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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

4 Factors That Can Make A Real Estate App A Million Dollar Enterprise



App developers must tailor-make their solutions.

In my nine years as a property consultant involved in the selling and letting of immovable property or real estate I have witnessed the emergency of various ITC applications meant to market real estate. I have been an account holding client of all these major websites for years and my hands-on experience with all that they offer and in real estate has given me valuable insight about real estate focused applications and I would like to share it with you. Of late they have worked hard to improve the quality of user experience by working on aesthetics and search capabilities. For example on search capabilities they introduced predictive text that suggest names of places as the person types in a convenience just like that offered by Google. But satisfying the needs of home seekers profitably demands more than pretty graphics and generic solutions that can be cut and paste from the internet. Home seekers demand tailor-made solutions that gives answers to problems they are facing on the ground as they do property search in the Zimbabwean market. I will therefore suggest areas that ICT entrepreneurs must work on in order for their applications to become million dollar enterprises despite the current economic subsidence. 



1. Tailor-making solutions to fight the latest type of property fraudsters know as land barons.

First and foremost real estate app developers should try by all means possible to tailor-make their solutions so that they address real problems like that of property fraud home seekers face in Zimbabwe. The key to this is to allow only those players registered according to the relevant laws of the land like the Estate Agents Act to upload properties for sale and to let. This is achieved by doing away with the classifieds business model which is a jack that promote all trades and adopting a search engine model that market real estate specific products only. I would like to assure you that a developer who becomes able to monetize the guarantee that home seekers using his application are free from the property fraud menace will therefore, secure a license to print the green back for some time.


2. Incorporating off line SMS property search.

App developers should be open minded entrepreneurs who must construct their applications with diversified technology that allow the clients to access the service through whatever form of gadget at their disposal. Its no secret that many Zimbabweans have “twumbudzi” (mobile handsets that cant connect to the internet) kind of cell phones as opposed to android smart phones and that millions of our people don’t have access to the internet as is always confirmed by POTRAZ through the internet penetration rates reports. Listen this simply means that the applications being developed  should incorporate off line SMS search capabilities in order to cater for this great market NOW. When I say off line SMS search I mean a Google-style service that produces instant and relevant results after being queried by a user not unexpected SMS updates from the application. 


3. Unleashing disruptive technology through stakeholder inclusion

The idea of disruptive technology is loved by many upcoming developers and one of the reasons why it is loved is that its about cherishing the concept of a brilliant tech startup that forces all especially the established players to let it in as opposed to it having to plead its way through. One recent example of this startup is Whatsapp Messanger about which the telecoms regulator POTRAZ  says mobile network operators always complained that its responsible for losses in SMS revenue yet the later are known for out doing each other in selling what are known as whatsapp bundles. So how can a real estate app become disruptive technology. The answer is simple – your app should incorporate all stakeholders in its business model by offering something that meet their needs as opposed to militating against these needs. For example a real estate app’s stakeholders includes people like; estate agents,  home seekers, internet service providers , subscribers, advertisers etc. So the estate agent should not see a conspiracy calculated to reduce his commission or the home seeker should not view using your app as hazardous because there is a great likelihood for being inadvertently linked to property conmen. You should study your stakeholders’ needs with the understanding that the enterprise should take care of these first because when this happen all of them will in turn take care of the enterprise’s needs thereby bringing about circumstances of the disruptive technology phenomenon.


4. Promote the App.
In order for all stakeholders to use your solution they should know about it first. But in order for them to know about it you should have told them because they don’t guess ! This is were promotion comes in. By promotion I mean an aggressive conduct  that is meant to take your value proposition to the people as opposed to one that waits for the people to come to you. Promotion entails communicating how the app is a life-changing solution to the prospects and this is deliberately acted upon through various ways like advertising, personal selling and many others. Deliberate action is hereby emphasized because the app doesn’t make itself known by the mere fact that you have created it. The enterprise will spend time, money, skill and other resources on the planning of promotion and its execution.

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