‘Home Is Where the Heart Is’ or ‘Home Sweet Home’ are lines that we’ve heard time and time again. To many, it may sound like a cliché but to a homeowner, their home is a precious and valuable asset.
Buying a home can be a very overwhelming and complicated process. There are several steps involved including going through multiple property listings, speaking to real estate agents or brokers, and then there is also a ton of paperwork and compliances too.
What this calls for is a simplification of this relatively complex process. This is where real estate apps can be a feasible solution.
Therefore, if you are a real estate firm with an objective to bring your services to the digital era, then you need to create an app like Zoopla to standout in the market.
Ranked at number 10 in the United Kingdom, it is one of the most sought after real estate apps in the region. Boasting of more than a million app downloads, Zoopla enables its users to look up houses for sale or to rent in a convenient manner. Plus, it also extends its services to purchasing properties internationally too.
The idea that was brought to the forefront by Alex Chesterman and Simon Kain has evolved into a benchmark in the industry.
The success of your real estate will depend on the validation of your idea. With some unique integrations, you can make it a standout.
Read Also : 10 Best Real Estate Apps in UK
How To Create A Real Estate Mobile App Like Zoopla?
Does the idea of a real estate sound a little bit ridiculous? More so because buying and selling property is a business that has been done sans any digital integrates for decades. Why complicate it with a mobile app?
On the contrary, it acts as a medium that simplifies the process. Real estate apps like Zoopla has redefined itself as a digital business for these reasons.
#1 Better Mobility for Prospective Buyers
Property browsing using your mobile device is the trend these days. Why waste a ton of time in viewing houses physically, navigating traffic to travel to individual listings when it can be done from the comfort of your home.
With 3-D viewing, you can check out every nook and corner of the property that you are interested in purchasing without having to move an inch.
#2 Search and Filter Location-wise
Location. Location. Location. This is the motto when it comes to buying real estate. Using the app’s dedicated location search filter, you can look up property listings in your preferred localities only.
#3 Be Notified Of New Listings Instantly
In the days of ‘fast and the furious’, you do not want to be waiting around for your real estate agent to inform you of new listings or changes to existing ones. With a dedicated app in place, users will receive instant notifications that are crucial to the property purchase process.
The reasons to create a real estate app like zoopla are compelling. Let’s move on to understanding the types of app that you can develop.
Know The App, Know The Types
When it comes to the real estate app, there are specific apps and types to choose from. Depending on how they function, you can select from the following:
The Agency App
Those companies that function as real estate agencies can opt to build an agency application. Here, the agency will list all the properties that they represent along with individual agents assigned to handle the transactions. Keeping track of improvements in the business, client engagement with the agency becomes a breeze.
The Third-Party Model
Apps can be developed on a third party aggregator model too that connects buyers with agents directly. This is different from the agency mobile app as it also lists properties represented by individual agents and brokers offering a more expansive choice to the end-user. Third-party aggregator apps are effective as it is a platform where freelance agents and buyers can communicate instantly.
With the app model decided, the next stage is to select the real estate mobile app features.
Read Also : Must Have Features in Real Estate Apps
Planning the Real Estate App Features
It is the features that really make up the character and personality of any mobile application. Therefore, picking the right ones is absolutely crucial which will make the app functional and useful for users.
So, what kind of features does your real estate app need? Here is a list.
#1 Sign Up
The registration and app sign-up functionality are a given for any mobile app. The real estate app is no different. The onboarding process takes place right after the user signs up. This can include a short introduction on how to use the app effectively.
#2 User Profiles
The user then gets to develop their individual profiles on the app, save searches and preferences that can enhance their experience on the app platform. By customizing and personalizing content according to individual user preferences makes using the app more attractive.
#3 Search and Filter
Search and Filter is vital features on a real estate app. Parameters like property type, square foot, location, year of development, pricing, type of listing; extra facilities, etc. make the search for the prospective buyer more streamlined. Plus, it is also a way to collect valuable data that can be used to share customized content with the user.
#4 Save Search
Having an additional ‘Save Search’ feature lets the user save their search results which they wish to relook again at a future date. This streamlines the search functionality further as looking at too many listings can be quite overwhelming and confusing for the buyer.
Saved searches can trigger the browsing from where the user had left the application. It also gives agents an opportunity to get an insight into the buyer’s preferences, needs, and expectations. This information can be used to boost sales too.
#5 Advanced Search Functionality
While Search and Filter are basic app functions of all mobile applications, real estate apps should look at incorporating advanced search functionalities that offer a superior user experience. Break them down in order that will help users to share more information in terms of the type of property that they wish to purchase.
#6 Details of The Property
Listing only basic property details will not be enough to get the buyer interested in the first place. Detailed information that includes key data such as property price, location, type, general area, age, size, number of rooms, bathrooms, along with high-quality photos is the minimum requirement.
Adding a brief description of the property, plus additional information on furnishings, flooring, parking, facilities can be really helpful for the end-user too. An added which that showcases similar properties in the same locality can also be a key app functionality that can be integrated too.
