Mobile apps vs web portals in the new homes industry

Accessing information and services on the go has become a crucial aspect of our daily lives. Whether it’s managing finances, staying connected with friends, or shopping for essentials, companies have two primary options to provide their customers with access to this and to meet their own team’s needs – web portals or mobile apps.

Both platforms offer unique advantages and cater to diverse user preferences. In this week’s article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using web portals versus mobile apps and how Housebuilder Pro provides the perfect solution to both your needs as a new home builder and those of your buyers.

Mobile apps: Do they match the hype?

Mobile apps are software applications specifically designed for smartphones and tablets, providing a tailored user experience for a particular platform.

Mobile apps are optimized for a device’s screen size and functionality, providing a guaranteed intuitive and user-friendly experience. With web portals, this can be less optimal with, less predictable scaling, and as a result, an app can have a more premium feeling to it.

Unlike web portals, mobile apps can offer offline functionality, allowing users to access certain features even without an internet connection – updating to a server from the device’s cache at a later date. This can be particularly beneficial in areas with limited connectivity.

Furthermore, mobile apps can leverage device-specific features, such as GPS location or camera, with a web portal this isn’t always guaranteed like it used to be. Lastly, apps allow for push notifications, which can help you in marketing or user retention.

Nevertheless, mobile apps have their own set of challenges. Mobile apps are typically platform-dependent, meaning separate versions need to be developed for iOS and Android. This can increase development time and costs.

Users need to download and install mobile apps, consuming storage space on their devices. Additionally, updates must be manually installed, and users may choose to disable automatic updates, leading to outdated versions.

Who should be using a mobile app in new homes?

While a web portal can do much of the job, but for some use cases an app is more fitting. It’s for this reason Housebuilder Pro has developed our new app, the Housebuilder Pro app launches for site teams to make Part L records and acts as a link between your office team and site management.

Internet connectivity is not guaranteed on a building site, so their work needs to be able to be stored locally and uploaded to the cloud for safekeeping at a later date, it also provides unfettered access to GPS location data for these records.


Web portals: An easily accessible solution

Web portals provide users with access to a variety of services and information through a web browser. These platforms are designed to be versatile, and accessible from any device with an internet connection.

Here are some key advantages of using web portals:

One of the significant strengths of web portals is their ability to work seamlessly on various devices. including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Users can access the same functionalities regardless of the device they are using.

This accessibility continues with the lack of needing to install or download a program. Unlike mobile apps, web portals don’t need to be downloaded and installed. Users can simply navigate to the website through their preferred browser, eliminating the need for downloads, having available storage space and the hassle of updates.

This continues with updates, users need to take no action nor have to wait for their device to get up to date to use the service. Updates to web portals are implemented on the server side, meaning users always have access to the latest version. This simplifies maintenance for both users and developers.

However, web portals also have some drawbacks. For example, web portals require an active internet connection to function. In areas with poor connectivity, users may experience delays or difficulties accessing the portal.

While web portals work across various devices, they may not leverage all the features of specific devices as effectively as dedicated mobile apps.

So who should be using a web portal in new homes?

When it comes to web portals and mobile apps, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. So as a result we offer both for different use cases. Technically speaking, like many cloud-based SaaS (Software as a service) providers, Housebuilder Pro is a web portal. But our web portal for home buyers is a more pertinent example. Called the customer portal, it allows your buyers access to choices and extras, snagging, build updates and documents – at your discretion.

The key reason for the customer portal being a web portal is accessibility. We’ve found that for many of our housebuilders to ask their customers to download an app – that they may only use once- that takes up already limited space on their phones and tablets is just one more barrier to higher customer engagement.

Our customer portal is a secure and hassle-free alternative be that in the sales office or at home.

If you’d like to learn more about Housebuilder Pro and its innovative use of apps and web portals – get in touch with the team here.




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