Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases of our lives and buyers in Australia have become hesitant since the housing market’s prices soared during the COVID pandemic. We have new technology everywhere else – so why not in the real estate market?
Little Hinges is an Australian company providing virtual tours of homes with more information available because they use Matterport 3D technology with an analytics and insights portal. The tours provide measurements down to the millimetre and this gives the buyer more information and access to it at all times.
Josh Callaghan, CEO and Co-founder of Little Hinges, says research has shown buyers are more likely to contact an agent if they’re using technology like virtual tours: “Buyers know that photos are staged and that they aren’t necessarily a true representation of a home.” he says.
“This technology gives buyers some leverage when placing an offer, because it gives them access to more information and helps them feel more confident. Knowledge is power – or money in the bank – when it comes to purchasing a property,” he adds. “Property technology tools are there to give buyers access to more information, putting them in a position to be able to negotiate a better deal.”
Josh’s company – Little Hinges – is Australia’s largest virtual tours provider. Since launching in 2020, the company has had over three million people inspect properties digitally. This is probably because the whole process of buying a house needs to be rethought after the pandemic. Buyers are now demanding a re-imagining of the typical property purchase process.
Josh describes the old process as buyers being forced to spend an average of almost $1m after they look at a home twice for 10 minutes at an open home inspection – squeezed in between kids’ sport on a Saturday morning, alongside 20 other families.
When looking at it this way, it does seem very ‘un-techy’ and of course, virtual tours have been available for some time but Little Hinges has taken the virtual tour to another level. As Josh says: “Our 3D Virtual Tours, for example, are accurate to within a millimetre, meaning you can get quotes from tradies on the cost of renovations before you even move in.”
“Knowing these kinds of costs upfront means you’re able to factor them into your offer for a property. Not to mention, they also need to make quick decisions without knowing the result of a building report, or even whether their fridge will fit in the kitchen,” he adds.
With a simple email to the agent, pre-purchase building and pest inspection reports can be asked for and all of this information is making the home purchase that much easier.
At the moment, according to Josh, almost 300,000 people are virtually walking through our open homes every month, demonstrating the demand for technology in the purchase journey.
“Using technology in the property purchase process also allows buyers to move fast – buyers are able to get a better deal by moving quickly and negotiating terms because they feel confident in their offer,” he adds.
Josh points out that improved virtual tours also has advantages for the sellers because it allows them to to reach more potential buyers – such as the 1 in 4 people who’re inspecting from interstate or overseas.
About Little Hinges: Little Hinges is Australia’s largest virtual tours provider. The company uses Matterport 3D technology with an analytics and insights portal so more information is provided. Since launching in 2020, the company has had over 3 million people inspect properties digitally.
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