Moving can often be a stressful experience, particularly when you don’t necessarily know what’s available in the area you’re looking around. Rightmove has been praised before for its online services and its complementary mobile apps, so we thought we’d take a serious look at what’s on offer and why the app’s user experience makes it that much easier to use over the competition when it comes to the great British house hunt.
First and foremost, using Rightmove’s services gives you access to over a million properties listed across the UK (and some a little further afield). The app’s approach differs slightly from the website’s, but both make use of the same extensive library of housing.
The user interface of the iOS and Android versions differ slightly, but the functionality remains largely the same. Once you’ve set up an account with Rightmove, you’re able not only to use the apps to their full independently, but save search parameters and even specific properties to your account meaning you can access them from any other device or online, wherever you are.
The process of finding a property starts by the user searching an area. To do this, you can search by current location, type in an area or postcode in the search bar or by utilising the apps map view, which will filter properties by the area of map physically on the screen at the time.
By default, properties are listed down the side in order of price from highest to lowest, with each entry showing you a thumbnail, a brief description of property type (e.g. ‘2 bed apartment’), the number of photos available for each property and whether or not a floor plan is available. Should one property catch your eye, tapping it will bring up an expandable detailed description of the property including features, tenure type, location and nearest stations for public transport where applicable. There are also options to view photos in a fullscreen image gallery, view the floor plan, jump to the property’s location on the map, view in Street View (Android only), show nearby schools (Android only) and even view the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
Should you find a property that is of particular interest the user can hit the Request Details button (or the Email Agent button on Android) which brings out a pop up email entry screen complete with the property’s name auto-filled in the heading and directed at the necessary estate agents branch.
Where the Rightmove app really shines is with its fine grain controls and the flexibility of performing a search, Not only can users utilise the map view and postcode search methods, but they can refine their search with a host of filters that really help tailor your criteria. Based on your current search location, you can expand that search radius by up to 40 miles, set a minimum and maximum number of beds, a minimum and maximum price, refine when the property was added to Rightmove’s database and choose the property type. If these basic control aren’t enough, there’s even an advanced menu which adds the options for preowned or new builds, retirement accommodation, shared-ownership, available parking and garden space, characterful housing and whether or not the matching properties feature in an auction format.
Rightmove’s mobile apps demonstrate how best to bring the house hunting experience to the place you’ll most likely need it, out and about when you’re in the midst of a search. The wealth of controls ensure that the majority of the work is done for you so you can cut straight to short listing your favourite place and what’s more you can pick up and put down the experience on any device without losing anything. To top it all off, both iOS and Android versions and free and available now.
NOTE: In its current form, users running the app who’ve already upgraded to iOS 6 may find the maps experience less than satisfactory, this is because the application overlays on the proprietary Maps app on your device, users have a greater chance of success if they’re still using iOS 5.1.1 or Android. That is at least, until Apple fix Apple Maps.