Monday, February 20, 2012

What’s next for the virtual tour?

        How about the virtual flyover, via a drone? 
In Saturday’s New York Times the paper of record reported on a new federal law, signed by signed President Obama last week, which will allow use of camera-equipped personal drones for all sorts of commercial endeavors 
       One practical example how the technology could be used: real estate tours. Among those interviewed was Daniel Garate, a pioneer in dispatching camera-equipped drones to capture aerial tours of pricey homes in the LA market. A remote controlled drone gives a unique perspective. You can see the visual appeal some of what he’s done on his website. 
        For those who want that next marketing edge for the right property, they could offer a less expensive alternative to hiring a plane and pilot for that aerial view; a new service opportunity for the entrepreneurial minded
And whether or not you consider these eyes in the sky the next assault on privacy, they’re coming, guaranteeing early adopters something else to show off before the virtual flyover becomes routine

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting Mobilized

       Smartphones first impacted the real estate as a professional tool, giving you access to all the information and communications resources you need, when and where needed. As clients and prospects followed that lead, and embraced smartphones over the last few years, the influence of the smartphone on real estate has become more consumer-driven.
       A decade ago the challenge was to build your Web presence as a portal to listing information and introduction to your services. Today, the parallel challenge is to establish a winning mobile presence.
Smartphone want seamless convenience, whether retrieving information on restaurants, gas stations or local listings. What’s sometimes missed though, is how property information must be optimized for the handset and its smaller display screen. 
I touched on the critical importance of mobile websites for real estate as they relate to QR codes in the last Tech Watch column I did for for Realtor magazine online.  It’s a much bigger issue, though. As buyers rely on mobile devices for retrieving property information, they expect what you provide be optimized for display on their particular small screen, whatever device, whatever smartphone operating system they use.
Fortunately, vendors offer a growing array of cost effective solutions and services to meet this challenge. While researching mobile real estate, I came across a white paper from one provider which explains the challenges, frustrations and one potential solution for mobile real estate websites. (Available for free with registration on Mobile Real Estate ID )
If you’re not convinced of the need to optimize your site and listing information, it provides a quick overview and all at stake for those who don’t create that winning mobile presence, near term. For those in the now, it makes the strong case to act now, and mobilize your site, if you haven’t already done so.