Having an app in the app store is just the first step, and the success of an app will depend on your approach to marketing your app to both consumers and your agents. While your rollout plan should be unique to your business needs, here are some best practices and resources to help you succeed.
Tips for a Successful Launch
Full Team Involvement and Support - We'll make sure you have a beautifully branded app in the Android and iOS app stores, but your Marketing, IT, office admins/staff, and local broker-owners will also play a large part in the success of app.
Training and Education - While our goal is to make your app as easy as possible for agents and their clients to use, making sure that everyone using the tool has attended a training session increases long-term success and engagement with the program. It's also important that you as an admin understand how the app works and what is available for agents. Make sure you're following along with updates and training that HomeSpotter provides. PRO TIP: Check this page often for updates!
Communication, communication, communication - On top of the automated emails that HomeSpotter can blast out to your agents, make sure all of your agents know how to download your app, and brand to themselves. Making sure everyone knows where to go to find these resources is really important.
Hope for the best, and plan for the worst on launch day and beyond - To ensure momentum, make sure everyone on your team sees the plan early and often and raises any concerns as soon as possible. Always assume that agents don't know how to find support and tools from HomeSpotter. Talk about them often and make sure they're visible for agents to access on your intranet or other internal tools that agents have access to from your brokerage.
Pushing your app to the top of the app store results
It's always good to know who your competition is. We recommend doing an app search in your area for "Home Search Apps" and see what pops up first. This is also what users will see when they search for apps in your area.
Being high up on this list is important. On launch day, we recommend making sure that ALL of your agents download the app on their devices and start sharing it with all of their clients. The more app downloads, the higher up in the results your app will be shown. HomeSpotter will also make your app is tagged with common real estate keywords. These are not seen by the public. These are just used for app search optimization.
Agent Training, Contests & Giveaways
Speaking of getting your agents to download and share their app, we've seen great success with brokerage-planned contests & giveaways to agents to get them excited and involved early.
We've seen brokerages who use training and contests at launch have up to a 3X increase in weekly new devices, a 2.5X increase in active devices, and a 2.5X increase in sessions!
Try hosting workshops for your agents with small incentives that get them involved (think coffee gift cards, some office swag, or even a free Boost by HomeSpotter ad for their next listing - ask your Customer Success Manager about this).
For example, you could host a series of workshops during the first month of your app launch:
Workshop 1 Idea: Getting Started with your new mobile app
Making sure every agent at your brokerage had followed these steps found here.
Workshop 2 Idea: What's in the Dashboard?
Walking through signing into the dashboard and all that can be found there.
Workshop 3 Idea: How can your clients use the app to find their next home?
Reviewing the different filtering options in the app found here.
Workshop 4 Idea: Sharing Mobile App with your clients and sphere of influence
Reviewing the different ways to share here.
Measuring the success of these workshops and contests you might be holding is also important. With Flurry Analytics and your dashboard, we can help you do that! Here are some ways you can measure success with your contests and training:
The Most New Users added to an Individual Realtors Mobile App - We push all contacts (or accounts created within a branded app) to your Connect dashboard, so you can access this information anytime.
The Most Sessions - Use Parameter Distribution in Flurry Analytics. Choose the event “launched app” and the parameter - branded agent name. This will give you the number of sessions each one of your agent's branded apps had during the date range you’ve selected.
The Most Inquiries - We push all inquiries (or requests for showings and information) to your Connect dashboard, so you can access this information anytime.
The Most Listings shared - Use Parameter Distribution in Flurry Analytics. Choose the event “LDP - open share property" and the parameter - branded agent name. This will give you the number of sessions each one of your agent's branded apps had during the date range you’ve selected.
Website Interstitial Code
One of the best ways to drive usage of your apps is to target users going to your website on a mobile device. An Interstitial is a popup that displays when users are on a mobile device and encourages them to quickly and easily download your app.
The tool is smart enough to only do extra work if the website is loaded on a mobile device on one of our supported platforms, and it's smart enough to only show up for a user at most once a week so that your users don't get annoyed by this message.
You can find code to add to your website from your dashboard under the "Share your App" tab.
Desktop Widget Code
Unlike the interstitial code, widget code is used for people accessing your website from a desktop and allows them to get a link to your branded app on their mobile device to keep searching later. This code will place a widget where people can enter their phone number on your website and receive a link to your app.
You can also find code to add to your website from your dashboard under the "Share your App" tab.
