Chances are if sold your home within the last six years you or your realtor probably used a local company called ObÄ“o to do the photography. Mark Schow started a company called MediaMax in 2002 and immediately signed on to become the Colorado distributor for ObÄ“o. Actually, back in 2002, ObÄ“o was called 360House.com. With a staff of photographers, 360House.com provided online virtual home tours for real estate agents and consumers. They launched their innovative enterprise in 1999, and now, almost 10 years later, they do business in 95 markets across the country. In 2004 they changed the name from 360House to ObÄ“o. To date, Schow says theyâ€™ve shot over 40,000 homes, and nationally ObÄ“o has produced 480,000 virtual tours.
You may remember my column from a few months ago when I discussed changing times in real estate marketing and stated I believe video is the next generation of advertising. Schow agrees, and as a result, ObÄ“o morphed to meet consumer demand. The company recently unveiled three new features to advertise your home, and yes, video is one of them. As of July, Schow offers video tour packages consisting of digital still photography with high definition and narrated video for as little as $199.
The other two canâ€™t-miss features are StyleDesigner and SpaceDesigner. Letâ€™s say you take digital shots of your kitchen with ObÄ“o. With StyleDesigner graphic capability, you can tinker with the design of that kitcken. For instance, on your home computer you might want to see what your current kitchen would look like with different paint, granite countertops or new cabinetry. If youâ€™re not quite up for a remodel, SpaceDesigner lets you add or subtract furniture as well as rearrange room layouts.
Just more examples of how technology continues to shape the way we buy and sell homes.