PHNX Digital Launches VR, AR property app

Property development marketing agency PHNX Digital has launched a virtual and augmented reality property app for Harcourts Platinum.

Greg Jooste, founder and MD of PHNX Digital, says virtual and augmented reality offers added value to marketers: “There will always be a need for print, but in today’s digital-focused world, there needs to be a way to combine the two. And that is what AR does; it takes a motionless print advert and digitally brings it to life with a simple scan. AR has an exciting roadmap ahead, with the advancing technology and ongoing push for more interactivity from the consumer,” he says.

The app allows users to take a virtual walk through a property via their phones, brings printed adverts to life using AR, lets users receive push notifications on new listings and allows them to make an enquiry from their phones, directly to the agent.

It makes use of location mapping, showing the building’s proximity to the area’s main attractions. Drone photography is used to capture an image of the area from a high vantage point. Hovering over the interactive hotspots on the map provides immediate street views, addresses and contact details. These hotspots are marked and categorised using Google Map technology.

Enhancing the viewing experience

“Real estate marketing has changed little in the last decade. In some cases a purchaser can find out more information about a R1000 camera than a R5m property. By enhancing the viewing experience, buyers will be able to engage with a property even without viewing it – thus reducing time wasted on unsuitable properties and sparing both themselves and other sellers the wasted time and inconvenience,” says Steve Caradoc-Davies, principal/director of Harcourts Platinum.

“For development property that is typically sold off-plan, a buyer can now enjoy the visual experience of a property that doesn’t yet exist – this assisting their purchasing decision. For sellers, it will ensure their property stands out in the crowd, attracts maximum buyer enquiry, and sells for the most the market will pay,” he says.

Detailed analytics

Jooste adds that the key for AR is that it needs a platform and the app provides this platform. “You cannot scan anything if you do not have the app to do so. By getting the consumer to download the app, you are opening a channel between you and the consumer to communicate, not through the original platforms like email and SMS, but now through an app, which provides detailed analytics of their movements,” he says.

With the app developed in-house, Jooste says: “We felt there was a gap in the market for an easy to use tool of this type that would be easily accessible for consumers and customisable for clients needs. We wanted a unique app that could be easily adaptable and customised and we needed to create it from scratch.”

Planned extensions for the app include VR video, AR floorplans and interactive video.