In the face of pandemic-related lockdowns more than two years ago, commercial real estate was pushed to rapidly develop virtual tours for its assets – from office buildings to apartments – so it could continue to transact and rentals.
Now commonplace, it’s been a while since this approach reached an exciting new level.
Immersive experiences have sparked innovation, leading start-up Infinityy to develop a one-of-a-kind, real-time, personalized tour that combines the familiarity and reliability of Google Street View-like visualization with reliable and ” still active”. text connection via mobile devices or laptops.
Product installation takes 48 hours or less after uploading via DropBox community or property assets such as Matterport content, 3D images, renders, drone footage, videos or any other asset visual. At a minimum, the property can share 2D images.
It’s not screen sharing, it’s not a video conferencing platform like Zoom, and it doesn’t involve watching recorded tours. This then allows groups of people to simultaneously explore the potential square footage of any property in a way not previously offered.
Participants (residents or potential tenants) are not required to schedule a visit with on-site agents, brokers or personnel. The technology allows them to sell 24/7 with someone in place who can answer, greet prospects and answer their questions, and integrates into centralized leasing models and work structures. hybrids today.
To join an Infinityy room, a person shares a link via text, email, or a link from their website or marketing inbox with another person and invites them. Its chat function enables communication and attendees can save notes about what they see, and come back to revisit the tour later, or start a new one.
Its chat feature provides the ability to immediately communicate with the property rep — not an AI bot — to get real-time answers and allow the property rep to help guide the prospect to a decision.
Prospects can tour the neighborhood, walk to the beach
Founder Jim Schoonmaker, an MIT graduate with more than 20 years of tech start-up experience, patented the process.
Apartment operator Mike Procopio, CEO of Boston-based Procopio Companies, started using Infinityy in his properties a few months ago. Alliance Residential, CBRE, Avison Young and Brooke Team at eXp Realty also use it.
“It helps our staff be more productive and focus on caring for residents,” Procopio said. “It’s affordable ($450 per month, per community) and it’s the kind of self-service technology model that more people want these days.”
“It’s more than just sharing a few photos and floor plans. We can visit them with immersive content where they can walk through the space room by room, learn about the neighborhood, and even walk to the nearby beach to experience what it’s like to be home.
“We hear that apartment buyers and available rental office hours don’t always match. People want to tour on a Saturday, for example, and if you can’t provide that, they move to the next property and you lose them.
He said 20% of his new residents come from outside of Boston and that’s the hook that may attract those who are out of town.
Procopio is approaching a rental phase for a new apartment community and said using Infinity with renderings can give potential residents an accurate visitation experience months in advance; before the shovel hits the ground.
“People don’t want to go out and have to wear hard hats and step on dirt and the framing of the property. It’s a complicated situation. Instead, they can experience the building from their phone or laptop at home, unlike other virtual tour products. »
Where SMS, Links and Phone Emails Fail
Schoonmaker first used visuals around 2005 when he pioneered the technology that later became Google Street View. He created Everyscape, which pioneered the first street view experience in 2006 and went on to develop market-leading solutions in travel and local search marketing using this first, evolutionary way to discover a place online. .
Companies such as AT&T, Microsoft, NASA, Marriot, Intel and Yellowbook have used EveryScape’s technology to power their customer solutions.
The idea for Infinityy came a few years ago when he ran into difficulties helping his daughter choose an apartment in another city.
“She wanted me to see the apartment and get my opinion,” he said. “It became a process of emailing or texting links to properties, she texted me pictures and called me. significantly help.
“We were able to see the space online and we were able to talk about the space, but no one had put the two together.”
He then set out to create Infinityy, a two-year process that has now been used by more than a dozen properties since launching in late summer.
“I see it almost as if it combines the excitement of a video game combined with a bit of the interactivity of the metaverse and VR (although it’s not VR), without the nausea,” did he declare.
He said that when patrons are introduced to the Infinityy Room, they are skeptical at first and then say, “I get it. I can’t believe something like this didn’t already exist.