In Nashville, Tennessee, Keller Williams agent Aaron Armstrong and his team know clients crave hyperlocal insights. To get them, they spend almost an hour per client creating custom searches, crunching comp data, researching local businesses, and vetting contractors.
For Armstrong, the pursuit to provide a standout customer experience complete with highly personalized information is a labor-intensive process. He has to search multiple websites, many with outdated information … all of them disconnected. “It’s hard for me to get insight into what they’re looking at,” says Armstrong. “It creates discord and miscommunication.”
Armstrong wants a more connected and efficient experience for his clients, and his team. With the launch of Keller Williams’ much-anticipated consumer app, that experience is now at hand. The KW App is the tool the industry has been missing; not only the key to the holistic, streamlined buying and selling process consumers desire, but also a tool for staying connected and providing value between deals.
Bringing Agents and Clients Together
The app is the consumer-facing counterpart to KW’s agent operating system, Command, and the final piece in the company’s pursuit to deliver an end-to-end experience. The new technology solution empowers agents and consumers alike by creating a central point for communication and collaboration. Agents will enjoy greater insights into buyer and seller preferences and activity – delivered directly to their Command dashboard. Clients will be delighted by an industry-leading featureset and world-class search experience, enriched by real-time data.
“The app sets a new standard,” says Armstrong, who has been an active participant in the development of the app through the Labs program. “It makes the real estate experience interactive, intuitive, and differentiates us from the competition.”
For too long, each part of the transaction – from search to signing on the dotted line – has come piecemeal, frustrating agents and riddling clients with anxiety as they move through the home buying and selling process.
KW’s app solves that through first-of-its-kind features like Guide: a step-by-step action plan that allows clients to buy, sell, and transact in one place.
Among many other things, Guide allows agents to:
- Devise a personalized plan to their business, or leverage the app’s built-in template
- Manage the client’s progress within Command
- Introduce clients to valuable, money-saving-related services – such as mortgage and home insurance – along the way
“The app empowers agents to interact at every step of the transaction, guiding their clients through the entire process with a personal touch,” says Jon Haver, senior product manager for KW’s consumer initiative. “This allows agents to set expectations, provide tips, and remove frustrations, creating a foundation for a strong client experience.”
And, while consumers are opting into real estate technology, data shows they still prefer to work personally with a real estate agent. Eighty-seven percent of all buyers bought their home through an agent in 2018, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.
For this reason, Keller Williams designed the app to keep agents at the center of the transaction and strengthen the agent-client relationship at every turn.
Consumers begin by downloading their agent’s branded app via a custom download link. From there, the KW App allows clients to search by city, ZIP, neighborhood, and school district, revealing the details that matter most to them. While clients dive into the app’s various features, agents can keep a pulse on the choices consumers make – the types of properties they click on, the neighborhoods they look at, and more – so they can provide personalized and informed recommendations and service.
For example, the app’s “Collections” feature will allow clients to create groups of properties they’re interested in and agents the ability to curate properties for clients, comment on, and note their recommended listings.
“For some clients, it’s hard to verbally explain what they’re looking for,” Armstrong says. “But if they see a picture, they know. Collections allows us to get a better understanding of what they’re looking for to get them one step closer to their dream home.”
Next-Level Local Insight
The app also gives consumers and agents deep, detailed, and unique insight into neighborhoods. Until now, this capability has been absent from the industry, which organizes around MLS boundaries (arbitrary and unrelatable to consumers). Or ZIP codes, which tend to be so large and contain such distinct pockets that they are largely inaccurate.
The “Neighborhoods” feature changes that by showcasing almost every available neighborhood in the United States. With a swift swipe, consumers can see what it’s like to live in a neighborhood (lifestyle trends, report cards of nearby schools, commute times to popular destinations, etc.) and access up-to-date real estate market data. This gives them the context they need to make the most informed decision about what matters most.
Additionally, in the near future, consumers and agents can follow neighborhoods and get feed updates on market changes, new businesses, and service providers. With neighborhood information at their fingertips, KW agents become the go-to experts on clients’ neighborhoods of choice.
Connected Even After After the Deal Closes
The power of the app lies in its ability to keep the agent and client connected even after the deal is done. Currently in Labs, “My Home” will allow:
- Clients to stay on top of their property value estimates and neighborhood trends
- Agents to deliver a list of trusted vendors for their clients’ home improvement/repair needs
- Agents to respond ASAP when clients make a new CMA request
It is this technology that makes Armstrong and his team confident the app will deepen his client relationships, keeping him connected and top of mind.
“The app’s current and upcoming features don’t just give us a leg up by making everything more efficient,” Armstrong says. “They finally give clients a reason to stay connected to us at any point of their journey.”
For the app, as with all KW technology, learning is ongoing through the Labs program. After launch, technologists and agents will work together indefinitely to test, learn, and bring new features to the forefront – a partnership Armstrong is proud of. “This launch is the result of the collective intelligence of our technologists and the experience of our 180,000-plus associates,” says Armstrong. “It’s all of us working together to provide a better experience for our clients because we believe agents are a consumer’s best guide through the homeowners.