Acknowledging the importance of long-lasting agent-client relationships, HomeKeepr, a relatively new company, has released a mobile app for both iPhone and Android platforms aimed at creating bonds spanning the typical lifecycle of a home.
Offering simple branding options, customized home upkeep schedules and a handful of convenient communication and referral portals, the app promises a lot for agents and homeowners alike. We breakdown the app to see if those features are worth the cost.
Price: For homeowners, it’s free. For agents, plans include:
- 100 Clients: $9.99/month or $99.99/year
- 500 Clients: 19.99/month or $199/year
How it works: Simply used, the app, which is free to download, allows agents to create a branded page, including a headshot and a company logo, upload a roster of “preferred” vendors with contact information, everything from plumbing to HVAC to electrical, and then invite clients to join free of cost.
For invited homebuyers, it’s only a matter of downloading the app, creating an account and answering a set of 14 questions, all related to their current single-family home/townhome/condo/apartment and surroundings. From there, the app generates a customized upkeep schedule for the user, designed for convenience and ease of use.
Benefits: Whether agent or homeowner, the most obvious benefit of the app comes from the interface’s intuitive design. The clear-cut layout is easy to navigate and the menus are well labeled and careful not to provide any erroneous details.
On the agent’s side, the app is a means of quick and convenient communication, helping relationships transcend the homebuying process and carry over into the lifecycle of the home itself. Included features allow agents to brand their page with a logo, add trusted vendors who clients will later be able to access and, once complete, offers agents a chance to review the look of their page before inviting clients to join.
For homeowners, the benefits are certainly more frequent and obvious, which further benefits the agent who initially brought the app to their attention. First and foremost, homeowners are provided a 12-month home upkeep schedule (with due dates) that includes tasks such as gutter cleanings, electrical inspections and so on. Upon selecting an individual task, users are met with additional details as to what the task entails, why it’s important to complete it, how to complete it and, to use at their discretion, the agent’s uploaded list of preferred vendors.
Every month, homeowners using the app will receive a courtesy email reminding them of pending and upcoming tasks, as well as a branded reminder of which agent purchased the app on their behalf. If a homeowner decides to contact their agent, perhaps with the intention of selling, they need only select the sizeable “call” or “email” buttons conveniently placed on the app’s main page.
Another boon for agents, there is also an expedient “refer agent to a friend” option, permitting streamlined referrals.
Drawbacks: As the app is only in its infancy, the features, while impressive, are relatively limited, in large part to the amount of manual input that’s required on the part of the agent. All vendor lists, which can be quite expansive considering the number of vendor categories, are built out by hand, either through a smartphone or agents can upload lists online. However, if agents already have vendors in their contacts list they can simply upload them to the app directly, or, if they’re are feeling particularl lazy, HomeKeepr offers free data entry. If vendor lists aren’t built out, clients are left with a long series of tasks with no professionals to help carry them out.
If a vendor list is empty, the app gives homeowners the option to email the agent and request additional vendor options.
Verdict: An app still in its infancy, HomeKeepr suffers from limited features, but still manages to offer unique and, most importantly, useful content to homeowners while maintaining an ever-open line of communication between the homeowner and the agent who invited them to join.
Homeowners don’t need an agent to download the app, so if they’re only looking for home upkeep tips they can proceed unassisted, but the true value of the app comes in agents recommending it to their clients, so long as they’ve taken the time to fill out or upload vendor lists.
As invited users can only view content uploaded by the overseeing agent, so long as a person uses HomeKeepr, they’re connected to a single agent, which is doubly valuable when it comes time to sell. The simple referral option is another huge feature for agents, as real estate is largely a referral business.
The monthly and annual prices are considerably steeper than other real estate apps, but it’s hard to draw a baseline considering how truly unique the HomeKeepr’s offerings are. In this writer’s opinion, it’s worth the price tag, but I’ll be looking forward to HomeKeepr 2.0.