Mar 5, 2016 | By Tess
Gone are the days of flipping through the classified section in the newspaper to find suitable real estate, whether residential or commercial, as listings are now primarily posted online. Despite the change of medium, however, real estate listings—especially for commercial, office properties—have remained essentially the same as the small clippings that could be found in the paper, with few details and a limited search engine. Now, and some may say finally, the online real estate game for commercial properties has begun to change with startups like Jagonal incorporating high-tech elements such as 3D virtual tours into their listings, helping to connect the customer with the space they are looking at.
Jagonal, a Sydney, Australia based startup, was founded by Andrew Brown, Max Sim, and Serge Kotlyarov all of whom previously worked for REA Group, the Australia based global online real estate advertising company. Seeing that the company did not put much focus on marketing commercial properties, the three set out to find a solution. Brown explains, “We knew there was a better way but we did not come up with the full solution until many years later. It all came together when Serge and I exited our respective startups. I had left REA to build a real estate CRM and Serge had left a fintech startup, which he left after finishing his MBA at London Business School. The time was right for a new startup in an industry which we really understood.”
So far, the Jagonal search engine has over 4,000 buildings listed and offers detailed and varied search features, including not only things like location, size, and price, but also features such as office layout and style, views, office lighting, and on-site and local amenities such as bike racks, childcare, and dining, just to name a few. The real estate website also presents three different ways to search for an office space: from a checklist of criteria, a text box search, and most notably a 3D model of the city in Australia you are searching with all the listings on display. This last feature has been of particular interest to investors and businesspeople looking for property from overseas.
As mentioned, Jagonal has also integrated 3D virtual tours into their real estate platform and are hoping to change the the nature of real estate advertising through these technological advancements. The 3D digital models were made by inputting the buildings’ data, including such information as coordinates, size, and number of floors into the Jagonal 3D editor, which generates the models of the buildings. As you’ll notice in the photos, the real estate team has opted for a virtual rendering of the buildings and their surroundings rather than a photographic one, reportedly to keep their site’s loading speed up.
Jagonal is not the only real estate company that has introduced 3D modeling and 3D technology into their practice, as the technology has gradually been gaining sway in not only the real estate industry, but also tourism and hospitality. Venue hire company iVvy has also been dabbling with 3D technologies and virtual reality tours to provide their clients with comprehensive and full online tours of their spaces, immersing them in the rental space.
Lauren Hall, CEO of iVvy explains, “As we expand globally, the hospitality industry can now take their offering to customers anywhere in the world. In the age of connectivity, we are giving people the ability to make decisions about venues from any location, knowing that it is just as good as if they were on-site. This is the future of events and hospitality and we are proud to be catalysts of the change.”
Jagonal, which launched in beta form last year, will be officially launching sometime this month. Ultimately the company wants to expand globally, and they are looking for investors to make this a possibility. As Brown says, “The next 12 months will be about investing heavily in marketing, refining the product and replicating our success in Singapore and other markets.”
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