Brisbane is fast becoming Australia’s proptech epicentre with government-backed investment and strategic partnerships galvanising a new wave of local start-ups looking to match digital services with property.
One of the city’s bright newcomers, Little Hinges, is now an industry disruptor—supported by a newly-established initiative being overseen by the Brisbane Economic Development Agency.
Under the Brisbane EDA PropTech Initiative, emerging local businesses are able to incubate, network and scale, while being provided with exciting pathways towards national and international expansion.
Little Hinges, spearheaded by former REIQ chief operating officer Josh Callaghan and co-founder Kindred Group managing director Joshua Kindred, has rapidly evolved through its development cycle as part of the program’s maiden cohort.
The year-old proptech start-up is now championing the nation’s virtual reality (VR) space, digitising properties and providing its customers with software to help manage easy and convenient property inspections and experiences.
“From little hinges swing big doors,” Little Hinges chief executive Josh Callaghan said.
“While we are small in our footprint as a company, we are fast-becoming the industry’s enabler, transforming the way in which property and spaces are interacted with.”
“We saw a problem, a friction, in the way consumers could readily access and experience available properties on their terms.”
“We thought about the amount of time, and often difficulty, required to attend physical inspections and have now virtualised the experience to an unbelievable level of intricacy and detail.”
While VR tours and 360 degree plug-ins have been available to realtors for some time, Little Hinges platform and use of technology goes further, amplifying user-ability and utility to unlock and drive additional revenue streams for its clients.
Users are able to interact with embedded call to actions and digital touch points—opening warranty cards for appliances, how-to manuals for in-home technologies, and additional information for third-party products.
The company’s patented and highly immersive software is powered by industry leading 3D camera specialist Matterport, a US-based hardware company currently valued at US$2.9 billion (A$3.8 billion).
“Our key differentiator is the quality to which we scan and our partnership with Matterport has enabled that,” Callaghan said.
“Our platform provides millimetre accurate scans in a rapid turnaround, with post-production averaging between four to six hours and delivery often same day.”
“In the current digital era, timeliness is everything, and we have seen a huge uptake in our platform due to the time in which we undertake post-production and delivery.”
The software, accessible through desktop, mobile and VR headsets, is overseen by a team of virtual tour technicians and support staff, who were on-boarded to the company from the beleaguered hospitality industry at the onset of the Covid pandemic.
The company now boasts a diverse client base, including national real estate agencies LJ Hooker, Ray White and Place, and the country’s largest diversified developer Stockland.
“Stockland is a highly progressive company and they quickly understood the power of our platform—and its innovative uses of VR, in order to engage and service its customers,” Callaghan said.
“Developers are understanding the untapped potential and the next-tier of engagement that can be provided throughout all phases of the construction lifecycle.”
“Our fluid walkthroughs, on average hold people for upwards of four to five minutes, which is on average and often a longer time frame than with many listing portal’s landing pages—and that type of engagement in this fast-moving digital age is priceless.”
Little Hinges is also planning to roll out new functionality to store property measurements in order for users to size up fast-tracked trade fit outs and quotes, furniture selection tools, and renovation mock-ups.
Callahan said the business had been able to expand its operational footprint and shift gears from start-up to industry specialist, thanks in part to its partnership with Brisbane EDA.
“What Brisbane EDA have done for Little Hinges is immeasurable, but the most important factor is their ability to act as the connector.”
“Whenever there has been something relevant to our business, they have provided us with that connection and forged the pathways to those partnerships.”
“Without the department’s proptech initiative, the network we currently have access to would have taken months, if not years, to build by ourselves.”
To learn more about virtual reality and virtual tour space provided by Little Hinges, click here.
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