Take a drive in downtown Toronto and you’re guaranteed to see two things: cranes and sandwich boards for condos! Problem is, neither really tell you much about the projects they’re promoting. Alas, a solution is here!
Homebuyers.com has just rolled out it’s user friendly iPhone and iPad app! I downloaded the app today and took it for a test run to see how well it works.
The download from the app store was quick, seemless and took seconds to load! The first step is to either sign-in under your Facebook or Email account. I started by skipping, but I’d highly suggest doing so as more features are available once logged in.
After asking for your location, a “Google map” based screen loads up with your current location and near by pre construction projects! With a pinch or pull of the screen the user can zoom in or out from the given area. Pink and blue pins represent the different condos. Each pin has a starting price of remaining units.
Clicking on a pin will take you to the individual listing of the building. It’s a very clean and simple layout that features a rendering of the building, starting price, mortgage caluculator, favorite button, priority registration, info, models (some contain floorplans and some renderings), current promotions, notes and contact button.
When the user clicks the star button the building get’s added to your “favourite list”. The pin on the main screen is changed to yellow, this helps keep track of what you’ve seen and to narrow down the process.
The mortgage button is a handy addition to the app that gives the user 5 financing scenarios. You can go into each option and customize the scenario. Once done, you can email the results! In future updates, a deposit calculator would also be helpful.
The descriptions of the buildings are short and concise, skipping all the normal broker babble and cutting straight to the goods!
The “models” and “promotions” tabs still require a lot of updating (at time of writting this). For some buildings, the “promotions” tab shows model suites and in others – floorplans. A tab just for floorplans would be incredibly powerful. Most promo tabs don’t have any specials listed, but as more builders take note of the app, I could see that changing.
The “My Notes” section does exactly what the name describes! Users can take and store notes for each building. You’ll need to have an email account activated in order to use this part of the app.
Lastly is the “contact” tab… users can email the developer directly from the app! The address and (sometimes) phone numbers are also listed under this section.
For an even quicker search you can narrow the criteria by a ton of variables such as location, price, type, bedrooms, square footage, status (coming soon, under construction, move-in now etc) and developer!
I was most impressed with how fast the app loaded. Typically with map based apps there’s an annoying lag before the user can even start the search. With the homebuyers.com app, you’re up and running right away! I love that the individual listing pages are so easily shareable through other social media sites like twitter and facebook. In a time where developers are still creating incredibly hard to navigate websites, this app saves a ton of time getting you the info you want. There’s even the option to sign up for priority registration… this will notify you when new projects open up to the public!
The only criticism I could offer about the app is that I didn’t really see the point of having a “regular” vs “featured listing” option but hopefully there’s a bigger plan for it down the road. Also, a few of the smaller builders were missing from the list and a couple of projects were not yet available. My small comments aside, For it’s first version I give the app 4 high-rises out of 5!
Download the app here: http://app.homebuyers.com/