NOTE: Interstitial and Desktop Widget code is available for both your generic mobile app (not branded to an agent) and EVERY agent has a special code that is branded to them. This means that the generic brokerage code can be placed on your website's home page, and if you have subpages for your agents, their special branded code can be placed on their sites.
About the app:
As you go through this document, you'll get tools and links to the different resources we have for your agents as they're getting started, and we'll talk about where you can post these to make sure they can find them easily. First, we encourage you to post a link to your app on your intranet, along with a link to our quick start guide for agents, and this short video about the app features/functionality.
We also host a variety of help center articles that will help your agents understand how this app can help their business. Here are a few we'd like to call out that you can share with your agents.
Other On-Demand Agent Support Tools
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org (agents can also reply to any email received about their app from HomeSpotter and they’ll be routed to our support team to respond)
Chat with us: In-dashboard chat is available on weekdays between 8:30am-5pm CT. All messages that come in after hours (chats and emails) will be responded to the following day (or Monday on weekends) and urgent requests will be flagged and responded to sooner.
Phone: We know talking on the phone is sometimes needed. HomeSpotter will be sure to offer a phone call when necessary; however, dedicated phone support is not available at this time.
Agent Communication from Connect about App Leads
One of the great things about Connect by HomeSpotter is that we'll notify your agents about the right stuff, at the right time! We have a few types of communication that we'll go over next.
Email notification: App is being downloaded
HomeSpotter will trigger an email notification when someone goes to an app download link from desktop and provides their phone number or email address to receive a link to download the app.
Email notification: Request for information
This email is triggered when someone fills out a request more information form on a property from in the mobile app. NOTE: If your app is integrated with your CRM, requests may also be fed directly to your CRM as well as your HomeSpotter dashboard.
Email notification: Request for Showing
This email is triggered when someone fills out a request for a showing form on a property from in the mobile app. NOTE: If your app is integrated with your CRM, requests may also be fed directly to your CRM as well as your HomeSpotter dashboard.
Common FAQs about your App
How often is property info updated in the app?
In general, listings are updated every 15 minutes or so in the app. The data that powers your app is one of the best features and a great thing to talk to your clients about if they aren’t sure why they should use your app vs other national brand name alternatives. Here’s an article from our help center with more information about the data in your app.
When sharing my app (when using the 'invite to app' button on the app) to my Facebook page I can only share to my personal page. How do I share it to my business page?
This process might be different depending on your device, but you should be able to select your business page in the Facebook App settings. If you don’t see this option when sharing directly from your app, grab your link directly, and sign in to your Facebook business account and share directly from the Facebook app rather than the mobile app.
When sharing my app (when using the 'invite to app' button on the app) Is there a way I can change the default message?
The app does not have a way to save a default message on your device only, which is why the language in the default message is a bit generic. However, you can customize this each time. Once you’ve found the perfect message that you want to use, we recommend saving it on your phone’s notes app so that you can quickly copy and paste it in at a future time. Here is even more on the different ways you can share your app with clients and prospects.
When sharing the app from the dashboard using 'Send a Text' can I set this up to send from my own phone number?
The Send a Text feature on the app dashboard only allows you to send invites from a phone number that HomeSpotter has created for the brokerage's app only. If you’d like to use your own phone number to send text invites, you’ll want to share directly from the app, tap on the menu button in the upper left corner of your branded app. Tap "Invite to App". You’ll see two options, but you’ll want to choose Text, Email, or Post Online as this option allows you to use your own email, texting service, or any social media apps you have downloaded on your mobile device. Here’s more from our help center on sharing.
How do I know who has downloaded my app? I invited someone from the app by sending a text message. He downloaded the app but I wasn't notified. Am I only notified when the customer registers for a search account?
Correct, you will only be notified when someone registers for an account and provides us with their contact information. Check our help center to learn more about why your contacts need a search account here.
I received a no-reply email stating someone has downloaded my app. Where did they get my app from and is there a way I can find out who it is?
If you receive an email like this from email@example.com, that means someone has entered in their phone number from your app download link on a desktop device, and have received a text message with a link to download your app. If this number downloads your app and creates a search account, you’ll be notified with their information. We have no additional information yet on who this person is (other than the phone number they put in when requesting the app download link) or how they found your link.
Why are some properties labeled as "featured properties?"
Featured properties inside the app include any listing that a Real Estate agent at your brokerage is the primary agent for. This way, all of your brokerage's listings get a special call-out in the app!