Better Homes and Gardens takes real estate iPhone Apps beyond listings

Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate [Disclosure: They are a 1000watt Consulting client] released an iPhone app yesterday.

The brand, which is just over a year old, has a strong lifestyle vibe. From their perspective, real estate is more about living a life in a great place than simply buying or selling a house.

This app reflects that distinction.

First of all, this is a real estate application with no listings. It is not a home search app. Rather, it aims to help the user – presumably, here, a buyer – organize and simplify their home search.

Users can take photos from the app while house hunting, organize them, share them on Facebook, email them and rate their preferences. And while they are at it – there, out in the field – they can get information on schools, recent sales and demographics with a touch of the screen.

Does it need listings? That’s debatable. While one can think through use cases where a buyer would and would not be relying on the handset to both find the listing and capture and contextualize it, it seems to me the prudent choice is to keep it simple. The mobile platform forces these sorts of decisions, and that’s a good thing.

Like the Dunkin’ Donuts iPhone App, which makes the process of going on a coffee run easier, this is an application with a soft feel that is nonetheless built for getting something done.

I like that.