While traditional forms of marketing real estate fizzle out, a new era of digital marketing has dawned. Thanks to the global connectivity of the internet, people no longer have to turn to traditional media to market a home or condo or any other form of real estate. Gone are the days where consumers lack transparency into a market that once used to confuse and perplex everyday average individuals looking to buy or sell a home.
No. Today, consumers are savvy. As the internet has evolved, so has our unfettered access to information across the spectrum. In turn, the real estate market, which has been one of the most lucrative and profitable lines of business since the dawn of time, has seen an explosive growth of agents and owners vying for the buyer’s attention through any form of digital marketing means.
Yet, like every other highly-saturated field, it’s no longer simple to gain the customer’s awareness. They’ve learned to weed out the nuisances and cancel the noise as they search for the perfect home on the web. With fierce competition in the marketplace, potential home buyers are armed with all the data they could possibly need, forcing real estate agents to compete and set themselves apart more fortuitously than before.
The truth? It’s difficult to market a home on the internet. It’s become excruciatingly painful to set yourself apart from the fray. With the biggest players in the market aggregating themselves through sites like Zillow, Trulia and others, most have come to realize that real estate marketing is an extremely complex field that requires weaving together a number of online marketing disciplines such as blogging, social media and search engine optimization, just to name a few.
While much of this has little to do with the everyday consumer, real estate agents are constantly searching for ways they can gain an edge in digital real estate marketing. To that effect, I pondered the question for a while about the future of real estate marketing. I wondered what realtors and owners were doing to set themselves apart in such a convoluted and competitive online space.
In a recent article where I covered virtual reality’s impact on three different industries, one of those industries that I covered was real estate. The key player in that industry? Matterport. By far, this is one of the most innovative and impressive companies that I have come across and I wanted to dive in further to learn more about the product behind the company.
If you’ve never heard of Matterport, then prepare to be impressed. Their camera captures a 3D-dollhouse rendering of any space that can be toured and viewed, not only in virtual reality, but across any device. When real estate agents and home owners are looking for an edge in marketing their homes, condos, offices, yachts and anything else for that Matterport, they turn to Matterport.
I’m not often this impressed by a company’s product or services. I’ve not been paid to endorse them and have no deals whatsoever in place. Yet, as a digital marketing sleuth and someone who is acutely vested in the real estate industry, I am always looking for the next best thing, so to speak.
In a brief conversation with Bill Brown, CEO of the company, he informed me that “Matterport’s mission is to give people the freedom to experience any place at any time… establishing 3D and VR models as a primary medium for experiencing, sharing, and re-imagining the world.”
So to ensure that I sated my ongoing lust for information about the company’s product, I reached out. The otherwise-expensive camera that the company provides is at the center of its technology. With its previous iteration hovering around the $5,000 mark (recently reduced to $3,600), some would consider this a significant investment. So, I wanted to give a test drive on my own. I wanted to see what all this hype was about.
Matterport came through. I reached out and was connected with Sibyl Chen and Chris Hoang, who graciously shipped me a loaner camera to put the tech to firsthand use. The goal? I wanted to see just how difficult it was to capture a space in 3D. I wanted to know if this really was the cutting edge tech that lived up to all the hype. If you’ve never seen a Matterport scan or ‘flown through’ a Matterport home, then you can see a variety of examples in their gallery, here.
Chen informs me that Matterport has captured over 400,000 spaces in over 70 countries. This includes not only traditional real estate in the form of homes and condos, but also commercial real estate, hotels, retail shops, restaurants and even historical museums and other landmarks around the world. In total, these spaces have received over 100,000,000 million views. Here are some of the most interesting things that have been done with these spaces:
- Real estate transactions (on homes with prices points as high as $8million)
- Vacation rental bookings all over the world
- Venue booking for corporate events, wedding, etc
- Education of telemarketing staff on features in different hotels they “support”
- Communications with facilities staff to support maintenance needs
- Construction documentation for commercial buildings
- As built capture of major commercial buildings
- Journalistic and immersive storytelling of culturally or historically significant real world locations (e.g. Iraq bomb site, Rosa Parks Bus, Martin Luther King church)
- Interactive walk through of TV sets (e.g. Seinfeld set)
In The League Of Its Own? Transported Is Making Waves In The VR Property Marketing Segment
With the ease in which it could be played on most headsets, there is another player waiting in the wings in the property marketing segment.
Transported is a unique platform where the home tours could be created and customized in 3D. The feasibility of the platform is such that it doesn’t take more than an hour to install it. It’s not browser specific and could run across various browsers and is also mobile optimized. Since VR technology is here to stay and is also one of the most engaging platforms, Transported has left no stone unturned with respect to optimizing its features. With Room Teleporting, no hardware upsell, crisp sound enhancements and easy website page embeds; it gives its customers the first-hand experience on the feel of their new home.
