Commonwealth Bank’s Property Guide iPhone App

A week or so ago I was invited to today’s launch of Comm Bank’s Property Guide iPhone App (application). When I got the invite, I was interested and sceptical all at the same time (how can a bank make an industry leading property App), but intrigue, and the promise of a good breakfast, got the better of me and I went along.

Firstly, I have to say that the App itself is very impressive. I love iPhone Apps that “use” the functionality of the handset. Too many Apps are just conservative, dry extensions of the company’s website (see Domain’s App as a good example of this). They’re functional, they do a job, but are pretty uneventful, never interactive and pretty boring. The Comm Bank App uses every ounce of the handset’s horse power, and is the better for it.

Augmented reality (using the camera, GPS and orientation gizmo) is mind blowing, user friendly and very useful. During the live demo they took us outside and we stood outside a property that was for sale, pointed the camera at the property, and everything came to life…… so much information at your fingertips. You can search in more traditional ways, but the AR was the real show stopper.

Secondly, another masterstroke is buddying up with RPData and realestate.com.au for content. I’ll let you download it and judge for yourself, but it’s the sort of App that one of the portals SHOULD have created, and didn’t.

I applaud Comm Bank for a job well done (and for the great coffee at the launch).

cba, Comm Bank App, Commonwealth Bank, GPS, REA, Realestate.com.au, RP Data

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About Pete Richards

Pete Richards is Head of Marketing for McGrath Estate Agents, and has been operating as a marketing specialist within the professional services sector since 1997, despite originally qualifying as a Mechanical Engineer. Pete joined McGrath in 2007, having previously held senior marketing roles within the recruitment and HR outsourcing sector, both in Australia and Europe.

11 Responses to Commonwealth Bank’s Property Guide iPhone App

  1. Brett Clements August 5, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Sensational app.

  2. James August 5, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    While I think the concept behind the application is brilliant, I see some real privacy and security concerns for the general public and is it really in the best interests of the agents what actually supplied a lot of the data being used in the application to REA and RPData in the first place.

  3. Vic August 5, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    As a former Senior Exec with CBA I know how much they value new innovations. I also know that issues of privacy and security would have been thoroughly investigated before release.
    We will be seriously looking at how we can hitch onto this innovation for the benefit of our agents sales and marketing strategies.

    The Elephant moves slowly but deliberately- good on you CBA!

  4. zen August 5, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Great idea but almost all of the properties listed so far have had very little detail of prices. (either places for sale or that were recently sold).
    Without actually presenting some useful data it’s just another property search engine..

  5. Pete Richards August 5, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    A collegue of mine did mention the privacy issue as a concern, but surely all of the information is public domain anyway? They’re not putting anything on the App that a consumer can’t find quickly on RPData and/or realestate.com.au.

  6. Nick August 5, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Pete, its a privacy concern in that the bank knows exactly where everyone who uses the app has been.

    It doesnt magically know what is for sale near you. 😉
    It actually has to send your exact location and potentially other sensitive information to the bank where they can do whatever they want with it.

  7. Mac August 5, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Sounds the same as the one St George has had out for months – Is it?

    CBA announced their launch just after St George’s actual launch months ago but it was nowhere near built! So much for innovation, Vic! 🙂

  8. Vic August 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Mac,
    Very few have original ideas- old ideas are recycled and some do it “innovativley” better than others 🙂

    Pete,
    Can you get someone from CBA IT dept to give their take on the privacy issue?

  9. Ryan O'Grady August 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    More informative than your normal real estate iphone app, the comparative sales data and previous sold history is gold. If all the data is available through RPD or APM then I don’t see any privacy issues.

  10. Jayne Harwood August 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    Is anyone having problems with the app actually picking up the house you are looking at? I am in Launceston and stood outside one of our listings and I could not get the application to pick up the house. It picked up the house next door and produced recent sales for a Street in a different suburb. I also tried a Hotel Complex where we have 3 apartments for sale and it couldn’t pick them up either? Just wondering whether this is just a Tassie issue?

  11. Nathan Krisanski August 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    The privacy question is the interesting one here.

    Talking about it with my mother-in-law a few weeks ago, she couldn’t believe that her Full name, Address and how much she paid for their new house in toowoomba was up for grabs to anyone with an RPData, PDSLive or APM account.

    Now its not just Real Estate agents, but any average joe with an iphone. They have a silent number so that they are not listed in white pages etc, but seems this data is readily available now?

    I’m all for data and cool toys, but to me, in the wrong hands, this could be used for evil?

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