At long last, Redfin has an iPhone application. And it is gorgeous and fast and free and freakishly powerful. Apple took ten days to approve it for the app store:
Why is a Redfin app such a big deal when there are already three or four real estate apps for iPhone on the market? Well, because this one has all the data from the MLS, as well as for-sale-by-owner and bank-owned homes not yet listed in the MLS. It shows all the photos, and all the amenities too, as well as how long the property has been on market and what it last sold for. And the whole search experience is driven by Google Maps.
But that isn’t the really sweet part. The sweet part is the photo upload, which allows customers on tour to take pictures and notes that automatically upload to their account on Redfin.com, so all that stuff is waiting on their computer when they get back to their desk. We automatically associate each note or pic with the right house on the site.
And data goes both ways, with the website sending to the iPhone app a list of homes you’ve bookmarked as favorites, and which ones you want to tour via Redfin too — so you can easily get directions from place to place.
Here’s a quick tour of some of the main features…
Quickly zoom high above the city then drill down into a cluster of listings:
Click the List button to flash to the listing photos:
When you’re touring a house you like, take your own photos:
Take the photo and add a nice little caption:
The iPhone app lets you see all the homes you’ve annotated or photographed:
When you get done with your tour and return to the website, Redfin alerts you that your photos and notes are online:
On the website, you can click on My Redfin to see all your photos and notes:
The photos and notes also show up alongside the listing on our website.
We focused on tours for a reason. The Redfin iPhone app isn’t just a search application, it’s one component of a larger home-buying service, where the other components are the website and — most important by far — the team of agents serving clients. And they all have to work together. If you’re touring with Redfin and don’t have your own iPhone, your Redfin agent will often be able to take pictures for you using her own iPhone.
We want to take the same coordinated approach to improve the process of pricing an offer, finding a lender and getting through escrow. We call this strategy Freakish Depth, because our goal is to take users beyond the initial home search to fundamentally improve every step of the home-buying process.
You may well ask what took you so long? Well, we re-built almost the whole search experience to work on the iPhone, so it would run fast and look good on that little thing. We clustered search results, to make it easier to move around the map and zoom in for more detail. We let you run sophisticated searches. The standard for any Redfin experience is that it can’t just be a nice little distraction, it has to be a full-blown addiction, one you can count on and come back to again and again. We hope we cleared that bar.
All told, three person years of R&D went into the app, so hats off to Sasha, Navtej, Jim (who just got married Saturday!), Jen, Jane, Brent, Llewellyn, Thomas, Jamie, Jason, Dan, Chris and the many others who built Redfin for iPhone. And a big thanks to the Urbanspoon guys and Tyler Stone at Apple for giving us encouragement and advice along the way.
We hope you check it out, that you leave a comment or review letting the world know what you think. Any feature suggestions — or thoughts on whether the uploaded photos should remain private, even after the sale — just leave a comment below.