Touchscreen technology turns storefronts into virtual open houses

LOH Vision also provides firms data about most popular neighborhoods, properties
By Guelda Voien | July 02, 2012 03:00PM

A new technology may give fresh meaning to the term ‘window shopper.’ Launched last week, Live Open House Vision turns storefront listings into virtual open houses.

Here’s how it works: Whereas many brokerage firms line their windows with listings printed on letter-size paper, LOH Vision transforms that concept into an interactive experience.  A touchscreen the size of a large television, installed to appear in the storefront window, features local listings, which prospective customers can personalize according to their preferences. Firms that use the technology can choose to add a news ticker, featuring breaking real estate news — including coverage from The Real Deal.

In addition, LOH Vision provides brokerages with analytics data about the neighborhoods, amenities and properties most popular with passersby.

“In Union Square, for instance, you get 200,000 people who walk by each day,” Vernon Jones, who co-founded LOH Vision with partner, Reale Rose, told The Real Deal. “But what’s to make [a pedestrian] choose your brokerage over the one across the street?”

Rose thinks that the interactive technology may make the difference. “It’s almost like you are using the sidewalk to market,” he said.

LOH Vision was founded back in 2009 as a video production house catering to the real estate industry, and the company still provides those services. But Jones and Rose said they saw potential to help clients, such as the Moinian Group, market their services in new ways. The result is the storefront technology, which LOH Vision launched last Thursday at the appropriately named Lower East Side nightclub Open House.

The residential brokerage Nest Seekers signed on to install LOH Vision screens at five of their offices, and they should be up and running within two weeks. Loho Realty, which focuses on the Lower East Side, is also a client, and LOH Vision is in late-stage talks with another city firm that is said to be in the market for five screens.

A single screen, which includes hardware and software, goes for $599 per month, and there’s a one-time installation fee of $199.  Needless to say, it’s a lot more pricey than papering the window with listings.

But some real estate executives see benefits to the costs involved. “I loved the product, and I’m looking to get it into every Nest Seekers office I can,” said Ryan Serhant, executive vice president at Nest Seekers, and a star of the realty show “Million Dollar Listing.”