Apple puts in its bid to play in real estate market

Download property searches to your iPod

Property group, McGrath Estate Agents, has developed Australia's first search criteria-based real estate podcast, allowing buyers to request properties based on their specific requirements which is then sent to their iPod.

McGrath CEO, John McGrath, said this capability will enable consumers to automatically subscribe to receive podcasts via McGrath's advanced search mechanism in a mobile form.

"We have worked closely with Apple to deliver our customers a better solution as they are clear market leaders globally in the podcasting arena," he said.

"The Internet has become a part of every buyer's search process and I have no doubt that the ability to download their search results to their iPod will be the next big trend in the fast moving real estate marketing revolution.

"It's one thing to be able to view the properties on your computer but it's far more efficient to be able to download them, carry them with you and show them to your friends and family. It gives people incredible convenience and portability to look at the properties on a train, on a plane, or at the beach."

To access the service, buyers key in their property search criteria on the McGrath Web site which will feature a 'download to iPod' link.

The server will then send a podcast alert via the iTunes software which can then be downloaded to the buyer's personal iPod.

Buyers will be provided with a list of available properties that match their entered search criteria with video and ready for download.

Under the advanced search, options for selection include architectural style, apartment features such as, pet friendly, security, gym and concierge.

A directory of quick links at the bottom of the home page cuts back on the layers and makes the site easier to use.

McGrath believes podcasts are becoming an integral part of daily life, part of accessing information on demand.

"The easier we make it to buy a property, the better service we are providing to our vendors as we provide them with a material advantage in the market," he said.

"Likewise we see it as a valuable tool for buyers. It's like a mini-video of your short-list of properties you can carry around."

It is the first time a real estate agent has given buyers the chance to refine their search by lifestyle, number of bedrooms and property type, and have the list of properties sent to their iPod.

While there has been a few real estate sites around the world that have allowed very basic downloads, McGrath claims it has developed a world-first because buyers can refine the download properties to exactly match a search criteria which can be sent weekly.

"All other iPod capable sites that we have seen required buyers to virtually download every listing with a couple of basic options," he said.

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Sandra Rossi

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