Everything around us is getting smarter.  Phones, cars, televisions, refrigerators, books, thermostats…and maybe even humans.  I find most of these advancements to be very interesting, and quite useful in the daily lives of most people around me.

Photographs, however, are something that I’m particularly interested in watching (and helping) become smarter.

Photos are everywhere; and are certainly at the crux of online real estate, which, in 2012, included 93% of people who sold a home, and 96% of people (under age 44) who bought a home.  Oh, and don’t forget the hundreds of millions of people who visit real estate websites each month.


Recently, a company called ‘Stipple’ has been making some noise in the image monetization and social shopping arena.  They allow businesses to create content and messaging within an image (without widgets or code), and then analyze & track the interaction with the data inside that image.

As it pertains to real estate, I think Stipple provides a viable strategy to those professionals who are active in distributing (quality) visual content across the web.  You can share a link, or better yet, embed the photo into your social pages, blog or website.

Here is an example, using a real estate photo as the context.  Take a look at the picture…and then the tweet that I’ve embedded with the same photo after it was “Stippled”.  Stipple has actually implemented Twitter Cards (which I wrote about in a previous post) which allows you to view and interact with the photo, directly within the twitter feed.

In addition, check out some of the analytical tools that come with Stipple:



In The Future

While products like Stipple are innovative, and quite fascinating; they are admittedly built for e-commerce, photographers, and bloggers.

There’s no question that real estate professionals can leverage these type of tools today.  However, I think there is more to offer the industry when it comes to intelligent photographs.

In addition to what exists, here are some high points on how I think smart photos can provide additional value to real estate professionals AND consumers:

  • Determine and embed which room/view a photograph is displaying.
  • Identify and attach the “features” of a photograph (i.e. granite countertops, 10 foot ceilings, etc).
  • Embed contact information, bios, and videos from the appropriate listing agent.
  • Allow consumers to search & discover using the embedded data.
  • Compile the data within the photographs that are interacted with; and provide summary analytics and “intelligence” to the consumer and their agent.

If the data is embedded and used appropriately, consumers should be able to enjoy a more enhanced (and effective) search.  Furthermore, real estate agents would be able to market properties strategically, while learning specifics about their listings and customers.

Who knows…it might even help solve the “listing authorship” topic that is so popular right now : )

How else do you think our industry can leverage this innovation?

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I am a founder of müvin; a technology startup that is focusing on “intelligent” real estate listings.

— Jeff Nieto (@jeffnieto) Connect With Me Here


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