To close a sale in real estate, opportunity favors a charged phone.
Three years ago, real estate agent Jordan Clarke was driving on the interstate when he received a panicked call from clients in Washington, D.C., to say a San Diego-area home had just gone on the market.
The countdown had begun. There are few homes for sale in the affluent coastal area they were gunning for and, chances are, other agents had clients interested, too. Clarke pulled off the freeway, called the listing agent, got into the home and pulled out his cellphone. He marched through the remodeled home, showing live video to his East Coast clients.
They made an offer. In just a few hours, the home sold for $1.1 million, beating out a higher offer an hour later from another agent.
Real estate brokerage Redfin is now taking video a step further. Since July, Redfin, to its knowledge, has been the first real estate company to have live streaming connected directly to a listing.
The feature so far is available only in San Diego and Chicago. Redfin says it has been mostly local buyers who have had a long day at work and don’t have the time — or energy — to go to an in-person listing but want an agent to show them around.
Realtor Jason Cassity, who works at City Consulting Group in downtown San Diego, said he has been using video streaming, mainly Periscope, for three years but mostly for rentals. “People aren’t as afraid to commit to a one-year lease at $2,000, compared to dropping $600,000,” he said of video showings.
Cassity prefers the 3-D modeling platform Matterport, which takes detailed photos, to live video.
Costs can add up, but “for what we do nowadays, you better be putting in ridiculous levels of service and marketing to get that thing sold,” he said.