The Inman technology review of Beans Tour finds the real estate app to be a well-designed, navigation-driven mobile solution for buyer’s agents to create and manage property tours.
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Beans Tour is property tour management and navigation app.
Platforms: Browser, iOS, Android companion app
Ideal for: Buyer agents, teams and homebuyers
Top selling points:
- Accuracy of navigation
- Dashboard activity UX
- Agent/client interaction
- URL-based property input
- Auto optimization of tour route
Getting buyers to download and use the app. This is a risk with every real estate app that has a consumer-facing component, unless its Zillow, Redfin or realtor.com
What you should know
The interface is tight and productivity-minded (both agent and consumer experiences), it gives agents an informative and succinct rundown of showing activity and leverages some very sharp tech to ensure everyone gets to the right place every time.
The app’s geospatial technology parent company is called One Hundred Feet, and it came about when two California entrepreneurs wanted to make sure their Uber Eats driver could accurately deliver a pizza when faced with the complicated challenge of navigating large apartment communities. Seriously.
(But don’t all good ideas have something to do with pizza?)
The result was mapping technology that puts a person in the most efficient parking location and in front of the exact door. The name emanated from a play on the “last mile” concept from the telecommunications industry.
Beans Tour then, is an ideal app for agents in large cities who show urban high rises and apartments. But let’s not pretend today’s planned urban developments are easy to navigate. That’s why we have cul-de-sacs, so agents can turn around when trying to find a house.
The Beans Tour dashboard puts right upfront three major activity metrics: Total Showings, Showings by Client and Showings by Status.
Showings by Status may need a title update, as most agents associate “status” with the property’s status (active, pending, closed), not the client’s, which is what Beans intends. It’s a minor oversight.
I dig the Beans Tour Inbox, which lists upcoming tour updates, client notes and feedback on properties, as well as appointment requests and questions that buyers input on their consumer version. It’s always ideal to have communications consolidated, especially in mobile apps, which are predicated on efficiency. Sharp touch.
The Inbox also applies all the information against a map to associate location with each entry, a characteristic that adds powerfully relevant location context to your business activity.
Setting up a new tour can be done using existing properties already entered into the app or by submitting a new one using its URL.
Beans Tour leverages the APIs of Zillow and Redfin to quickly populate its interface with house data. A manual entry process is available for those so inclined.
The founders didn’t find much need in connecting to disparate multiple listing services because of their widespread sharing discrepancies in policy and data standards. Plus, since most consumers are already beholden to Zillow and Redfin, why fight the rising tide?
In instances where a number of prepopulated homes will be part of a tour, users need only to trace a circle around them on the map for Beans Tour to automatically optimize the route.
On the consumer end, users can input homes into a tour that they see along the way or after its scheduled and its automatically shared with the agent’s interface. Buyer notes auto-populate the agent Inbox and get sent via phone alert. They can reach agents in a single tap via text or phone, too.
Beans Tour started as a way to better navigate people around populated areas using semantic waypoints. It’s ended with a sharp, mobile tour manager that’s no doubt worthy of occupying some memory on your smartphone.
It should be said that the team behind Beans Tour aren’t betting on industrywide rejection of Showingtime. If they’re taking on any software presence, it’s Google’s Map app.
Talk about stepping it up a notch.
Lastly, there’s more here than just tour tech, and the same goes with Instashowing. There’s a byproduct to better tour communication and showing experiences, and that’s improved buyer experiences. Don’t underestimate the long-term benefits technology has on your brand.
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.