Not every spiffy new app for your mobile device is going to “revolutionize” your realty business. Sometimes, a small app can just fit in to your existing game plan and make your life that little bit easier. Or, in the case of Homesnap, perhaps a lot easier.
Homesnap, for your iPhone or Android smartphone or iPad tablet, lets you take a photo of a property and then instantly access information about that property – whether it’s listed or not. Say you’re driving through a neighborhood looking for a particular listing and you drive by a home that you just know would be perfect for another client. You don’t know a thing about this particular property, even if it’s for sale or not. Just whip out your phone and take a picture. You then find out information about the property – square footage, estimated value and current or recent sale price, number of rooms, and other data. If it’s listed, you can find out MLS data. Point, snap and know. And share, if you like. Nifty, huh?
Homesnap launched in the spring of 2013, and like a lot of apps being used by realtors around the country, was intended primarily for home buyers. But realtors quickly learned how easy and useful it was, and have adopted it into the list of “must-have” apps for daily use. It uses the GPS on your phone to glean data from the cloud and transfer it to your phone. If the home isn’t listed, Homesnap uses publicly available information like tax records, school boundaries and census data. If it is listed, it accesses local databases to give you the skinny. The founder intends for Homesnap to challenge the “home discovery” big-dogs, Trulia and Zillow. Initial indications are that it might just be able to do that. Real estate agent and blogger Angie Perez says that Homesnap
has a lot of potential to create lead converting opportunities or agents while providing home buyers the option to save their snaps. If the app gives them the option to rate and keep notes, it might become the next best thing since sliced bread.
So what exactly can you do with Homesnap, besides “point and snoop?”
- access information about homes whether they’re listed or not
- share pictures and information with clients and fellow agents if you choose, via e-mail, text or social media
- examine other folks’ “snaps”
- using “stealth” mode, take a picture even when you’re not in front of a particular property, or inside another nearby home, and get an aerial view that lets you choose a property to examine
- updates your snaps’ information when it changes
Homesnap isn’t perfect. Users have noted that it sometimes gets information wrong, like telling you the home has two bathrooms when it has three. And the provider is working on making the app work better for high-residency areas like condominiums and apartment complexes. But it does what it does very well, and it’s free to boot. How can you go wrong?