RISMEDIA, July 9, 2010—We see it and hear it every day—”there’s an app for that.” Nowadays, with the iPhone, iPod, iPad and an infinite number of other devices/OSs with their own app stores, there is certainly no shortage of downloadable content for one’s mobile device. So how can we take advantage of this as business owners and real estate professionals? The problem that most of us have is that creating your own app is expensive; it needs to be built and maintained across multiple platforms and for a consumer to download it, they have to go through a crowded app store with numerous other real estate applications…or do they?
The fact of the matter is that as a trusted real estate expert within your market, you can give your consumers and agents the ability to download your brand directly to the home screen of their mobile device without investing tens of thousands of dollars. A Gateway App™ allows you to do just that. So what is it?
A Gateway App is the premier definition of branding. It allows all consumers who access your website from their computer or mobile device to download your branded icon directly to the home screen of their device. Once it’s there, it lives forever on their phone for easy access—any time, anywhere. Why open your browser and type in a URL, or dig through your bookmarks or favorites when, with one click of a button, you can have instant access to exactly what you want. Not only does the branded icon allow you to instantly access your favorite real estate website, but on all Apple devices, instead of opening directly in the browser, the Gateway App™ loads within a custom-branded loading screen. This means your more advanced device users are provided with an experience targeted directly to them, and your brand gets another exposure point.
Once the Gateway App is loaded up and ready to go, the user is able to access all the content your mobile website has to offer. Your home page is loaded behind a branded loading screen at the onset of opening the Gateway App for a smoother, branded user experience. In addition, iPhone and iPod users will not see any chrome initially, because like traditional apps, the Gateway App loads your mobile website within an app container.
The biggest benefit of having your own app is the brand awareness and consumer engagement that comes with it. Sure, consumers could open Google every time they need something and go through the traditional means to find the information, but apps provide instant access. If your brand lives on the home screen of their device, consumers will certainly be more inclined to use it as a resource for the information they want and remember it when seeking your product or the service you provide.
A Gateway App can be purchased and then connected to an existing website and/or mobile website. We would certainly recommend ensuring that your website provides mobile users with a quality experience, but if branding and convenience are important to you as well, the Gateway App provides just that for a fraction of what traditional OS-based applications cost.
Your brand can live on the mobile devices of consumers, next to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
To see a great example of how the Gateway App functions, simply go to www.RISMedia.com from your mobile device and you can download their Gateway App directly onto your iPhone, iPod or Blackberry device.
Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate ID. For more information, visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.