Technology has truly transformed consumer habits, behaviours and desires.
As Josh Callaghan, CEO, Little Hinges explains “today, we can order food from our couch, organise for someone to pick us up wherever we are in the world and watch any movie we want on any device, whenever we choose – our expectations have changed, and we crave flexibility.”
Meeting property buyer and seller needs
Little Hinges was developed in response to COVID-19, with the opportunity being that a pandemic which restricted access to physical property would create high demand for virtual tours.
And since its launch in 2020, the technology has helped more than 3 million people inspect property digitally – growing to become the largest platform of its kind in the country.
“We’d discovered that virtual tours were the hottest piece of digital content in the purchase journey of a property. Users were spending more than 3 minutes on average clicking through houses, they were coming back multiple times and they were sharing the links with friends and family.”
And while the unforeseen circumstances of the past two years helped start the fire, Callaghan believes the spark was present long before the arrival of COVID-19.
“The megatrends underlying the demand for digital inspections has been there for years, even before COVID-19. Consumers expect immediate access to the things they are interested in, and they expect to be able to do that from their own device, wherever they want, whenever they want.
“The property industry had enforced a friction point for consumers by insisting on physical only inspections – when consumers clearly want both options.
“In fact, a study by Zoom Qualtrics in 2021 found that 57% of Australians want to be able to purchase property using a hybrid approach of digital and in-person inspections.
“COVID was simply the enabler that forced more asset owners to open their properties digitally.”
The next innovative steps
With the Little Hinges platform now serving more than 300,000 unique users each month, Callaghan says the journey will continue by finding further opportunities to enhance the buyer and seller experience.
“We’re really excited about launching our platform globally in July this year and are working hard on building out the user interfaces that serve our key customer segments. We’re doing some really interesting projects across the country and continue to push the boundaries of 3D space capture.”
“Ultimately though, it’s about the growth of our core business which is measured by the number of properties we have on our platform. We’ll continue to invest in activities that increase the number of properties that have been digitised to better serve consumers and deliver commercial value for property owners.”