Swiss startup Spectando is targeting European expansion with its new smartphone virtual tour and remote viewing solution which can be used without additional expensive hardware.
Spectando CEO Alexander Sanders says his founding team of computer vision, software and engineering specialists launched the concept around a year ago with very positive feedback from market players from estate agents to large online real estate platforms.
Incorporated in June this year, the company is preparing to sign contracts with the first of its targeted online real estate clients after trialing the product on leading Swiss property portals including Newhome.ch and Immoscout24.ch.
Newhome.ch CEO Jean-Pierre Valenghi, who was the first to trial the product confirms Spectando saves time for advertisers who want to set up a virtual tour as well as for people looking for a new property by giving them a virtual first impression.
“Spectando offers a very attractive and easy to use solution for people who want to provide a virtual tour on an existing listing,” Valenghi says.
“The simplicity is reflected in the handling of the app as well as the integration in an existing portal as newhome.ch.
“The main point is everybody can create a virtual tour with their smartphone, without incurring any additional costs and no hardware has to be acquired.
“Additionally the Spectando solution delivers an automatic link so the virtual tour runs simultaneously with the listing on newhome.ch.”
Feedback from Valenghi on how the app could be improved includes the addition of text box functionality for every single room and the integration of a floor plan, which would help people orientate themselves in a virtual tour.
Immoscout24.ch CEO Martin Waeber describes Spectando as an innovative start-up company with great potential, offering a very easy and cost efficient way of producing virtual reality content for the real estate business.
“Spectando’s mobile solution increases the efficiency of real estate agents and gives users a new experience in searching for apartments or houses,” Waeber says.
“The great difference to other solutions is that Spectando is a full mobile solution which requires no additional camera devices or specific knowledge so anybody can use it."
Natural born disruptors
Alexander Sanders’ team was deliberately looking at different business concepts to disrupt the market with a technologically driven solution.
After having unsuccessfully tried a few ideas in other industries, they came up with the real estate virtual tour solution.
“What we as a company find very exciting about the real estate market is that there is a lot of opportunity for technological innovation and the players are very open to it,” Sanders says.
“We saw that it is very difficult for buyers to get a good feeling about a potential new home just from photos. This leads to a lot of unsuccessful viewings and a huge amount of wasted time for both sides.”
Based on a computer vision algorithm built in-house, the Spectando App allows both private users and estate agents to create virtual tours using their smartphone.
Additionally, the Spectando product can be seamlessly integrated into the listing creation process online.
“The virtual tour created with our smartphone app automatically appears on the property listing,” Sanders explains.
Though virtual tours have been around for a long time, Sanders argues a scalable solution enabling private users to create virtual tours was lacking.
“We saw that there was a market need for such a product and saw that we had the capabilities and expertise required to build this solution,” he says.
Up to now Spectando has been financed by the founding team, but Sanders says the company is currently looking for investment to speed up its European and global expansion.
“We have different revenue models for online platform clients,” Sanders says.
Options include offering the service free to private clients while the associated platform pays a base fee and a freemium-style package where users take a limited number of rooms for free but have to pay for the remote viewing functionality.
For professional users Sanders says the service is likely to always involve a cost.
“As the field of virtual reality is growing very quickly nowadays, we see ourselves as the main provider of virtual reality solutions for real estate platforms on a global level,” Sanders says.
“Of course, we are monitoring the cutting edge research in computer vision and computer graphics to make sure the product we are offering complies with the latest requirements for quality and scalability.”