There are many times I wonder when will people realise that distributing fliers at the traffic junction or paying for newspaper ads have had little or zero return on investment in real estate market. Simply because the death of those traditional marketing tools is inevitable given how fast the world wide web advances in the past 20 years.
To stay up with the latest trends, nowadays it’s not only about having information available for online access or the use of social media and cross-referrals, the real tall order of this century for real estate companies is to elevate the online experience of buyers or renters towards property viewing.
In Vietnam, it is pretty clear the most of the real estate companies are still so much lagging behind the world benchmark. Properties are marketed online with outdated information and poor quality photo gallery. Decisions cannot be made easily without physical visits, which implies significant costs in time and efforts for both agents and customers.
Not until recently that I started noticing some companies trying to catch up with the trend in 360° Virtual Tour, Aerial Drone Photography, 3D Tours and VR Headsets. Undoubtedly a very good sign for the real estate market as it’s one thing to be able to see a home in pictures and completely another to be able to walk through it and experience all the dimensions as it is in real life. Interesting as you may find, the companies adopted these new tech in their services are not the giant in the market, instead they have just been founded in the recent 1-2 years. However anyone can tell that their future looks promising and exciting.
Starting off the list is a startup that won Echelon’s Top 10 startups in ASIA 2016 — Hoozing. Besides the innovative business model where peer-to-peer referrals are enabled, they have incorporated tech as one of the key focus area of the company since establishment. After more than a year doing 360° static tour for every property listed on website and VR videos on Youtube, they are now shifting their focuses to 360° virtual tour and 3D model.
Due to the complex in software technology and sheer time spent processing the virtual tours as well as building the models, companies like Hoozing usually would choose to cooperate with those who have strong technical expertise. One of them is Mimoza.co.
For those who are new to the technology: the main difference between 360° static tour and 360° virtual tour lies in the number of viewpoints that it can offer to the viewers. While the static tours do not allow the viewers to actually move around within the space and restrict them to see only what the camera itself originally focused on, the virtual tours offer up to hundreds of viewpoints and enable the viewers to navigate the premise of the scanned area using a keyboard, a controller or touch gestures (on phone and tablet).
Regarding 3D model, it helps the customers interactively experience how their dream home “could be” before making the purchase. With super stunning 3D model, people can even re-design the space in their way.
Mimoza was founded by Robert Duc Nguyen and his friends in 2016. It was the street view function of Google that inspired the CEO to research further into the 3D virtual technology and later build the company to close the gap between real estate businesses and their customers. “There are still so many rooms for virtual reality in Vietnamese market, and Mimoza are eager to fill those”, said by Robert.
Mimoza services are unique when it comes to the incredible speed of loading, the high quality of display and the versatile use on various devices (desktop, tablet and smartphones).
Under commercial point of view, this technology will be a very good marketing tool for the space owners in real estate, hotel, resort, food and beverage, exhibition and convention industry to use to bring the real images of space to their customers.
On the customer’s side, they can access to the space anywhere at anytime, this convenience will help them reducing cost and lead-time compared with a direct visit but still remains the same kind of experience.
Under the cultural and humanism perspective, the technology can help to preserve the ancient values through the record of old design, structure which may be modified or changed during the maintenance and restoration works.
When it is obvious that new technology is always evolving, I am not sure about how fast the real estate industry in Vietnam will adapt and respond to the change. Nevertheless, it has been a privilege to be a part of an evolutionary shift in the way the market operates.