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iGuide Digitally Tells – and Sells – a Home’s Story

October 26 2015

Visionary tool creates listing in the blink of an "i"

The Internet has completely transformed how we decide what to buy. According to a recent study published by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 92% of home buyers are using the internet to look for a home. And with so much information available to prospective buyers, it is important for REALTORS® to deliver the information that is important to buyers.

The NAR study shows that today's home buyers are visual. They document their lives on Instagram, fantasize about home renovations on Pinterest, and surf social media day and night. Rarely more than 3 feet from their digital devices, today's consumer believes that instant access is no longer a luxury, it is the standard. Real estate agents must deliver listing information in ways that match today's modern consumer expectations.

iGuideiGuide, a ground-breaking digital product developed by Kitchener, Ontario-based Planitar, meets today's buyer expectations. This online virtual tour tool for digital house hunters presents 3-dimensional views integrated with floor plans and room measurements, using enhanced 360°-navigation. The data-driven innovation from Planitar has raised the bar on how real estate technology can engage today's buyers. It delivers listing data that enables the agent to focus on a high-touch client experience and sell more homes.

How It Works

Planitar co-founder and CEO Kevin Klages says the iGuide is the "best source of information buyers are looking for" because "iGuide was designed to present the information buyers found most critical during the home buying process."

Creation of iGuide follows traditional listing preparation activities. Using a camera system developed by Planitar, a 3,000 square-foot home can be completely documented by a single photographer in less than one hour.

The photographer sends the information gathered to Planitar which is then translated into the iGuide, including its 360° room views, floor plans, room measurements, floor areas and a photo gallery. iGuide technology is then delivered back to agents making it easy to populate their listings, websites, social media and print marketing with detailed listing content.

Integration with Popular Real Estate Platform

Klages and his partner Alexander Likholyot are grads of Waterloo Region's Communitech technology incubator program and launched the business in 2013. With active inquiries from as far as Australia and Germany, the partners have been "blown away by the response from everyone in the real estate supply chain."

One such enthusiastic response came from Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, a Cambridge, Ontario-based tech company that provides a Complete Enterprise Solution of technology and service offerings to empower real estate brokers and agents. Seeing a terrific fit with its integrated suite of industry products, Lone Wolf has now come on board to offer iGuide as a value-add to its clients.

"Lone Wolf is focused on building and assembling solutions for real estate brokerages," says Brian Friemel, Executive Vice President, Brokerage Services for Lone Wolf. "The iGuide, by its very nature, is an all-in-one listing solution that delivers an outcome that previously required multiple products."

Connecting the iGuide and all related sub-products to Lone Wolf's product offering creates a fully data-driven and integrated listing solution. Brokerages offering the iGuide solution to their agents and consumers will improve the marketing quality of their listings, while saving money.

iGuide Matches NAR Top 5 Buyer's Wish List

In the 2014 NAR Study of Buyers and Sellers, 83% of survey respondents found photos and 79% of respondents found detailed information about properties for sale most useful. Interactive maps, virtual tours and neighborhood information complete the top 5 useful pieces of information.

The industry's receptiveness to iGuide stems from its unrivalled ability to match up with four of the top five home buyer wish list items as ranked by NAR:

  1. Photos: iGuide's high-res photography will have buyers pinning their hearts out to their newest Pinterest board called "My New Home."
  2. Detailed information about properties for sale: One very important aspect of property details are the measurements and dimensions. Buyers can click and drag their mouse on a floor plan and measure every detail of a space. This feature allows them to furnish and decorate the space, which brings them one step closer to imagining it as their own.
  3. Virtual tours: Panoramic views provide an enhanced 3D perception of space. It's like a constant Open House without the work or time.
  4. Neighborhood information: Buyers want to know about the 'hood. How close are the schools and parks? How close are the neighbors? Where are the amenities? Neighborhood maps answer these questions and more.

iGuide technology was originally designed to address buyers' needs. Klages says it's more than just about marketing a property. "It's about agents delivering to potential buyers exactly what they want to see."

If a picture is worth a thousand words, iGuide promises to tell the complete story.