An increasingly popular way to tour homes in the age of COVID-19, live open house events can now be promoted within the popular home search portal.

Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Homesnap has added to its home search platform the ability for agents and consumers to identify live open houses, according to a press release sent to Inman.

The new feature works in unison with the account holder’s MLS, provided it allows for the tagging of recorded or live home tour events.

Within Homesnap’s map view, listings with an upcoming event will be identified by a color-coded pin, which will become animated if an open house is happening at the moment of search. A promotional banner sharing event details will accompany any Homesnap open house property card and display on the app’s standard property card.

Agents can populate the virtual open house announcement with the same sort of details they would a traditional event. This means requiring pre-registration, agent comments and the event’s URL.

Video property marketing has skyrocketed industrywide in recent weeks, with Homesnap Stories seeing a usage increase of 147 percent from January to March of 2020, according to the company’s release.

When asked about the video marketing spike sticking around after the market upheaval settles, Homesnap’s Chief Product Officer Lou Mintzer told Inman he doesn’t see it slowing down.

“We’re sure that live video tours and open houses are here to stay,” he said in an email. “Of course, they’ll never totally replace a traditional tour or open housebut they do offer special advantages [such as], better distribution, increased attendance, improved tracking, reusable media, etc.”

Homesnap Stories Promo from Homesnap on Vimeo.

Functioning similarly to Facebook and Instagram stories, this in-app video capture and visual content creation feature allows agents to showcase homes alongside original text comments and graphical highlights.

Mintzer added that Homesnap “isn’t done yet” with its stories tool.

“We plan to build on Homesnap Stories with new experiences that will help agents execute and distribute live open houses on Homesnap and far beyond with open cooperation from our industry and technology partners,” he said.

Homesnap is mobile-first, home search portal and agent marketing platform based in Bethesda, Maryland. It offers consumers a robust home-finding environment and agents a number of ways to market homes and themselves.

View all of Inman’s coronavirus coverage here, and check out all of our content related to running your business here.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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