What’s in a name? We’ve made a new one as part of Little Hinges and we’ll tell you why.

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What’s in a name? We’ve made a new one as part of Little Hinges and we’ll tell you why.

We know real estate is a one-of-a-kind industry, that deserves one-of-a-kind service.

It’s why over the coming days you’re going to see a change here at Little Hinges.

That change? The start of a speciality branch devoted solely to the real estate industry. One we’re now calling VT Australia.

VT Australia will be a Little Hinges company, but VT Australia’s team and business’s sole focus will be the real estate and property industry.

And Little Hinges? Will continue to focus on all the other incredible areas and spaces that can be brought to (digital) life through the power of virtual tours.

We’re making this change so we can serve you easier, better, and faster than ever before (which is saying something, because we know you’ve been pretty chuffed how we’ve done so far).

If you’re in the real estate industry, here’s what you’ll need to do.

HINT: Absolutely nothing at all.

  • We will send new collateral to replace anything branded Little Hinges.
  • You can start booking tours through VT Australia immediately (and soon the Little Hinges website will direct you there).
  • There will be no change to your current pricing contracts if in place.
  • And all virtual tour links will continue to work seamlessly.
  • You’ll be partnering with the same team from Little Hinges, now focusing only on results for the real estate industry.

If you’re not in the real estate industry, the Little Hinges team will continue to serve you and open up a world of opportunities through virtual tours.

Have any questions about this change? Shoot us an email or give us a call. We’d love to help in any and every way we can. It’s kind of our thing.

It’s safe to say we’re pretty excited about this change and cannot wait to continue to put property inspections in the pockets of the people you need to see them easier, better and faster than ever before.

Virtual tours helping agents, vendors and buyers to streamline the sales process

It goes without saying, but we’ll hammer it home for the people at the back; COVID is changing the way we do business. From skin checks to the sports, and travel to real estate – every single industry has been forced to look at the way they operate and make adjustments.

Forward-thinking businesses are looking to tech to keep them ahead of the playing field. Last week in our blog post (read here), we talked about how through the changing times virtual reality is not only changing the entertainment industry but transcending into our everyday lives.

And yes, we get it. Everyone keeps banging on about adapt or die. But that’s because the pandemic has forced us to recognise our limitations when the general population are restricted to their homes.

 And for the real estate industry, this now means virtual tours have gone beyond just the ability to showcase a home to people in lockdown.

“With technology streamlining processes, this will also lead to a reduction in transactional costs,” says Julie O’Donohue, managing director of Next Address.

For example, if we’re looking at Queensland where restrictions have been steadily easing within the state and virtual tours are no longer required as a replacement for open homes, virtual tours are now being used as a way to pre-qualify buyers.

“Virtual tours, for example, have meant that by the time buyers have decided to view a property in person, they are more engaged with that process and further along the buying process as they’ve already explored that property virtually,” says Miranda Brownlee from Realestatebusiness.com.au.

This is, of course, not just a benefit to the agent, but also the vendor. Having more qualified buyers through their homes would suggest a quicker all-round process. And it eliminates wasted time for buyers who turn up to homes that aren’t accurately represented by 2D photography.

With vendors feeling more empowered thanks to technology, the industry will also see an increase in transparency for the same reason. We know an increase in transparency in the sector is important as it increases accountability and quality of governance, which all leads to you being a more trusted agent.

So, are you one of the industry pack leaders adopting virtual tours for your business and client’s best interests?

Times are-a-changing. And along with it? Well, everything you ever knew about the way we experience the world pre COVID-19.

Transport. Handshakes. Shopping. Sanitiser. Schooling. Socialising. Accessing services. Workplaces. Leisure activities. Even the perceived value of toilet paper.

These are just a few of the things that have changed in a post-COVID introduced world… And the way we experience property and spaces is no different.

In fact, as we reflect on the massive changes of the past 6 months (seriously, does that timeframe even feel right?!) an article springs to mind that we recently read on how live entertainment has and will continue to change in a post-pandemic world. You can read it here: https://medium.com/@randi.zuckerberg/the-new-rules-of-live-entertainment-in-a-post-pandemic-world-3aa77c7fc509

There were some interesting quotes from some key players in live entertainment which we think tend to transcend the performance industry and bleed into our life everywhere.

One of the absolute stand outs? Clive Gillison, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall saying, “coming together physically is irreplaceable, but we can reach many more people virtually.”

Think about it… nothing can replace the experience of being somewhere in the flesh. But let’s acknowledge the fact that even without a pandemic and its impacts, it’s impossible for everyone to be able to visit all the places and see the all things they want to see.

And now in comes virtual tours. Virtual opens the doors (see what we did there?) [CG1] to a whole new world and suddenly a whole new demographic of people is able to be reached and granted access to things and places they’ve never before been able to.

