Most real estate sales and marketing teams rely on a glossy brochure and a well-designed website. But marketing high-end properties on a Caribbean island to wealthy young buyers spurred one consultant to up the stakes with technology and create an expensive custom app.
Cardea Consultants wanted an app for the Zemi Beach luxury hotel-condo property in the Caribbean island of Anguilla. It was a novel idea, but they had to convince the project developers that a custom app was a wise investment.
“We want to stay relevant,” says Jeff Goldstein, one of the three generations that make up the developer group for Zemi Beach. “We wanted to stay ahead of the competition.
“We wanted to stand out,” says Lisa Basire, of Cardea. “And as far as we know, no other developers are doing what we are doing for Zemi Beach. It was very expensive and time-consuming to finish, but the benefits over just having a static brochure or website far outweigh the costs.”
Creating an app isn’t a cheap endeavor. So, should your business try to stand out and build an app like Zemi Beach’s iTunes app?
Goldstein and Cardea Consultants used the following rationale for why the residential-hotel resort, which is still under construction, should make the costly, yet cost-effective investment.
1. An app is user-friendly for the consumer and for the sales team.
Until the clients are present in the sales office, they might be located anywhere. The app makes being there virtually more purchase-powerful than walking through a construction site.
“It is much easier to get a sense of how the development is laid out when you are looking at the project in app format,” says Basire. “Otherwise you have too many separate plans that you have to put together in your own mind."
When an agent is speaking to a potential client over the phone, both parties can scroll through the floor plans, and explore specific details. They can zoom in and out on various parts of the properties.
"It’s so much more realistic when it’s on your screen and you can move it around to really get a feel for it."
2. An app is more manageable than an inbox full of large files.
Clients don't want to deal with a dozen enormous files to open and download. With an app, everyone can see the same units, with amenities on separate screens.
“Realistically we won’t always see the interested client right away,” say Basire. Clients and agents can be in separate countries, all at the same time, and all in one place. “Many potential clients won't be walk-ins, so visiting us by iPhone, MacBook or iPad brings us all together onto the same ‘page’”
3. Anyone can use the app.
Cardea went back and forth with the creative team it hired, making sure navigation was even “easy for a non-technological 90-year-old.”
4. An app adds to the overall package.
“We still have a hard-copy brochure,” says Basire. “We understand that people also like to have something they can take away in their hands. We had that first, then the website. And then we took all those amazing renderings and put the app together.”
The app realistically depicts the detailed floor plans, views and vantage points. It also provides a lot of information, such as background and facts about the island, as well as tourist food, drink and fun details.
5. The buyer may purchase without visiting the property.
How accurate the app is to the reality of the project will determine the confidence of the consumer.
“The idea is that there will be some high-end clients who say, ‘I want that three-bedroom unit in that block, with that view,” says Basire. “They'll see all of that and how it would look right in front of them. The app if anything, helps them do all of the groundwork."
Would you consider having an app built to help better explain your product or service?
Image credit: iTunes