With 16 years of success under their belts, Tom Anderson, Dana Landry, Bill Moody and Marc Schappell at Washington Fine Properties are marking their “Sweet Sixteen” with tech savvy and style.
In business since 1999, the firm has made waves in Washington’s real estate market by brokering deals on some of the most luxurious homes in the District. During that time, the internet experienced explosive transformation, transitioning from just another means to communicate to a vast source of data and information utilized by businesses and individuals alike.
The internet revolution hit the real estate market in a big way. “Statistics show that 98 percent of people buying homes use the internet as a tool in their search process,” Landry points out. He goes on to say that the web has revolutionized the house touring process. Prospective buyers’ “first appointment is all online and if they like what they see on the web, they’ll come see the house.”
So WFP fine-tuned their site, gearing it “towards the properties, not the agents,” by blowing out their photography, embedding video (sometimes filmed by drones flown by ex-military pilots) and information about nearby schools and, most impressive, bringing Google Street View-like technology to virtual tours of homes on the market through Matterport 3D Modeling. Landry describes it, saying, “If you click on circles in the pictures, it takes you right through the room and you can walk through the whole house.” (Take a tour for yourself here.)
Then, he says, there’s the “dollhouse version” feature on the new site, allowing prospective buyers – or just those with high aspirations or a lot of curiosity – to look through the house in “layers,” with a simple click putting you inside any room in the house. Landry boasts that no other real estate firm in the area is using this technology (yet).
In addition, four weeks ago WFP launched a new in-house app that connects their team, bringing brokers together to better serve the firm’s clients. Landry says, “When we can get our whole team working on an assignment for one of our clients, the power of the team is incredible.” He compares it to Facebook, saying that agents can push notifications to one another about new listings or a client’s specific needs.
The app also stores “critical information” previously only accessible by PC, such as essential forms and lists of home inspectors, appraisers and settlement attorneys.
Landry notes that WFP’s tech upgrades weren’t cheap, but that they have paid off with regard to bringing in and streamlining business. With a relatively small 130-person team, Landry says, “We’ve always prided ourselves on being agile and able to implement effective tools for our agents.” WFP is doing just that with their new web tools.