- Kylie Davis talks with three guests on her proptech podcast:
- Peter Schravemade, Strategic Relationship Manager at Box Brownie
- Nathan Krisanski, CEO & Founder of HomePrezzo
- Tom Dorawa, Managing Director of Virtual Tours Creator
This is an edited version of the proptech panel podcast.
As we move out of lockdown and consider reopening our borders, is it time to ask, what does business as usual look like now in real estate?
Is it just about going back to the old ways of listing, selling and marketing properties, because, they were good enough, and are we going to experience a bungee spring back to tradition, or are there things that we can take from that extraordinarily intense period of our lives into the new world that will make buying and selling and renting easier for our clients as well as for us?
- First we have Peter Schravemade and the team at BoxBrownie who help agents produce quality photos for listings and marketing even if they were shot by a cross-eyed tenant on a five-year-old iPhone.
- Nathan Krisanski from HomePrezzo helps agents solve the problem: well, if we can’t promote properties, how do we even market ourselves with informative videos and report content based on market data?
- Tom Dorowa from Virtual Tours Creator creates virtual walkthroughs for potential buyers and tenants
We edit imagery if you’re not familiar with our services, professional photo editing. During COVID, the largest issue that we were solving is agents couldn’t get professional photographers to site, they couldn’t get to site themselves.
Sometimes, the photos can be pretty bad. The average agent doesn’t take a good picture. Yellowy images is really big, where you’ve got yellow lights, unlike the white one that’s way kind of, or rocking white lights today. When you’ve got yellowy lights, it changes the colour of the walls. So we added a lot of those things. But there are some things we can’t fix, like out of focus, half a house, we can’t recreate what we don’t know.
76% of purchasers want to see good photos. In the US, National Association of Realtors, they have a killer stat that says that 84% of buyers, no matter which age group, want to see professional imagery.
As a buyer, I think the world has moved and I really feel that I’d rather qualify myself for a property before I actually get there, and a large portion of that will be things like descriptions, floor plans. I will be way more calculated about property purchases than I have been in the past. I don’t actually have the time to go out and inspect a lot of those properties, and I would imagine that the world has moved and people are the same.
Nathan Krisanski from HomePrezzo, just give us a quick summary of what HomePrezzo does.
So HomePrezzo is a content marketing platform. So we help agents creating video and reporting content that uses local market data. So they don’t need to spend too much time creating all that content, they can do it in just a few clicks.
When listings started to drop, agents were struggling with what they were going to send to their database and send to their contacts, because they didn’t have the listings. So we did saw an uptick in people using our market reports. Clients were really receiving that well and were looking for information, so the agents that were taking advantage of platforms like us and using that content, not only did they have something to send and stay relevant, and they actually improved their profile in that sense that they were being seen as that local expert.
‘Data is the new oil in marketing.’ I love that line, but it’s so true. Any industry that is doing marketing at the moment, it’s all about data, and when I say data, we are not just talking about consumer data or anything scary.
We’re just talking about being able to present data and use data in a way that you can tell a story and educate people and inform them about things in their market that they may not be aware of, and that’s a really important part of it, is that you do need to tell a story.
For guys that were still able to do, up here in Queensland particularly, where we weren’t in lockdown for quite as long, we did see a lot of people still printing out their market reports and handing them out.
And then First National, a large customer of ours, … we integrated reports with social media and were delivering 800 plus videos every single month, that fed directly into the social media channels of over 150 First National offices around the country. And those were being automatically posted to their Facebook audiences. So from an agent’s point of view, not having to do any work, but having that local market content being published around to their audiences automatically.
Tom Dorowa from Virtual Tours Creator, virtual tours are not a new thing, are they? How long have they been around for and why did it take COVID for us to get used to them?
Well, absolutely yes. COVID probably was a big eye-opener for any industry. But the virtual tours are nothing new, they’ve been here since the ’90s or even before.
Virtual tours put the buyer or the tenant or whoever is watching them in the first seat, in their own perspective. They decide where they go, how they do it, when they do it. Video is always going to be from the perspective of the real estate agent or the photographer. So they present to the final customers, what they want them to see.
Some people maybe don’t want to wait for half of the video for two minutes or however it goes, to get to the kitchen, when they can just open a virtual tour and click and have a look at the kitchen and then go back to a living room, whatever they want to do. So I think the main difference is the power is in the hands of the viewers and that’s what’s so important nowadays.
During Covid, we quadrupled the amount of agencies that we work with. We are so proud that we could have helped so many businesses during that time, and I don’t have to make up any stories.
We had agents in Stonnington, during lockdown, they rented 41 properties sight unseen just because they had them as virtual tours. And COVID, or not, last year in the same area so it happens they only rented 40. They did even better during COVID using virtual tours than they did last year.
In the last year, I’m talking about January to June 2020, and let’s compare it to 2019, in the whole country we had 220,000 in 2019, 220,000 people viewing virtual tours. This year, it’s more than one and a half million.
We’ve got agencies with 4,000 properties on the rent roll and they pump out 220 tours a month. They’re loving it as a part of the entry condition reports, saving property managers at least one hour on taking random photos of just about everything.
I think in all three of the products you’ll find continuance. I think it comes back to what Nathan was saying before, I don’t think people will begin to use the product to find out how fantastic it is and then go, “Oh, COVID is over, we’ll stop doing it now.”
It doesn’t work like that. Once you’re onto a good oil and you genuinely maintain that and you’ll continue that. I mean within market conditions, so if you find a better provider, that might be something that you look at, but once you’ve established that you found a way to do it…
And don’t forget too that’s what a lot of people have been doing during COVID, whether you were in a sort of one-month lockdown or a six-month lockdown as Melbourne got, a lot of people were actually using that time to better their businesses.
One last question to wrap this up. The two big things that seem to be changing, that COVID really highlighted was the role of content and data in marketing going forward. Does anyone have any last comments around that data play?
We’ve got to remember that the old way of marketing was shouting from the rooftops about how great you were, and it didn’t land with everybody.
And so the way content marketing is that you need to communicate one-to-one and you need to relate to your client and talk directly to them about things that they care about and that they’re interested in. And the only way that you can do that is to create really local content or personalised content for your individual clients, either one-to-one or in small groups that you could segment through your CRM and things like that.
We could discuss this all day, but we are going to have to wrap it up there. Thank you so much to our panellists, Peter Schravemade from BoxBrownie, Nathan Krisanski from HomePrezzo and Tom Dorowa from Virtual Tours Creator for your time and insights today. It’s been great.
I’d also like to thank the Proptech Association Committee, Simon Hayes, Jennifer Harrison, Marie-Anne Lampotang, AJ Chand, and Kylie Dillon for their help with this event. And a very big thank you to Stone&Chalk for getting behind it and for their support of Australian Proptech. So thank you, everyone, for your time. Thank you again to our panellists.
You can listen to the entire podcast on the Proptech Association website, ‘Proptech Panel: Property Marketing Post Covid’.