Regardless of where the Canadian condominium market is going, whether it’s a seller’s market or a buyers’ market, it’s always going to be sales and marketing business. Like every institution from education to health and from Bay Street to Main Street, technology is changing and impacting how the real estate market can do business.
In some regards the sad reality is that the real estate industry has been slow to adopt technology. With many companies being run with an old school ethos, they seem to be overlooking the fact that buyers' behaviours are changing.
First time home buyers still constitute the 25 to 35 year old demographic, and this demographic of course has the highest adoption rate of new technology. One has to wonder how the technological disconnect between sellers and a buyer is influencing the purchasing process. It’s more than just a purchasing process when it’s usually the biggest buying decision a young person or couple will make.
There’s one Vancouver startup that setting out to better connect real estate developers with their potential buyers; not only to better connect, but to create a better overall experience for both parties. Flat World Applications is delivering VIDA, (short for Versatile Interactive Demonstration Application), a mobile application built for iOS and Android, smartphones and tablets, tailored for real estate developments. VIDA is an interactive brochure, customized for real estate projects which anyone can download from the App Store.
Real estate marketing has not changed much over the years. Using traditional assets like printed brochures, email campaigns, printed media advertisements, flash websites, and sales centers. While all of these methods are important, none of them live on customer mobile devices where they now spend the most time.
VIDA is designed for customers, sales agents, and developers: turning the software into a sales tool and an exceedingly rich purchaser guide experience; and helping companies drive sales, streamline processes, and extend their marketing outreach. It’s a multi-purpose application within one interface. Developers can create compelling offerings unique to their specific project needs with customizable templates and a variety of unique features like VIP customer access, customized bulletin boards, CRM integration, inventory viewer, a furniture configurator, and integrating augmented reality.
The product was conceived originally by combining the real estate and software experience of Flat World Apps’ CEO, Melissa Kwan. After years of working in real estate before moving onto software sales at SAP, Melissa experienced the shortcomings of new condo marketing and later on gained extensive knowledge in using technology to improve business efficiencies. It became obvious when she ventured on her own bringing the two together would create something the market needs.
VIDA isn’t concerned by the recent pessimism in Vancouver or Toronto real estate as this technology knows no boundaries. Outside of Canada, the company is already working with international developers in cities where the market is booming, and preparing to release the application for launches in the next few months. The VIDA platform is primed not only for residential real estate, but destination properties and commercial real estate, too.