New Apps Take Home Buying to the Next Level

From virtually walking through an open house to learning about the social scene in a new neighborhood, a new generation of apps and are taking the real estate shopping experience to the next level.

Matterport, of Mountain View, Calif., recently unveiled 3D Showcase, which produces high-quality, 3-D images of homes that can be embedded in online listings. Users can virtually walk room-to-room, behind sofas, around beds and past corners.
Then, at a click of a button, walls peel away revealing a photographic image of the house with all the spaces exposed. The 3D image can be rotated, turned and zoomed in on.

Furniture can be erased, leaving empty space behind. Or, it can be replaced with other furniture to re-stage rooms. Homebuyers can see what the place would look like after they buy it and put in the sofas, chairs and table they choose.

Meanwhiles, to avoid crowded open houses where you can’t get an answer to your questions, or agents who are unfamiliar with the property, a company called BrightDoor is offering Beamly.

It uses small Bluetooth-enabled devices located throughout the home to send home shoppers information via their mobile phones or other devices. When a buyer goes into the kitchen, for example, they can learn more about the appliances or wood cabinet options available to them.

With Boston-based Everywhere, users with Bluetooth-equipped mobile devices can draw boundaries around interactive maps of neighborhoods they are looking to move into and the site will display an array of local social media content from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook from that area. It also posts local Meetup events and deals and coupons from local businesses through sites like YipIt.

Zumper, which specializes in rentals, has produced the Zumper Pro app that enables agents to quickly create new online listings in a matter of minutes. Using their smartphones or tablets, agents can take photos, write descriptions and fill in details, such as the number of bedrooms, baths and square footage. Then, even before they leave the apartment, agents can post the listing online and send alerts to prospective renters with the app that a new place is on the market.


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