According to the company, Transported tours do not take much time to create, it can take as little as 24 minutes to make the scenario after finalizing the details. They can be built on any operating system ranging from Macs to PCs, and agents can showcase their tour collection of the room on their profile pages.
The potential customers can check the tours on VR instruments such as Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, and the Samsung Gear VR. As far as non-immersive VR are concerned tours can be experienced on dedicated tour webpages and mobile devices.
Transported is an effective entry into VR home tour market segment. The software that it uses are very easy to operate and very interactive in nature. It does give sci-fi interface from the get-go, which allows its users to select distinct properties tour by “tapping” information cards in the headset display.
It’s an ideal feature that makes Transported such a good buy for static showrooms and retail offices and also offers various listings to the buyers.
Aparna Construction Excels The Market With Its Digital Makeover
A leading real estate developer from Hyderabad, Aparna Constructions & Estates started its operations in 1996. Since then it is known for completing and delivering 36 projects comprising of fully-integrated gated community villas, residential plot projects, premium apartments, commercial projects, spread across 18 million square feet.
Aparna Constructions started its new website as the focal point of its renewed digital strategy. Aparna Constructions has joined hands with Hyderabad’s leading digital marketing firm, GenY Medium. This revamping of brand’s web property has recorded at least twice the amount of organic traffic since then and a steeper spike in the number of digital enquiries.
Putting the customers first, has always been the thought and vision of Aparna Constructions, which has been kept well in alignment with this digital initiative. Nowadays, a website has a critical role in establishing the brand’s identity as well as generating leads, and this could be very fruitful in the real estate sector. As the website is a digital interface, which can become an important touch point with the consumers. An efficient use of the website can enable the organic customer acquisition in a way that it becomes a key channel for lead generation, hence GenY Medium’s holistic approach towards digital marketing, cements the core strengths in consumer understanding and technology.
Being a technology enabled digital marketing company, GenY Medium operates out of Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Since its inception in 2012, the company has grown into a 100+ people company and has created proprietary technologies that revolutionize digital marketing.
On their collaboration with the GenY Medium, Aparna Constructions elaborates on the need of a digital platform for its multiple projects in different cities and locations. This website provide the users with a wide range of choices, in a mobile friendly way, by providing each user with a personalized web experience.
A deep research exercise was conducted by the Aparna Constructions’ business teams and the GenY Medium’s team, to understand the unique consumers’ mind-set and adopting to the most suitable technology. With its ability to personalize content, supplemented with marketing automation tools, the Oracle platform along with its suite of products, turned out to be an optimum choice.
Aparna Constructions believes that with this kind of technological interventions, their website has set a high standard in real estate segment. Each user is provided with a customized web experience based on geographical mapping by the implementation of Oracle Maxymizer. The next step in line is the integration of an automation tools like Eloqua, which is perfect for lead nurturing through emails. Eventually resulting into a more immersive, personalized web experience. The effect of this new venture has already started happening as the mobile users are spending more time on the website.
Aparna Constructions aims to carry forward the momentum gained from the new website to all other aspects of digital platform, with an aim of reaching the right consumer and communicating in a personalized and engaging manner.
Insomniacs Gives A New Approach To ‘Approach One’
The online media is known for wittiest lines and brilliant campaigns. The Approach One’s new campaign once again proves that agencies love this medium and they let their creative juices flow. The real estate lead management system and marketing software company introduced a quirky and refreshing campaign.
In tune with the company’s theme, a series of bright yellow creatives with bold white text definitely caught people’s attention on social and digital platforms. One copy read – ‘Mr. Garden nahi Mr. Gordon! Stop apologizing. Start improvising. Introducing new age lead management system’. It presses the nerves of the customer calling executives as well as the customers who never want to be addressed incorrectly, leave alone getting their name incorrect.
The copy also includes old Bollywood songs and some cult dialogues which not only make you smile but drive the message home. Ads like ‘Tumhare haath mein pura CRM system ho…saari jannatein tumhare pass ho’ or ‘Data ne tumhe chaaron taraf se gher lia hai’.
The ads have been conceptualized by the awarding winning digital agency Insomniacs. Explaining the objective of the campaign, Montu Achoriwala, Creative Head at Insomniacs said, “The idea was to introduce people to this marketing software and inform them of everything that it can do; all the while keeping it fun and interesting. The software has been built by real estate industry experts and so the customers need to understand how their daily hassles can be nullified with Approach One”.
He added, “We convinced the client to take an adventurous step and do this campaign. Software marketing is a serious business with serious promotion but Approach One saw how this campaign would give them the desired attention”.
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