iPhone App Lets you take a photo and get property information!

2 minute read

An online real estate company in the USA as created an iPhone App that lets you take a photo of any of the 90 million USA properties available and near instantaneously give you an array of information about that same property. This includes a valuation, past sales record and local sales data and much more!

This if it works like the demo suggests is pretty impressive software! It not only uses GPS but also information about the person taking the photo including where they are pointing the camera making use of iPhone’s Gyroscope, the magnetometer and the accelerometer as well as obviously their GPS!

One just wonders what company in Australia could come up with a similar application, as I am sure every single agent and prospective buyer would love this.

This application was not developed by a big portal, or even a sales database organization – it was from a online selling real estate brokerage.

Applications like this give more power to agents, buyers and vendors and the more information they hold – the more agents are going to have to make sure they are on top of all of this technology and being able to provide value added services to justify costs.

So think about what you do and how you can add value to the services you offer your clients. You could invest in an application like this for your area and stay on top of other agents!

Link: http://www.sawbuck.com/

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  • Brett
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:40 am 0Likes

    Didn’t the Commonwealth Bank bring out a similar app a couple of years ago?


  • Nick
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 7:29 am 0Likes

    At first I thought it was doing house recognition from the photo. Not that would be extremely impressive.

    The tech behind it is fairly straightforward actually. GPS tells you where they are standing, and the compass tells you where they are facing. You then have all the data concerning property boundaries and you shoot a ‘ray’ out until you hit a property boundary.

  • Jon May
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:20 am 0Likes

    I guess QR codes provide similar info. But those codes are a blight on an otherwise attractive signboard!

  • Glen Barnes
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:44 am 0Likes

    Be very cautious of those claims. Apps that require that level of accuracy are generally more hype than substance. The location issues will be solved at some point but I’m not sure we are there yet to get 100% reliable location for property identification. And if it isn’t 100% then users soon give up (try using AR apps to see why).

  • Paul
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 11:20 am 0Likes

    Sounds imoressive enough but how can any app give a half reliable valuation without knowing what additions or alterations have been made to the property that might not be visible externally?

  • Vanessa
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm 0Likes

    Thats very impressive! Its amazing where technology is heading. From a personal security point, not sure if i would want anyone being able to take a photo of my house and find out how many bedrooms, its value, how much its sold for in the past etc. Next it will be displaying floor plans, extensions etc. I wonder at what extent it will go, before our privacy will be protected. Its just opening up the doors to those who will abuse this technology for personal gain.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm 0Likes

    Always interesting to see where mobile technology is taking real estate. Some may say that this sort of technology and the release of apps like Google App on the iPhone with Google Goggles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuppCYfDqts could pose a threat to QR Codes.

    QR Codes direct people to a designated web page url which if optimised to increase conversion can have a better ROI.

    I believe they will still have a more strategic role to play into the future.

  • Roger Newcombe
    Posted April 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm 0Likes

    RP Data App does this already

    • Peter Ricci
      Posted April 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm 0Likes

      Roger, unless I am mistaken, it doesn’t do anything near this app, in fact reading the reviews, the RP Data App needs work!

  • Phil Kells
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 2:52 am 0Likes

    I agree with Brett, think CBA did do something similar to this a while back.

    Sawbuck presented at the Inman Demo Day we were also a part of back on March 30 at Inman HQ in California.

    I guess one difference would be the revenue model… For those interested this is how their revenue model is described…

    “HomeSnap is a free mobile application for the Apple iPhone. Sawbuck’s revenue stream is based on successful referrals. When a partner agent successfully closes a transaction based on a Sawbuck referral, Sawbuck receives a referral fee equal to 30 percent of the agent’s commission.”


  • Dave Platter
    Posted May 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm 0Likes

    Great post, Peter. You are always on the cutting edge. One challenge for a service like this is always going to be having enough properties in the database that consumers don’t get lots of “no property found” messages.

    What do you think?

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