#7 Interactive Graphical Display
Visuals along with your descriptive property listing are one of the best ways to boost user interactions. Ensure that the visuals and images being uploaded presents an accurate graphical representation of the property listed.
You can make use of charts and graphs via SDKs that pinpoints to the property’s exact location, directions, street views, floor plans, etc.
#8 Schedule a Property Tour
A property tour enables the user to have a look at the real estate that they are interested in purchasing. This can be done through a series of images at the initial stage.
Adding a dedicated ‘Schedule A Tour’ feature can trigger a request for a video tour according to the buyer’s preferred date and time.
#9 Video Tours
Video tours are now a part of real estate apps. However, a lot of work goes into making the streaming and imaging quality really high. Professionally shot videos of the property can highlight it at its best thus increasing the chances of it getting purchased. From a user perspective, the
#10 3D Virtual Reality Tours
For properties that are under construction, a 3D virtual reality tour will give the prospective buyer a sense of what the property is going to look like on completion. This feature works well for upcoming projects. Plus, it also saves time and effort for the users too.
#11 Use of Maps
Maps are extremely handy tools for any real estate mobile application. They help the users to get a visual image of the neighborhood and locality before they choose to buy the property.
Proximity and accessibility to key places such as hospitals, schools, or other amenities nearby are some vital parameters that can influence the purchase decision in the end. Make sure that your listing includes the following information on the map:
- Amenities like parks, health centers, schools, malls, hospitals, etc.
- Local population
- Opinion about the neighborhood
- Crime rates
- Local Shops nearby
When the provided data is properly divided and used, it can do much benefit for the users.
This feature is considered to be the key to create a real estate app like zoopla a successful. Be it new listings, or changes to existing ones, offers, and even app updates, alerting the user is absolutely necessary.
Push notifications is a feature that can help grab the user’s attention and trigger the desired action. Take a look at some common scenarios where push notifications can be useful:
- Updates on new properties
- Price drops on properties that you have saved or liked
- Updates on information on existing properties
Hiring a Team of Developers for App Development
A real estate mobile app development is a long drawn and complex procedure. You need to ensure that you have the best team on board to execute your idea successfully and efficiently. After all, you do not invest in a house every day which means that your end-user experience has to be top-notch.
There are a few ways to create an a zoopla like app.
You can opt for a freelancer or a team of freelancers to take on the project. They can work inhouse for the duration of the project. However, you will have to think of how you will manage app maintenance and testing in the future.
You can hire a full-time, inhouse development team who will be dedicated to the project 24*7. You can hire the best of brains in the business who will deliver a world-class application.
Plus, they will be available even after the development process is over to maintain the app, keep testing it for bugs, and ideate on new features. That said, this can be an expensive process which many real estate agencies can be hesitant to explore.
Lastly, you can outsource the project to a reliable and credible agency. This can be within your city, country, or even overseas.
Having said that, your ideal team of developers should constitute of the following members:
- Project manager
- Android and iOS mobile developer
- Backend developer
- App interface designer
- QA engineer
The Tech Stack That Makes Zoopla
Now that the feature list is out of the way and you’ve formulated your development team, it is time to decide on the tech stack for your real estate mobile app. Apps like Zoopla can act as a benchmark that can help you create your individual tech stacks too.
Start with a multi-platform approach. For iOS, rely on Swift and for Android, Java is a good option.
Use Postgress, PostGIS SQL to get the databases incorporated on the system. APIs like SimplyRETS, the Home Finder can also be used here.
Social Sharing can be done through Facebook SDKs. Mapkit can come in handy to customize maps and make it more creative and interactive. Firebase SDK and Apple Push Notification are great options for the Push Notification feature.
How Much Does It Cost To Create An App Like Zoopla ?
Primarily it is your set of features and functionalities that you incorporate within your real estate application that will determine the cost of development.
Along with that, the team of developers that you choose, meaning, in house, agency, or freelance is the next contributing factor to your overall expenditures.
With this, the man-hours being invested in your mobile application is an important parameter in predicting the cost. Take a look at the type of real estate application and the average man-hours that are estimated to be involved in its development:
- Simple Apps: Around 300 hours
- Moderate Apps: Between 400-600 hours
- Multifaceted Apps: Somewhere between 600 -900 hours
- Highly Multifaceted Apps: More than 900 hours
Lastly, the location of the team also plays a role in this calculation. Here is a snapshot of the average per hour cost of developers in these regions.
- USA: $100 to $250 per hour
- Europe: $80 to $180 per hour
- India: $25 to $50 per hour
The per-hour charge, along with the timeline, team’s location, features, and functionalities of the app will give you an approximate idea of how much you will be expected to spend on developing your real estate app like Zoopla.
The future of the real estate industry will undoubtedly be dominated by mobile apps. The market is not yet saturated which leaves a lot of room for new players to enter. Therefore, capitalize on the opportunities and make your mark on real estate space with your smart app. Hope this short guide can help you get started to create your own real estate mobile app like Zoopla.