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New video app Playhouse hopes to make listing content go viral: Tech Review

Playhouse offers agents a sharp, capable tool to promote listing inventory at very little cost
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There’s a lot to like about Playhouse, but what should excite the industry is that someone is offering agents a sharp, capable tool to promote listing inventory at very little cost.

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Playhouse is a mobile app for browsing real estate listing content.

Platforms: iOS
Ideal for: All agents and teams

Top selling points:

  • Leverages familiar content format
  • Focuses primarily on listing video
  • Listing Price Game
  • Agent profiles and video libraries
  • No charge for use

Top concern

Playhouse doesn’t cost anything for an agent to use, but it will eventually charge for lead generation, using an established industry partner for now. I feel this could harm the app, especially if agents are already paying for the lead service, or haven’t found success for it.

What you should know

Playhouse is an app that lets agents post videos of their listings for browsing by consumers who can’t get enough of OPP — other people’s properties. It’s modeled after today’s most common social video apps, TikTok and Instagram, but it’s designed specifically for real estate.

Agents can post individual branding content, build profile libraries and, generally, share everything that can help bind consumers to their brand.

All the tools are here and easy to access: a heart icon to like a post; an arrow to share and send; the ability to save a listing; and links that delve into an agent’s, team’s or brokerage’s full Playhouse library.

Listing videos include a price, location and a map view, and thumbing up reveals most of what you’d find on an MLS or portal listing, including additional images of the property.

The videos fill the screen vertically, no doubt the most popular format for digesting such content.

A great goal for any agent would be to get people commenting about a home, so get creative, ask questions about features and highlight the fun stuff.

The app can do some market education, too. The Listing Price Game, which can be toggled on or off as you go, offers up a random listing video and animates the list price, engaging the user to predict if the price is higher or lower.

Sure, it’s not a new homebuyer seminar, but it can help buyers make sense of what their market is offering — something you have to do every time you speak with them.

I installed Playhouse on my iPhone 12 mini in under a minute, and it jumped right into the first video of a five-bedroom, six-bathroom house in San Francisco. Music plays automatically but can be toggled off via the bottom right menu, where you access the price game selector.

There’s a lot to like about Playhouse, but what should excite the industry is that someone is offering you a sharp, capable tool to promote listing inventory at very little cost. You have a smartphone. You have listings. Here is your production studio.

I’m not going to bother looking for the number of times I’ve said that agents need to not overthink video. This is not a 1980s-era business card or bus bench. No one wants your glamour shot. They want content: authentic, ad-hoc content about properties. You want to know why portals get so much traffic?

It’s because people are looking at real estate.

Playhouse doesn’t see itself as a competitor to Instagram or TikTok. Rather, they are content-drivers, and could even push people to your Playhouse profile. Yet, whereas the latter options provide video on everything you like, Playhouse remains focused on all things real estate, with a curation priority on listings.

All Playhouse has left to do is get viewers. Yeah, the hard part. You joining the app can certainly help.

This is a creative, fun app for promoting your sellers’ homes, your team, your brokerage and even your industry. If you’re trying to reach a new market or simply come across as someone other than the 15-year-old headshot on your business card, then maybe it’s time to try some video.

Oh, and it has an awesome tagline: Scroll Home.

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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