Up Periscope...and get ready to put down a deposit for your new home.
A New York City real estate broker is reportedly taking advantage of Twitter's trendy streaming video app Periscope to get hundreds of would-be customers to virtually view apartment open houses—eliminating the need to actually trek to available pads.
Broker Rick Hernandez's outside-the-box idea for the smartphone and tablet set allows potential buyers to view and evaluate in minutes what otherwise might take them an hour or more in travel time during the workday to see in person.
Hernandez recently used Periscope to show more than 100 people three apartments in the Hamilton Heights section of upper Manhattan, according to a story by the news site DNAInfo.com. The time it took for all of them to check out the places? Less than half an hour.
"I didn't see anybody else doing this, and I was very surprised by that," Hernandez told DNAInfo.com. "I did one transmission, I didn't have any followers and nobody knew me but I had 50-60 people watching. I went from zero to 100 followers in 48 hours."
"It definitely helps your business," said Hernandez, who has received three offers as a result of the Periscope'd open house he's held.
Periscope was launched by Twitter last March after the company reportedly paid $100 million for the app. Since then, a handful of real estate brokers have begun using it to expand the potential customer base for their open houses.
The real estate brokerage RE/MAX Integra recently highlighted Periscope as its "app of the month," The company noted that Periscope, in addition to allowing brokers to conduct virtual open houses, lets them give viewers a glimpse of local attractions and businesses near the home to help drive sales.
In England, real estate agent Simon Bradbury told the BBC he was "blown away" by the success he had from using Periscope to stream an open house. During his first such Periscope session, Bradbury had 54 people watching via the app, and just five people who actually showed up to look at the house in person.
The house sold within a day, Bradbury told the BBC.