Innovating Way to Show Your Property

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Real estate has not been spared from the mobile revolution and Erik Goldhar  understands the sector’s new reality better than most. There are already  countless smartphone applications allowing potential homebuyers to search  listings and view basic property details, but the cofounder of Toronto-based  Clikbrix Corp. contends his company’s ability to “go beyond the property walls”  and offer such innovative features as nearby amenities or a live virtual open  house helps his offering stand out. The following is an edited transcription of  his conversation with Financial Post technology reporter Jameson Berkow.

Q Where did the idea for Clikbrix come from?

A My business partner Ted Geatros and I both come from marketing backgrounds  and the ad agency world. About seven years ago, we started a small boutique ad  agency called Consumption Inc. and we had various clients from national  retailers to museums. We had quite a bit of success. On behalf of one of our  clients, [Geatros] took a trip to Asia about three years ago to look at some  meat processing plants and he came back with QR codes. They were absolutely  everywhere over there. I had never seen them so we immediately did a deep dive  into them and found they were just getting going. We thought there was a massive  opportunity to utilize QR codes, but to provide the strategy part of that. So we  completely shifted gears into mobile marketing and that was the birth of a  company called QRE8.com three years ago. It was this QR code mobile company that  had a huge underlying of strategy.

Q How did you end up focusing on real estate?

A We asked ourselves what verticals are out there that could benefit from a  turnkey solution to generate their QR codes and be on their way. So we listed  out used cars because QR codes could go on their windows; art galleries and  museums might have been interesting, too. We laid out all of these verticals and  once we did all our due diligence we really felt real estate was where we wanted  to go first. And that was the birth of Clikbrix, which started about 2½ years  ago and launched 18 months ago and relaunched a month ago with all kinds of new  technology.

Q Why did you decide a relaunch was necessary?

A When we launched, we were first to market and four months after we launched  we won an international mobile marketing award. But because there were very  creative and innovative people out there, and very competitive people, other  companies started to surface with very similar things. So we knew about six or  eight months ago when we started planning the relaunch that we had some success  but that some of the big guys were creeping up on us. We knew unless you  innovate you are basically toast.

Q So you opted to expand on your original concept?

A That’s right, since what people often fail to realize is how close you are  to your friends and family is a massive reason why you would buy or not buy a  home, as is how close it is to shopping or a proper school or transportation or  that special cafe. All of those things are part of what ultimately leads a  homebuyer to make that purchase decision. The new Clikbrix is set up to enable  agents to include that kind of information to take potential home buyers beyond  the property walls. Because this is a lifestyle choice as much as it is a “where  am I going to lay my head at night?” kind of a choice.

Q What new features were added with the relaunch?

A When Google first launched Google+ in the summer, I was on there  immediately and I fell in love with it. I was constantly thinking how can we  take advantage of this? Before Hangouts we integrated Google Maps, YouTube  videos so agents can walk around and do a threeto-five minute video tour of the  property. They can also do that for a personal interview. We also make available  a space for agents to do a neighbourhood video shot as an automatic button on  their Clikbrix app.

Q How does the virtual open house feature work?

A That highlights a huge differentiation for us. Google+ Hangouts allows you  to have an up to 10-person video conference call. Say, for example, a real  estate agent has an open house on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. So what if  around 5: 15 p.m., they went online and started a hangout that would allow  people who either lived in the area and couldn’t make the open house in person  or maybe were from another city or country. How are they going to get a really  good understanding of the home through a couple of pictures and words that say  it has three bedrooms and three bathrooms? Having a live hangout we thought  would be a great way to allow an agent to give a quick video tour then share  documents such as floor plans and specs of the house, all in real time. They can  even have a Q&A on it. Then once you post it to YouTube, any number of  people can tune in.

Q How does that differ from your main rivals?

A The competition is very much still set on the core details. Most of them  are still in the mindset of how many bedrooms and how many bathrooms. Clikbrix  goes far beyond that.

Via Vancouver Sun.

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