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Next Level Virtual House Tours

Taking a page from Uber, Broker Offers Open Houses via Smartphone

(Boonton, NJ, December 21, 2015) — Agents at Marketplace Homes in Detroit don’t conduct home tours in person. Instead, they let buyers into listings remotely, then answer questions via smartphone video.

Marketplace Homes Chief Executive Mike Kalis likens his ZipTours app to ride-sharing service Uber and lodging app Airbnb. ZipTours allows buyers to tour homes nearly on demand, without setting appointments or trying to adapt to an agent’s schedule.

"If someone wants to get in now, they get in," Kalis says. "This allows a seller to have an open house every day."

When a seller lists with the 50-agent Marketplace Homes, the listing agent gives the seller an open house sign. The seller posts the times the house is available for tours. Then, when a buyer wants to see the house, he logs into the ZipTours app.

Kalis says the idea for the app came to him nearly a decade ago, "I put 100,000 miles on my car in the first 12 months [selling]," Kalis says. "You’d drive all the way across town to meet with somebody who wasn’t there."

Details on how the ZipTours app works and its potential to reshape how homes are shown appears in the December issue of Real Estate Broker’s Insider.

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