August 2017 Update #14 – Focusing on 2 (slimming from 5) cities

Summary:

  • Revenue grew by 33% after halting operations in 3 cities to focus on our largest 2 markets. The engineering team has figured out how to manually improve the 3D model quality of the home to be what we think is “good enough” for the average consumer to use. LIV Sotheby’s agents in Vail have invested $5,000 in our VR experience to show finished properties off currently in development. And we’ve found giving office presentations is an amazing sales channel for acquiring new customers. Know any brokerages where we can give a presentation – please introduce us!

 


Walkthrough grows 33% by focusing on 2 of its 5 cities. 
After being a little over 2-3 months in San Francisco, Cincinnati and New York we didn’t have as much traction in these cities as originally expected. As a result, these cities were causing us to lose quite a bit of cash each month. In order for us to get to cash flow positive, we’ve halted operations there.

Why were these cities not as successful as Denver or Austin? 

It’s hard to say. It could be that we expanded our service areas without having enough personnel in place to properly market, sell, and service those realtors. It could be that we didn’t have product market fit in those markets. Or it could also be that we didn’t have anyone on the ground going into offices and building face-to-face relationships.

How are you tackling the problem moving forward?
1) Focusing on building our second sales channel. Through testing we’ve found that we have massive conversion rates of new customers if we’re able to get face time at a brokerages’ weekly/monthly sales meeting. As an example, in Austin during one presentation, we received 9 orders from the 6 people in the room. Now we’re looking to get into more brokerage meetings both virtually and physically. If you know any brokers who would allow us to present – I’d be thankful for an introduction!

2) Adding a contractor service model. Working with contractors in addition to full time photographers would allow us to:

  • a) have more availability because we’re not blocked by a full time photographers’ full schedule
  • b) we can cover a larger service area because we’ll have more contractors around a city, and
  • c) eliminate travel fees which will make our product more affordable for those realtors who are on the outskirts of the cities we’re in.

What Is The Engineering Team Working On?
You would think with all of our growth, engineering must be working on the photography side of our product. Wrong – the core of our product is built and stable enough for the operations team to scale without their help. So where is their focus? Over the last months our 3 engineers have been slaving away figuring out how to create a “consumer ready” virtual reality model of a home.

Why work on that?
The quality of 3D models of homes we get from the cameras currently available on the market (Matterport & FARO) aren’t high quality enough to show consumers. Even though agents in brokerages are using our technology to tour homes their brokerage has, they aren’t comfortable enough to show that quality to prospective clients. In a good percentage of homes it still looks like a fire went off in the building. Great for understanding the space and how large it is – terrible for accessing the finishes of each property.

So what does this mean?
The 3 musketeers have figured out every brutally tedious step of the 3D model quality improvement process and are now at work to automate that process using machine learning. This not only allows us to upgrade every home to be “consumer ready” but also gives us Intellectual Property and helps build a barrier that other companies will need to overcome to match what we’re working on.

Want to see what that improved model quality looks like? Email me and I’ll send you a file you can download to experience it with the HTC Vive.


Sotheby’s Invested $5,000 for our VR experience
Realtors are starting beginning to see value in having prospective buyers look at their properties using virtual reality, even if those properties haven’t been built yet.

As covered in the Vail Daily, “Gamers and dreamers aren’t the only ones donning virtual-reality headsets in 2017. No, it’s an altogether different demographic — prospective property buyers — who have been driving the virtual world’s push toward mainstream, especially in the valley, where real estate offices are contributing the most investment into virtual-reality technology.”

We’re starting to see a trend of real estate agents and developers investing into VR to show homes that are currently in development. This helps not only reduce the sales cycle time for the developers but it also allows buyers to get a better feel for what they are purchasing mid construction.

 


Key Performance Indicators:


Note: We’ve ended our free trials on the 19th of July, so we should continue to see a drop in market share as this graph includes both free & paid listings per city.


 

A few notes in case you forgot:
Walkthrough replaces the time-consuming process of touring multiple properties with a simple and affordable virtual reality experience. (view investor slide deck)

You are receiving this email because you are a mentor, investor, or close friend of the team. The intention of this email is to get help growing our business, keep you updated on our highs and lows, or simply give us a simple & easy way for us to stay in touch.

Best,
Pascal Wagner
CEO of Walkthrough
LinkedInFacebookTwitterAngellist
pascal@getawalkthrough.com | 303.900.0469

PS – Here are the last several updates if you’d like to take a look:

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