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When people see what Snaploader’s software can do, the most common reaction is amazement. But it wasn’t always that way – the start-up’s first product – a complicated property marketing app based on image recognition and augmented reality, struggled to gain traction, forcing founder and CEO Eric Fink to think on his feet.
“Where we are now is so different to where we started – we really had to pivot,’’ says Eric.
“To get someone to download the app was a challenge, to get the content into the app was another challenge, and then we had to demonstrate how augmented reality works. We found out the hard way that all these layers build too much friction for the end-user.’’
While the app didn’t take off as hoped, the Snaploader team noticed users who did spend time within it seemed interested in the 3D models of properties it provided. They hit upon the idea of taking that function out of the app ecosystem and into an easy-to-use web-based viewer.
The result was a world-first – 3D models of buildings that can be easily viewed from any angle, on any mobile device or desktop browser, without the need to download an app or program.
“That was when things really started to show some traction,’’ says Eric.
“Our platform allows you to see the outside of a building, or to drill down inside to see the detail of individual floors or apartments. And you don't need an app or a headset, you don't need someone to explain to you how to use it – it's intuitive. Removing the friction is something we learnt the hard way. Now when we approach potential clients, we hear Oh wow, this is amazing.’’
Snaploader’s online product is used by property vendors on major real estate portals such as Domain and REA, and their TouchTable – a futuristic turn-key digital marketing solution for selling property off-the-plan – has been a big hit with developers.
Designed to enhance – or even replace – the display suite for off-the-plan projects by combining all marketing assets on one platform, the TouchTable uses a large (43-inch) touchscreen to display everything from 2D floor plans, CGI images and videos as well as Snaploader’s 3D tours through to even contract documents. This allows an agent to take a client on a seamless journey along the path to purchase.
In the commercial space, Snaploader enables landlords like Charter Hall to help potential tenants visualise spaces such as warehouses and offices. They can use the interactive 3D models to assess properties available for lease, and drag and drop fittings such as pallet racking or office furniture into the models to create their own fit-outs and understand how available tenancies could best meet their needs.
Snaploader was selected to participate in Charter Hall’s 2018 Accelerator program for proptechs, which was run in collaboration with corporate innovation consultancy Collective Campus. Eric described the 13-week program as an “invaluable learning experience, and a privilege’’.
Collective Campus CEO Steve Glaveski said while Snaploader was already performing well before the Accelerator, the program had helped them to take their sales and marketing to a new level.
“They had been very much focused on building a great product,’’ said Steve. “We worked with them on things like tightening up their branding, communication and messaging, and how to focus on high-quality prospects instead of potential customers who aren’t that likely to convert.’’
With sales growing strongly and the business profitable, the Snaploader team’s main focus is now on attracting investment and building scale.
“We have been able to prove what we do, now we need to ramp it up and grow faster,’’ says Eric. “We want to build a stronger foundation and take it the next level, we are only scratching the surface of what we know we can achieve.’’
The early lesson on eliminating customer friction and making technology intuitive has not been forgotten, and still shapes their thinking today. Snaploader are currently working on a giant interactive TouchWall, which they already have a few big clients interested in.
“It looks like the technology in (science fiction movie) Minority Report, says Eric. “But it’s intuitive, it’s easy to use, and so everybody loves the experience.’’
Click here to see Snaploader in action.