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App Review: Sotheby’s International Realty’s iPad App

by Chicago Agent

Sotheby's International Realty has placed their luxury home listings for users on the go via their recently-released iPad app.

Capitalizing on the success of their smartphone app, Sotheby’s International Realty has recently released a version of their popular luxury property listing site for iPad users.

With an extensive search engine detailing all of Sotheby’s local and international listings, and interactive tools and features, we deconstruct the app to see whether homebuyers and agents should download or ditch it for their iPad.

Price: Free

How it Works: Much like the iPhone app that the company released two years ago, Sotheby’s iPad app rounds up all the listings that are available on their site, and enables homebuyers and agents to take these listings on the go during their house hunting experience.

Benefits: Perhaps one obvious benefit to this particular app is that unlike other apps that are only available on smartphones, Sotheby’s app takes full advantage of the iPad’s 9.7-inch LED display. The app’s larger layout  enables house hunters and agents alike to view a property’s location, photos and specifications in a clearer and more comprehensive display.

One other feature that sets the app apart from others is that it allows homebuyers to search for international listings in Sotheby’s search engine. International house hunters are no longer limited to the scope of other apps that only focus on local listings.

Also exclusive to the app is its “Lifestyle Overlay” feature. Amenities like golf courses, vineyards, restaurants, schools and theaters that are close by to the property a buyer might be interested in, are listed utilizing an iPad’s GPS capabilities.

Other features include:

  • Facebook/Twitter property sharing
  • Search filter to refine by square footage or lot size
  • One-click contact to a Sotheby’s broker or agent

Catches: One setback users will already notice is that the app is exclusive to the Sotheby’s brand, and therefore users will be limited to Sotheby’s postings. It’d be interesting to see if it will integrate other luxury homes listed by other agencies in future versions.

And although the app has a global reach, Sotheby’s has yet to customize and translate the it for global users, which John Passerini, vice president of Sotheby’s interactive marketing, has addressed. He explained that their website is currently translated into 15 languages, which are all done by native speakers. This could pose a definite setback in terms of getting the app available to the international market in a timely fashion.

One other feature we’d be interested in seeing is a check-in feature, much like the Trulia app we featured. The app already enables users to share property information on Facebook and Twitter, but enabling agents to check-in to a property shows how much knowledge they may have about a certain listing or location.

And because the app was just released this month (a beta version was released in March), we wonder if they have all the kinks–like crashes, lag, connection issues–worked out.

Verdict: Though the app may still be finding its footing, user response seems to be fairly positive. Passerini has reported that they’ve been seeing 500 downloads per weeks since its release.

Overall, the app’s mobility, easy-to-navigate and clear display, social media integration and use of Sotheby’s local and international luxury home listings are reasons to definitely download the app. Luxury home buyers looking to add a technological aspect to their house hunting experience can definitely take advantage of Sotheby’s iPad app.

To download the app to your iPad, visit its iTunes page here.

Have you used Sotheby’s International Realty’s iPad app? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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