Another one of our favourite reflections from the article? Emily Doyle Moore from Santa Fe Opera who believes that even when everything returns to normal, virtual will still be a steady constant in our lives, saying “it doesn’t replace live, but it will always be a complementary.”

Rather than detracting from live performances, events, tourism and attractions, virtual will only enhance opportunities for those progressive and forward-thinking enough to accommodate and implement it. With double the potential audience, virtual will only expand the way we intake rather than lower overall audience numbers. 

In a post-pandemic world, it’s important to consider the fact that virtual tours are a way to increase awareness, audiences and views. And here at Little Hinges, we sum this all up in one small sentence. Little Hinges (and virtual tours) swing big doors. Big doors that might not be opened any other way.

Virtual tours work seamlessly alongside traditional, live viewing to create more opportunity and create ‘new’ experiences. So now it’s time to ask yourself the question. Have you gotten ahead of the curve by adopting virtual tour tech and expanding your viewership to more than those who could just physically attend? Or are you missing out on opportunities easily harnessed through a powerful tour at a tiny price?

Adapt or die: Kodak V Netflix

The only constant in technology is change. As long as technology progresses then so should the businesses around tech. Put simply, adapt or die.

We all know about the downfall of Kodak. Cameras went digital and then started disappearing into mobile phones, then the vast majority stopped printing photos altogether and converted to online sharing. Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012.

What’s interesting is that they very nearly got it right. In 2001, before Facebook was even a single line of code, Kodak purchased a photo-sharing site called Ofoto. If they had recognised the oncoming digital era (or at least anticipated the trend), they perhaps would have seen this as a way to innovate their business and stay relevant. The purchase of Ofoto could have completely changed their game. If Kodak had decided to embrace their tagline (“share memories, share life”) and digital disruption, they could have been the forerunner in online photo sharing.

Ah, hindsight. Instead, Kodak couldn’t modify their strategy and used Ofoto as a tool to try and push people to print more digital images.

Now let’s take a trip back in time to when the likes of Blockbuster and Video Ezy (remember them?!) were in abundance. Back in 1997, Netflix began as a business that posted DVDs to customers by good old snail mail. While this method now seems a little redundant with the use of actual disks and real-life DVD players, at the time Netflix was already a pioneer of change and challenging the dominance of bricks and mortar DVD rental businesses. 

In 1999, just 2 years after initial launch, Netflix changed its model and embraced the digital era by offering an online subscription service. A year later, they introduced personalised movie recommendations based on members previous likes and dislikes. In 2008 Netflix teamed up with consumer electronics like Xbox and TV set-top boxes to get their streaming across more devices. 2010 saw Netflix hook up with tech-giant Apple and in 2013 they began offering original content – also becoming first ever internet network to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy in the same year.

And it continues today, with Netflix considered as a true success story for consistently acclimating tech trends, with more than 151 million paid subscribers in over 190 countries worldwide and accountable for approximately 15% of all the world’s internet bandwidth! 1

Here’s some more interesting hindsight; while Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010 there was an opportunity for them to partner with Netflix in 2000. With a resounding ‘no’ from the CEO, Blockbuster cemented its eventual demise. 2

There are so many companies that have transformed their business, adapted to trends and gone on to become tech giants. And of course, there are many businesses that don’t adapt their business models that we can learn from. Embrace change, actively adapt and anticipate it. Don’t hand over your competitive edge. Look to the tech giants and see how they innovate and change their models.

We see the next evolution now. With virtual tours becoming a more engaging and necessary way to view spaces, consumers are much more likely to interact with them rather than still photography – the move to virtual reality is another Blockbuster/Kodak moment. Will your business adapt and offer consumers what they want, especially in the face of COVID-19 disrupting the world faster than any event, ever before?

1 https://fortune.com/2018/10/02/netflix-consumes-15-percent-of-global-internet-bandwidth/

2 https://www.businessinsider.com.au/blockbuster-ceo-passed-up-chance-to-buy-netflix-for-50-million-2015-7?r=US&IR=T

All this tech talk got you confused?

Let us break down 3D and 360degree virtual tours in one easy table.

With data showing that buyers are spending on average 52% longer on properties with virtual tours1, it’s clear that virtual tours are a forward-thinking option that opens up a world of choice for those interested in buying, allowing buyers to view property anywhere and at any time.

What you may not know is that there are two types of virtual tours and each offers a different virtual perspective of a home – 3D Virtual Tours (superior) and 360 Virtual Tours.

We know that researching technology can be time-consuming – and that when you are selling your property, you want to present your home in the best possible way – so to help figure out which technology is the best for you and your property we’ve put together an analysis and compared them below.

HERE’S THE COMPARISON