If software is eating the world, it’s also eating our houses. The real estate market changed radically when companies like Zillow unpacked the data around house sales. In theory you’d think there wasn’t much to do on house sales, but there remains a relatively untapped area. One of the next areas of change could be be in the ‘open house’ market, where houses are ‘showed’ on public open days. So the way houses are sold today, especially in the US market where the ‘open house’ is a long tradition, could be about to change more radically.
Many realtors still use pen and paper, which leads to missed opportunities and doesn’t provide a memorable, welcoming experience for customers visiting a home. It turns out this problem has lead to a massive gap in the market that has until recently gone largely unnoticed. Some 45% of buyers in the US go to open houses as a source of information but only 5% of the actual customers come from open houses. That means a tonne of data and leads isn’t being captured.
The market started to change when Open Home Pro turned up as a mobile app for realtors five years ago and has been adopted by agents. It was acquired only last year.
Based in New York with offices in both New York and Vancouver (Canada!), the startup was founded by Melissa Kwan, who started her career in real estate, then went into software (SAP). She started her first company building mobile apps for real estate developers such as vidarealestate.com. Mid last year she came up with Spacio Pro with CTO Ting Sun and her former add-development team as the basis of the new startup.
Spacio Pro now hopes to capture that open house data with its specially designed iPad app alongside it’s plans for ‘automated marketing’ and use of beacon technology.
Spacio Pro’s pitch is the “Paperless Open House”. In other words, increasing the conversion of data capture at open houses and helping agents turn strangers into customers. It’s app provides the check-in experience for buyers on the front end, and logs everything on the back-end so agents can revisit leads in the future. Better than pen and paper!
Spacio Pro has now done a collaboration with real estate customer satisfaction platform, RealSatisfied, where their customers can integrate their reviews and testimonials directly on the Spacio Pro sign-in form, improving their first impression with potential buyers by sharing past successes.
The future for Spacio Pro, which is now fund-raising, is more automated marketing and will move into data capture in the home with things like beacon technology.
Right now Spacio Pro operates as a live in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where the open houses / open homes is also a tradition.