Chase has 50 million customers and a sleek mobile-only app to help them find a house and buy a mortgage. What’s in it for you? A new marketing platform and broad exposure.
What’s the difference between JP Morgan Chase and Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com?
Chase has 50 million paying customers. One in six Americans has a financial relationship with Chase, whether it’s a checking or savings account, loan, credit card or you guessed it — a mortgage.
Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com offer broad exposure to your listings, but the consumer relationship begins and ends on the web. Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com live and breathe so that they can deliver a lead to your doorstep.
Chase MyNewHome App • FREE • iOS + Android
Chase’s mission is different. It’s already in a financial relationship with millions of consumers, many of whom will ultimately need a mortgage. And that’s why Chase built the MyNewHome app.
Chase wants to help its customers and prospects find a house and a mortgage at the same time, so they can win more mortgage business. Sure, it’s transparent — but I think that’s what makes the app work. You can find a house on the Chase app and instantly see how much it might cost to buy. In a couple of clicks, you can get in touch with a Chase mortgage banker.
And that’s where you, as a working Realtor, come into the picture. In order for Chase’s app to be genuinely useful to its customers, the bank needs your listings to make its app work. In return, it’s guaranteeing exposure of you and your listings to its customer base.
So what’s in it for you? Simple: Chase’s My New Home app is a marketing platform that seems to serve the needs of Realtors just as well as Chase’s mortgage bankers.
There’s no advertising (other than for Chase mortgages) in the app. Only the listing agent appears with the listing. You can click to call the agent right within the listing, or email the agent from your smartphone. All of the agent’s contact information is front and center.
If a client does get in touch with a Realtor about a listing, Chase doesn’t keep a record of the communication. Everything goes direct to the listing agent. The only time Chase keeps track of contacts coming out of the app is when the consumer wants to talk to one of its own mortgage bankers.
Yet Another Syndication Option
I’m going to bet that many Realtors don’t even know their listings are in the Chase app. Since Chase sucks its listings in from ListHub and Point2, it’s an option in the syndication panel brokers use when deciding where to send their listings. Chase says the app’s listings come from about 450 MLSs throughout the country.
If a broker has chosen to send their listings everywhere, Chase’s app will automatically be included. Brokers who are more cautious about where they syndicate their listings can opt-in or out of the Chase app on an individual basis.
Chase says that it’s delivered more than 150,000 leads to Realtors through the app.
It’s hard to know about the quality of the leads, but it’s possible to make the leap that they’re a bit warmer if it’s a Chase customer. Ostensibly, if you’ve downloaded the Chase app because you’re a bank customer who wants to buy a house, you probably mean business.
At least that’s Chase’s theory. For brokers who have their own mortgage business, the Chase app could be considered a threat. But I think it’s yet another marketing channel with little downside, since it’s impossible to control where a consumer might search for a home, and which tools they use.
If you’re a broker without a mortgage operation, the advantage in telling your agents and clients to use the Chase app is that there’s no advertising from your competitors.
Chase has also an enormous investment in the marketing of the MyNewHome app.
It’s impossible to walk into one of Chase’s 5,500 bank branches or use one of its 18,500 ATMS or online portal without seeing the MyNewHome app splashed all over the place. From signage to paper receipts to television advertising, the app is everywhere.
Clean UI, Easy to Use
On the face of it, the MyNewHome app looks and feels a lot like the apps from the major portals. It presents listings based on your location. You can save listings you like to your device or to iCloud (if you’re on an Apple device).
I like the look of the app a lot, and in its latest release (debuting today in the app store) it’s now compatible with Apple’s iOS7.
The newest version includes additional functionality so you can view the three nearest school districts in the map view and see a home on the map in relation to schools and points of interest. You also filter out non-active listings from your search or run a search based on the features you’re looing for in a home.
MyNewHome also includes niceties found in the portals’ mobile apps. You can conduct a boundary search by drawing on a map. You can save your favorite homes, rate them and synch them between devices. You can add notes, video and audio to your saved houses.
There’s plenty of additional information about neighborhoods that’s powered by Onboard Informatics. Demographics, schools, crime rates and local points of interest are all there. You can research the average property value and square footage of homes in your search area, or bring up sales history and tax information.
Of course, there’s also a payment estimator. It shows the payment breakdown, and all the other particulars of the loan, from the home price, down payment, loan amount, interest rate, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, homeowners association dues, loan length, and the type of property. This is where you can push a button to get a custom quote on a mortgage from Chase.
When you do, you’ll be presented with a directory of Chase mortgage bankers near you. You can add the banker to your contacts within the app with a single click.
All in all, I found the Chase app as easy to use as the Trulia, Zillow and Realtor.com mobile apps. I found it refreshing that there wasn’t any advertising in the app, except for Chase’s links to its own mortgage operation. It’s a lovely and clean user interface. It’s available on iOS and Android smart phones, and the iPad.
As big as Chase is, it’s not everywhere. Its operations tend to concentrate in larger markets, but it does operate in all 50 states. You can get a mortgage from Chase no matter where you live. The flaw isn’t in the availability of the mortgages; it’s in the listing coverage in smaller markets (which seem to congregate in the center of the country).
Consider that Chase pulls in listings from 450 MLSs in the United States, which is roughly half of all MLSs. That’s why in some areas where the MLS or brokers haven’t syndicated their listings via ListHub or Point2 to the MyNewHome app, coverage can be slim to none.
Chase is more than aware of this situation, and consequently reduces its advertising for MyNewHome in weaker markets so as not to disappoint its customers with a poorly populated app.
For Realtors who might advise their clients to try out the Chase app, I’d suggest downloading the app and testing out its coverage of your area.
For the vast majority of agents in big markets, though, the Chase app is yet another marketing platform. What’s nice is that it doesn’t contain any competitive agent advertising. You actually don’t have to do anything to be on it, a great advantage for time-strapped agents.
Chase isn’t trying to monetize the app based on real estate agents — all it wants to do is to sell mortgages. And that could be the single biggest reason to advise your clients to try it out. It’s free, and it’s focused on you and your listings.