Virtual tours were on the rise before pandemic-based business restrictions changed how the industry markets homes.
However, 2020 forced the category’s evolution, augmenting it from a slick marketing value-add to a listing presentation necessity.
Technology providers responded to the demand in-kind, rapidly deploying many tools to create and distribute video and streaming content for listings.
To compete in today’s online tour space, industry vendors need more than a way to screen-share a property, a fact that wasn’t lost on Asteroom. This popular online tour company has established partnerships with 15 brokerages, including Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach, exposing their product to more than 10,000 agents. It’s also a partner of MoxiWorks, a well-known real estate technology company.
Asteroom has been rolling out a series of updates to address the growing demand for ways listing agents can compete for online market share. In cases where a computer screen is the only window into a potential new home, sellers need to give the market as much information as possible, a concept the segment’s forefather Matterport knows well.
And that’s who Asteroom is aiming to unseat. According to the company, users created more than 12,000 tours using the app in 2020, and its 3D tour business increased by more than 1,000 percent.
The app can capture room scans from multiple devices, but it works best when connected to a smartphone, modular fisheye lens and rotating tripod mount.
Asteroom’s tours include dollhouse views and captures of a home’s exterior, such as pools, patios and fenced backyards.
Asteroom has recently added 2D floorplans to its product offerings, which are useful for quickly digesting room dimensions and enhancing listing collateral.
This year, Asteroom will begin offering its customers 10 high-resolution, MLS-compliant photos to use in their marketing. The images are sourced from the tour.
Image enhancement is also included in its tour and staging services, which like others in this space, consists of bracketing touch-ups of exterior views and internal adjustments.
With its under $50 package cost, Asteroom aims squarely at listing agents who work median and below price points. The kit — rotator, lens and tripod — costs only $99, and virtual staging is $60 per room.
It’s becoming clear that the competition for online home tour providers is approaching CRM territory.
And the industry will be better for it.
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.