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Mobile App Takes Home Shopping On The Road

By Lisa Scontras

Searching for real estate online is a popular way to hunt for properties in the comfort of your own living room. But what if you could take that technology on the road and check out which properties are for sale from any neighborhood on the island?

Well, guess what? There’s an app for that.

It happens all the time. You wander into a neighborhood that piques your curiosity. “Are there homes for sale there?” you ask yourself. “And how much are they asking?”

Prudential Locations has come up with an easy-to-use application that works with your smartphone’s GPS to automatically pinpoint your location, then shows you all the properties for sale in the area, including all photos in the listing. From any neighborhood on Oahu, every property that is on the market – not just those listed by Prudential Locations – will pop up on your screen as a pushpin. Touch any pin, and the property address or building name, list price, number of bedrooms and baths, and square footage appear on the screen, along with an arrow that takes you to a more detailed description.

Designed specifically for the local market, Prudential’s app is the first of its kind to be customized for Hawaii. This unique mobile application makes it a breeze to search listings, open houses and – for Prudential clients – even recent sold prices of homes and condos.

“My clients are using the app to enhance their home searching experience and save time,” says Kevin Tengan, Realtor Associate with Prudential Locations. “With a single click, clients can instantly see all the open houses around them, instead of driving around searching for open house signs. They can also set up and save specific search criteria to help make finding a home faster and easier.”

The most popular functions of Prudential’s app are the map-based search and the photos. In fact, more than half the users are zeroing in on a location and looking to see what else is available in that area.

“Our app is able to determine your current location and display listings and open houses for sale in that immediate area,” says Tengan. “The app allows you to see all the properties for sale.”

The map-based search can show you properties in any neighborhood on the island. The ability to see the inside of a house – with hi-resolution photos – is also a big draw. It’s like having your Realtor right there in your pocket.

“Our research shows that usage of the application doubles on weekends, and people are spending an average of eight minutes per session,” says Dan Tabori, executive vice president at Prudential Locations. “So we know that clients at an open house are not just viewing the one property they went to look at – they’re viewing surrounding properties, shifting the map and really exploring the neighborhood.”

Aimed at enabling buyers and sellers to make smarter real estate decisions, the app also will score high with homeowners who are interested in simply keeping tabs on the market value of their own home. For the total real estate junkie who checks out listings regularly, there is an option to search only for new properties that have come on the market within the last seven days. You can even tag your favorite properties.

“You can save the homes you like, keep track of the ones you’ve seen, and contact your agent from within the app,” Tengan says.

“Especially in this market when inventory is tight, being aware of everything on the market is important,” Tabori says. “Is there anything newly listed? What is available to view at open house this weekend? It is a way to really stay on top of the market.”

The app can be downloaded free from iTunes or the Android market (search for Prudential Locations) and is compatible with iPhone, Android, iPad and iTouch.

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