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OpenFrame brings new twists to its virtual home tour app

09/25/2020

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Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

OpenFrame is a virtual tour and video content creation app for real estate agents.

Platforms: iPhone Ideal for: Listing agents, teams and brokerages wanting to create tours and video marketing content

Top selling points: Included 360-degree camera and tripod Create videos from 360-degree photos Fast, one photo/room tour creation Provided room labels Included property assessment feature Top concerns:

On-device storage may create an issue for some users. Users will want to connect a cloud storage account to store videos created over time.

What you should know

A couple of features of OpenFrame stand out to me. The app uses the panoramic photos used in the standard, immersive 360-degree tours to build quick and simple videos.

Users choose between a motion blur or fade transition, tap a provided room label to identify the location and give it a soundtrack. Videos can be shared via text and email, or published to social media. A unbranded version can also be produced to accommodate MLS restrictions.

This allows users of OpenFrame to create multiple forms of rich listing content using the same photos.

OpenFrame also has a nifty Property Assessment feature that when turned on, can automatically identify features and amenities that drive value, such as hardwood floors, natural light or a kitchen island.

Users can select from an included list to fill in the blanks, add a general ranking and then produce a mobile-ready opinion of value. No, it’s not on the level of an appraisal or professional inspection, but you know what it’s good for? Ibuyers.

And with many lenders delaying closing, this tool could add additional support for the loan. Etienne Leroy, co-founder of OpenFrame, said the company is in talks with “a very well-known iBuyer to test the product.”

OpenFrame comes with a 360-degree camera that the company owns, thanks to an opportunistic bankruptcy on the part of its previous manufacturer. It uses Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector.

This may worry some because Apple is known for altering its hardware connections simply because it loves to see its fans scramble for new accessories. (Well, that’s why I think they do it.)

Never fear though, because you don’t have to use the provided camera. Other apps or compatible cameras that create 360-degree photos can work within the app as well.

Exterior window glare can be remedied quickly with the app’s native HDR tech, and after each photo is processed in a few seconds, OpenFrame instructs you to “walk to the next room.”

A series of included labels with room names appear for easy navigation, and logos and agent headshots can be applied to the tour.

All the sharing capabilities are here, as is another highlight tool called “Tour Books.” Tour Books is merely an assembled collection of completed, saved 360-degree tours.

Assuming each has an appeal to a buyer or a common thread (same ZIP code or school district, for example), the buyer can receive a URL that includes a plotted map with links to each listing. This tool would be superb for new construction reps and agents who specialize in large tract communities.

OpenFrame manages to wrap all its features in a very simple user experience. It’s fast, too. The selection of video, online open house and 360-degree tech has grown immensely since the pandemic made lockboxes collect cobwebs.

Why OpenFrame should catch your lens is because of its industry-centric add-ons, like the assessment and tour features. There’s a lot here to like, and I’m hoping to see more from it.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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