A new virtual tour system launched in the UK by proptech company Vieweet allows filming, editing and sharing in a matter of minutes sparking immediate criticism.
Vieweet 360 costs £1 per property per month and is the latest proptech innovation to go live, after being hot-housed by an accelerator.
While the major portals struggle with the best way to handle the rapid introduction of new technologies, feedback to Property Industry Eye's report on Vieweet 360 suggests the concept may be flawed from the outset.
“(Virtual tours) are the worst thing an agent can get into," one comment to the site says.
“Been tried before and as everyone knows unless you have a perfect dream show house it fails miserably for the average Joe’s property.
“All the IT buffs will jump in but the whole idea of marketing is to use it as a carrot to get someone to the property...,” the comment adds.
“We tried 360 tour years ago and dropped it very quickly as it was counter productive. Very noticeable feedback from the buying public commonly stated: ‘We don’t need to view now, we don’t like it’.
Another comment remarks, “Next generation? 360 spinners were around in the late 90s!”
However Property Industry Eye argues Vieweet 360 looks to be a significant advance, combining a fisheye lens and a new app.
According to Vieweet co-founder Domenic Versace quoted in the report, Vieweet 360 allows property professionals to get a complete virtual tour live online moments after the photographs have been taken.
“It’s 100 per cent mobile, there’s no need for expensive digital SLR cameras or complicated editing equipment, and the Vieweet App does all the hard work for you,” Versace says.
“In fact, you can film an entire virtual tour of a standard three bedroom property and get it up and running on the web in less than ten minutes.”
He says the people taking the images need no photography skills as the A=app guides them through the process, avoiding the need to hire professional photographers.
“The technology also creates a fully-interactive experience for the viewer, who can control how they want to look around each location, and by clicking on the ‘hotspots’, decide where they want to go next,” he says.
The system works by using an adaptor to attach the fisheye lens to the camera on a phone camera and lock it into a 5ft high monopod.
An agent standing in the centre of each room, takes four images, each 90 degrees apart, which will be put together by the app’s ‘auto stitch’ technology.
There is also the facility to create ‘hotspots’ in the tour, allowing the viewer to move from one location to another.
Properties can come on and off the platform as many times as the subscriber likes. If more properties are required, agents can buy a bolt-on, which costs an additional £20 per month for an extra 20 properties.
Property Industry Eye notes Vieweet was part of the first London cohort of the Barclays Accelerator powered by Techstars in 2014.
“The ambition behind the programme is aimed at supporting the growth of developing fin tech companies,” its report says.
Founded by Domenic Versace and David Poullier two years ago Vieweet is known to be making waves in the proptech sector and is expected to make further announcements.
Last week, Zoopla announced a £1m investment in four proptech companies
Several other new proptech products are in the immediate pipeline, reflecting the growing importance of proptech to the industry – and their challenge to those portals which cannot currently enable, for example, virtual tours and chats with agents.