Tomorrow millions of Apple fans will be anxiously checking the mailbox to see if their Apple Watch has been delivered, and Redfin is proud to have launched our real estate app for the new device.
Like any new technology, the Apple Watch challenged software developers to reimagine what an app can do for consumers. At Redfin, that meant figuring out how the Redfin app for Apple Watch could improve the processes of buying a home.
In anticipation of the launch, Redfin’s chief technology officer, Bridget Frey, answers some common questions about how the app will work and what her team considered when developing it.
Why did your team invest in the development of an Apple Watch app?
It’s our mission to reinvent real estate in the consumer’s favor, and the Redfin app for Apple Watch is part of that. The housing market is moving fast, and the Apple Watch is an opportunity to make finding out about homes for sale more convenient than ever before. With the Redfin app, the local real estate market will be available at a glance to our on-the-go homebuyers.
So what can you do with the app?
With the Redfin app for Apple Watch, you can find homes for sale, sold homes and open houses near your location:
You can also view photos of those homes, and see important details like the price, number of bedrooms, square footage and how many days it has been on the market, all at a glance:
Then you can decide if you’d like to add that home to your favorites, X-out so you don’t see it again or make notes about that home using dictation:
Adding it to your favorites list will make it easy to find it later, and with Redfin Shared Search, you can easily share and comment on your favorites with loved ones. Once a home has been added to your favorites, the app will notify you if it drops in price or goes off the market, or if there’s an upcoming open house.
Many of the Apple Watch apps use text only, but we felt it was critical to include maps and home photos for our homebuyers.
How did you decide which features to include in the app?
The Apple Watch is a brand new form factor; it’s not enough to just port your iPhone features to the Watch. People can spend hours browsing through our iPhone app, but that’s not practical on a tiny screen, so our challenge was to show just the absolute most relevant information on the watch. We pictured someone driving or walking around a neighborhood to find the areas that they like the best, or to check out a home they found online. That person would want to see the homes for sale in the area, save the ones they like, remind themselves what they thought about a home and see where the open houses are, all at a glance.
How does the Redfin app take advantage of some of the unique features of the Apple Watch?
“Actionable notifications” on the Apple Watch allow users to take action or respond right from their wrist. With the Redfin app, this means people can get the same notifications on the watch as they do on their iPhone and, once they receive a notification, they can open the property details, map it, or favorite it. Apple Watch “glances” quickly show users information they care about most. You can see glances by swiping up from the watch face, and then you can scroll left to right to see other glances. Tapping a glance launches the app. One example of a glance on the Redfin app is a screen that shows the nearest open house that’s happening this weekend.
How will house hunters benefit from the Redfin app for Apple Watch?
The app will help house hunters stay on top of new homes hitting the market, which is important in today’s competitive real estate market. Being the first to tour a home and make an offer can mean the difference between buying your dream home or watching it sell to someone else. For example, in hot real estate markets like San Francisco, Denver and Boston, saving a few minutes by knowing instantly that a home you might like has just hit the market without having to take your phone out of your pocket can give serious homebuyers a critical edge on the competition.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who pre-ordered the watch before most models sold out, be sure to download the Redfin iPhone app so you’ll be ready to take full advantage of the features at launch.