automatically reflect on the user’s website settings, meaning customers can switch between the app on their phone and the website on their personal computer, and their personalised settings will remain synchronised.
Elliott says the Private Property iPad app that was launched in June 2013 sat at the top position of the South African app store’s free general category within days. There were more than 22 000 downloads and upgrades from the initial app of that version within a week of its release and, with more than 76 000 active users, it remains one of the country’s top lifestyle apps.
As with the Android app, this one allows house hunters to find their next home via a text, location-based or suburb navigation search. The app was designed to enable browsers to access their favourite tools from anyway in the app using the nifty all-new slide menu.
The technical design gave browsers easy access to Private Property’s estate agents, private sellers and landlords by means of an in-app feature that not only provided contact details and allowed direct messaging, but also enabled browsers to easily search for an area’s top agent with the Find Agents feature.