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Street view service WoNoBo adds property section; Should realty portals worry?

wonoboStreet view mapping service WoNoBo which launched in October last year, has added a realty section (in beta). It will let you virtually walkthrough the streets of a city to view properties currently available in the market.

The sections is currently available only in Mumbai with Delhi launch expected to happen closer to launch. Following this, it will add other cities. Interestingly though, the company mentioned that it has not partnered with any existing realty players for this project.

How it works: When you open the realty section, you’re shown the map with pointers for properties that are available for rent or sale. Clicking on any of these pointers will take the user to the street view of that area. One can then navigate around this area and look for ‘for rent’ or ‘for sale’ icons manually or sort through them from the panel on the left.

The other way to use the site would be by searching for an apartment name or the name of the locality and browsing through all properties that are available for sale or for rent from that area.

Clicking on any of these properties will open a specific page which shows the building from the closest street. This page also lists all details about the property through separate tabs. The first tab has details such as rent/sale price, type, age of property, possession details, interior etc, apart from photos of the apartment and a list of amenities provided. Other tabs include ‘contact broker’ and ‘places nearby’. The last tab is quite helpful as it allows users to view a list of all restaurants, hospitals and schools close to the building.


Upcoming projects with 360 degree view

This is quite an interesting feature: WoNoBo can now show the preview of the building in the actual site even before the construction is over. There will be an option to shift between the current look of the area and a version with the building’s preview. Housing.com had also added a 3D preview feature earlier this year, but we feel WoNoBo’s feature could have more impact. As of now, the visual seem to be created with multiple gif images, but the company has the capability of working with realtors to use CAD or 3Dsmax files to add a true 3D version of the building in this section.

Internal 3D view

The company has also added a street view like 3D navigation within apartments. Through this, builders could create a 3D view of the sample apartment and use them in upcoming projects to help prospective buyers get a fair idea of what to expect. This is however an optional service as of now and interested brokers & construction companies can contact WoNoBo for this. The company refused to divulge how much they charge for these services in the beta period.

Plan for reducing spam listings: WoNoBo is working with brokers directly for this project. The company believes that there will be fewer fake listings since brokers will have to specifically mark the apartments and houses on street view. Apart from this, the company also has an internal team looking into qualitative aspects.

On quality of visuals: WoNoBo says that the criticism about the quality of visuals is unfair. The images are apparently compressed later as net speeds are still not that fast in India, so it was a product decision to keep it low-res. WoNoBo will also start updating their visuals more often and they have an in-house system that will alert them periodically to update visuals for locations.

Medianama take

This is a quite interesting take on the real estate sector by WoNoBo. It’s worth noting that this vertical has seen some interesting projects off late, especially since Housing.com entered the market somewhere in 2012.

This has forced incumbents like 99Acres and MagicBricks to invest in improving its user experience as well as improving its offering to brokers and consumers. Earlier this year, 99Acres had launched iOS and Android apps and had also rolled out a map based search (ReadHow Competition Is Changing 99acres).

It will be interesting to see how these companies will look to counter WoNoBo’s solution now. It probably wouldn’t be easy for them to catch up considering no other companies in India offers street view maps yet. Google is currently focusing only on monuments and popular places like restaurants, shopping destinations, cafes with its streetview product, since it was not allowed to launch the service for consumers.

With input from Vikas SN

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