Domain saw its one millionth app download in May, an achievement that surpassed even Domain’s own expectations. Tony Blamey, general manager of real estate at Fairfax Marketplaces (owner of Domain), explained to Real Estate Business’ Stacey Moseley what the growth of mobile usage means for agents
WHAT DOES THIS ACHIEVEMENT MEAN TO YOU?
We’re delighted to have achieved the one million downloads for the Domain app – it’s a huge milestone for the business. It’s really a reflection of the consumer uptake we’ve seen and the popularity of apps, and we think that will continue.
WHY HAS THE DOMAIN APP BEEN SO POPULAR WITH CONSUMERS?
I think it’s really convenient to use – obviously portable on smartphones and tablet devices – and that’s really important for consumers when they’re out and about on the weekends for open inspections. It’s also used heavily when consumers are commuting, so it’s just very convenient in terms of them being able to access Domain content whenever they need to.
WHEN ARE CONSUMERS MOST USING THE APP?
It’s really interesting the way consumers are using the app; it’s very complementary to the way they use our website. So what we’re seeing with iPhones and other smartphones is heavy use around commuting times in the mornings and in the evenings. But by far and away the most heavily used time is on the weekends. Both the tablet apps and also the smartphone apps are used heavily on Saturdays while consumers are out doing open for inspections. We see peak usage around 10 to 12 in the morning on Saturday while people are out. We also see heavy use on Sundays as people are accessing info from the previous day. But the usage does build during the week, so people are doing their preparation for their weekend’s property inspections closer to Friday, using tools like the Domain inspection planner.
WHAT’S THE SPLIT BETWEEN APP USERS LOOKING TO RENT AND THOSE LOOKING TO BUY?
It’s reflective of website usage. We always see more activity around renters. More volume of rental searches and more leads back to agents regarding rentals. That’s reflected in the mobile devices as well. Around 60 per cent of enquires are for rentals compared to 40 per cent for sale properties.
HOW ARE AGENTS MAKING THE MOST OF THE DOMAIN APP?
I think agents are using the apps in innovative ways, and they’re certainly using them while they’re at open for inspections. They’re showing people inspecting the home more details about that particular home, and they’re also showing other homes they might be interested in. We also see them being used during listing presentations to again compare a particular property to other properties on the market – to look at what the price comparisons are. Agents are using the app in a number of different ways.
WHAT ARE YOUR TARGETS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD?
Certainly today, the growth in mobile [usage] has exceeded all our expectations and we expect that growth to continue. Understanding that tablet devices are still only [being used by] around 20 per cent of the Australian population, and smartphones by just over 50 per cent, there’s a lot of growth left for more consumer uptake and we’ll see that flow into usage for real estate searches.
We think we’ll get to the two million mark quicker than we got to the one million mark.