Yaza was in development before the current pandemic gripped the world and real estate. Like so many other recent technologies, its timing is bittersweet.
The app’s founder, Peter Sisson, told Inman during a phone call it now has more than 2,000 users within the real estate community. It had only one when initially reviewed on April 17 of this year. The growth is impressive for a tool that wasn’t designed specifically for real estate, but happens to have a very good use case. (It being offered free helps, too.)
The video platform geo-codes and verifies a users location (within 60 feet) when recording and then indicates via a sleek map search every where a video has been recorded. Clearly then, it makes a good tool for agents who want to video showcase communities, streets, retail centers and, of course, listings.
Sisson showed off a number of new updates that have been put in place since April, many inspired by agent feedback.
Yaza now has the ability for users to “discover” new content shared by agents in an Instagram-like scroll. Previously, a link had to be shared by a creator to be viewed.
Coinciding with that update means that users can control their content by marking it public, private or only for their followers.
Yaza takes can also be shared directly to other social media apps, using the iOS’s (iPhone’s operating system) native sharing experience.
When selecting a video from the map, the player interface will default to auto-play, so users can continue to scroll from listing to listing and thus, agent to agent, provided each video is marked for public sharing.
This feature adds a spirit of competition to the app, implying the agent who can make the most compelling local video content, wins.
Another nice benefit of Yaza is that all of its content is on a leash, even if marked public. At any point, an agent can delete a video, and it will vanish from their feed and from any social media network to which it was shared. Public videos can also be made instantly private or only available to followers. Plus, no video can be downloaded.
Sisson also added a mass broadcast feature for sharing new videos to established groups of contacts, and users can also tap through a video to check out an agent’s profile.
In an email, Sisson explained that Yaza isn’t designed to keep up with the Matterports of the industry and that it’s not looking to create virtual tours, writing, “Yaza is a tool for social selling, where the video stands in for the agent, as if walking the viewer around personally. It’s social because buyers engage instantly with the videos using the built-in chat.”
The app is being used in all 50 states, and it has a handful of international users, as well.
Ultimately, Yaza is combining the immediacy of Instagram Stories with the fast-moving trend of video marketing. Above all else, it’s an ideal tool for location marketing. And isn’t that what real estate is all about?
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.