Meerkat and Periscope have been generating a lot of buzz lately. If you haven’t heard of them, they capitalize on the latest social media trend, live streaming, by allowing you to stream live video from your smartphone or tablet to all of your Twitter followers or anyone that cares to tune in.
While these apps are great, they’re built for consumers. Jump on either of them and you’ll see a selection of people hosting videos randomly from their chairs (trying it out) or a selection of people showcasing their views from the beach or their balcony. Get lucky and you’ll catch a live stream of some celebrity doing something. Meerkat and Periscope certainly represent great technological creations touting the latest in live streaming, but more so showcases the current consumer sentiment towards real time everything.
So how do real estate pros capitalize on this consumer sentiment? Do Meerkat and Periscope fit the bill for real estate live streaming?
Before we dissect Meerkat and Periscope’s fit for real estate, let’s first think about how live streaming can apply to real estate needs. Think about touring properties — particularly when distance is a barrier. Online options for viewing properties today are fairly limited to simply still photos unless you’re fortunate enough to view the occasional pieced-together virtual tour or a 3D rendering of the space. If you can’t physically get to a property, options to actually interact live to see what you want to see are limited. On the flip side, what about the broker trying to sell their beachfront Maui listing? Marketing videos, photos, and online listing platforms are great, but how do they actually connect with leads from different markets and service those leads without them having to spend thousands on plane tickets and travel to visit?
Live streaming can empower a broker to host a tour from a property for their client and interact with them to answer questions and show them exactly what it is they care to see in that space. With live streaming, touring a space just got a whole lot easier, a whole lot quicker, and a whole lot more transparent for those out of market buyers or renters. For brokers with listings that are trying to expand their marketing reach, broadcasting live from their listing (aka a live virtual open house) allows them to reach a global audience of potential attendees. Add on top of that the ability to conduct private live virtual tours for leads generated from the open house and you have a brand new way of servicing global leads outside of your direct market.
Now, back to Meerkat and Periscope. We’ve painted two great scenarios where live streaming can truly impact real estate from both the client-side during the touring process and the broker-side as a marketing tool for listings and servicing leads. So how do these two consumer applications stack up? Can they fit the bill and be that professional real estate tool?
If the critical word in that last question is professional, then ReaLync Co-founder and CEO, Matt Weirich, feels that the answer is no. Weirich had this to say about Meerkat and Periscope being used for real estate: “Although they [Meerkat and Periscope] are taking a step in the right direction, real estate professionals need more. Real estate professionals want to be just that…professionals…and are seeking touring tech that’s more robust than simple consumer applications like Meerkat, Periscope, or even FaceTime. They [real estate professionals] want to not only look as professional as possible, but provide the best touring experience possible for their clients.”
The ReaLync team stands firm behind that sentiment and believes that in order to achieve that “best touring experience” possible, you have to create a tool that is 100% catered to real estate. The brand, look, feel, and all functionality should be focused on delivering the utmost value to both the host and attendee. The stakes are significantly higher when you’re searching for something categorized as a basic human need along with food and water than when you’re simply looking to watch a celebrity discuss their reasons for doing Whole30.
So what makes ReaLync different? Weirich beckons you to come find out and had this to say about their current market position: “We’re excited that Meerkat and Periscope have become so popular. It’s pointing people to us that are intrigued by live streaming and looking for better ways of doing things. We happily answer what makes us different and our platform is already available to allow them to truly experience real estate in real time.”
Although Meerkat and Periscope are not the professional tools that fit the needs of consumers and brokers in the real estate process, they have been a catalyst of change opening consumer eyes to the world of live streaming. And for that, we thank you.
Until next time…keep it real!