Home Alone

Interactive visuals keep home buyers’ attention during the pandemic.
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Hommati's digital offerings
Virtual Offer: Many homes listed for sale in metro Detroit are being shown virtually by companies like Hommati, which has offices in Livonia, Novi, and Grand Blanc. Virtual tours save time and promote safety. // Courtesy of Hommati

Hommati, a company that offers digital imaging for showing houses, opened a new location in metro Detroit just before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. It was a fortunate move, because it enabled house-hunters to keep shopping despite stay-at-home orders.

Justin Barton, franchise owner and operator of Hommati’s Livonia office, says his business offers virtual home-showing tools to real estate agents, who can use the system to market properties they’re working to sell.

Hommati, which has its national headquarters just north of Columbus, Ohio, has other Michigan locations in Novi and Grand Blanc. The company provides 3-D tours of properties, virtual reality tours, aerial videos and photos, interior and exterior photos, and floor plans. It also offers virtual staging, in which to-scale images of furniture can be added to photos of rooms. In his first year of business, Barton says the Livonia office signed up “dozens of clients.”

“The 3-D tour provides an interactive doll-house view where you can tour the home, and then you can go back to your Realtor and say, ‘Hey, we had 20 homes where we really liked the photos, but when we dove down into the interactive tour, we narrowed it down to these five,’” Barton says.

The company’s services are meant to supplement a buyer’s initial search, so they can spend less time physically touring homes. This is especially helpful when people are trying to stay home as much as possible. It saves buyers precious time in competitive markets, and it’s more convenient to be able to view an initial “tour” at any time from the comfort of the couch. It also benefits sellers, as it saves them from having lots of strangers trek through their homes.

Real estate agents can opt to offer all of the showing tools per listing, or they can purchase specific tools for each listing à la carte. Offerings can contain agents’ branding, and Hommati also provides social media marketing services.

Barton says agents who use Hommati’s services have received four times more inquiries on listings, homes sell 68 percent faster, and 49 percent more qualified leads come through. Homes with dynamic visual content sell for 9 percent higher on average nationwide, he adds.

New this year, Barton’s office is offering agents presentation videos and branded magazines. The agents can use the materials to show the Hommati services that are available to clients who are looking for agents to sell their homes.

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