In November Hopscotch Interactive CEO Emily Olman had the chance to speak at the PFRE Conference in Las Vegas, NV to over 300 members of the real estate photography community. In addition to the panel talk on the conference last day, she also worked on a new presentation that dives into 3D, 360° and Spatial or "Metaverse" marketing for Real Estate. This is the first video of the series, which will be continuing in 2022, more specifically for real estate photographers, but we will also be producing additional content in the New Year for realtors and brokers on Metaverse marketing for real estate.
For the full article on 510 Vincente featured in the New York Times - click here.
Listing by Ira Serkes, staging and home prep by NurtureSource Designs.
Hopscotch Interactive was thrilled to see our photography accompany the recent listing for 564 Dwight Place in Berkeley, CA in Dwell Magazine! Link to the article is here. Please note aerial photography by Open Homes Photography, all other imagery by Hopscotch Interactive! The article first appeared in Dwell digital format on October 29, 2021. Listing by Nancy Noman, staging and home prep by NurtureSource Designs.
Matterport vs. iGuide is a big subject, and I am often asked what the difference is between iGuide and Matterport, as well as what new technologies should we be on the lookout for. Well, a couple of months ago I posted this video about the new iGuide Planitar system and it has definitely been watched and commented on by many folks who find this topic as fascinating and controversial as I do! Take a look and let me know what you think, and if you bought an iGuide system and tried both I would love to hear your thoughts on using this vs. Matterport. We use both in our business and are not quite ready to roll-out iGuide to all of our photographers, but we do think it has filled a missing hole in the coverage that our team wanted and needed to have the widest variety of tools to handle any real estate virtual tour needs. Check it out and leave your comments below, we love to hear from you!
We have just premiered the very first episode of our new show: Talking Walls, which is an exploration of the iconic properties of the Bay Area, hosted by Emily Olman and which first premiered on April 29, 2021 on YouTube.
The show was originally imagined as a way to showcase XR for real estate and as an opportunity to use it as a storytelling mechanism for buildings - making buildings the star of the show. Olman has spent so many years working on real estate and extended realities such as augmented and virtual reality, and yet there has still be a lag from companies and brokerages to embrace the technology or even to know how to use it. In this first episode the show explores 1212 Broadway, or "The Broadway", and features Anthony Shell, Principle Leasing Broker at Avison Young taking Emily on a tour of the property and then imaging the past, present, and future of the building.
There has been a lot of struggle in the commercial real estate market since the pandemic, and finding new ways to connect with potential tenants is really important - so this show can do just that - bring new perspectives to buildings and also share with viewers how new technology is being used to make decisions or to see the buildings in a new light. All of this is happening in a very casual and familiar tone so that it's easy to watch and get into, but the episodes are short enough that they would keep the attention of the viewers for at least a few minutes but not so long as to lose the momentum.
Kevin Kunze, Media Producer, has helped bring the vision to life with both his unique documentary approach to the filmmaking, but also his innate understanding of VR/AR technologies. Additionally, Bart Denny of SpatialFirst, has also contributed to the first episode by helping to bring the "green screen" AR elements into the show's opening scene with the use of PlaceTime Oakland, an augmented reality app for commercial real estate that SpatialFirst developed over the last three years.
So check out the first episode and let us know what you think! We hope that this is the beginning of a great new venture, and we have many more episodes and buildings that we are identifying to be a part of the first season. And thanks to everyone who made this possible!
To view the very first episode of Talking Walls you can view it on YouTube or watch the full episode here, and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get all of the updates and notifications!
As of this writing, 2/3 of our main photography staff has already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with both shots, and the remaining 1/3 has already received the first dose. We have been extremely cautious and followed the company's COVID-19 policy for the last year, and fortunately no one has contracted COVID, but after spending a huge portion of our time and energy on getting PPE, cleaning, and preparing for a safe photo shoot (at both our commercial and residential clients), we are simply overjoyed that we have now gotten all of our field photography staff on the way to being fully vaccinated. It's a huge relief and we are also glad to share this news with our clients!
That said, out of an abundance of caution our staff will continue to wear masks and gloves for photography and booties when requested. We always put the health and safety of our staff and clients at the top of our list - and we are relieved that we made it through this year without any major COVID outbreaks within our vicinity. We would like to keep it that way! While the vaccine isn't a fail-safe against exposure it does provide us with a little more peace of mind, especially since already with the first dose it proves to be very effective against the virus.
We have also heard that people can sign-up to be notified here for getting an appointment to receive a dose via the waiting list, where they are offering to give that shot to an alternate if they have an excess of vaccinations at the end of the day. To find out more and to sign-up for alerts go to the MyTurn website at: https://myturn.ca.gov
A couple of weeks ago we were going to be on location shooting a Zillow 3D Home Tour when we decided we would go the extra mile and shoot a "how-to" video for the Zillow 3D Home tour app. We have talked-up the Zillow 3D Home Tours for a while, because we believe they provide such a tremendous value for sellers and agents to get additional boost on the Zillow platform and in the app. Zillow has a built-in audience, so there's no issue about discoverability on the platform like we have with other tours links getting lost or buried far down the page on other listings.
The video runs about 17 minutes, and we walk you through exactly how you would create a Zillow 3D Home Tour if you were in the field and using the highest-end camera that is currently available and compatible - the Ricoh Theta Z1. We have shot with the Ricoh Theta V, and we can tell you from experience that there's no comparison between the Z1 and the V, so if you're going to be using this app regularly, you should definitely spring for the Z1. There are some really useful tips and tricks for shooting like a pro in the video; check it out and let us know what you think!
by Emily Olman
CEO & Chief Photographer, Hopscotch Interactive & AUREA Award Ambassador and Community Chair
For the last two years I have been attending the AUREA Award at Europapark in Rust, Germany. First, as a jury member and then as the AUREA Ambassador. When the time came to look at the third annual conference in 2021, we had all hoped that an in-person event would be possible. Perhaps not for a large group we thought, but eventually we realized even hosting a small group in person became too much to imagine when the park itself had shut down in November to outside guests. And then we, as professionals in the XR industry, were finding ourselves having to take an in-person event truly virtual — was it a test, or a chance to prove ourselves? Was it a matter of principle to have XR elements in the program? Was it also something that might add to the experience in unknown ways that might even be better than, or replace certain elements that we had thought could only happen in real life? These were just a few of the questions that faced us as we led up to the 3rd annual AUREA Award which took place from January 22-23, 2021.
Fortunately the partners, including our location host, Europapark and the Mack family (Michael Mack, Europapark, Marcus Ernst, Europapark, Mack Next and Mack Media as well), were able to quickly pivot to an online-only event. And, with the help of Betahaus and iConomy Partners (praise to Clark Parsons, Felix Styma, Alex Magaard, and Friedbert Pflüger, the transition from all in-person to all-virtual became something not only imaginable, but really, really exciting. In fact, as I gave my talk at the beginning of the event announcing the new AUREA Award Community, it was true when I said that of the hundreds of invitations and events that have come my way over the last year this is the only one where I dedicated the full two days time to being present for everything. I care about the people, the community, and I have a connection that makes me want to participate in a significant way. Normally I would take about 10 days to fly to Europe, battle Jetlag, prepare my talks and the run-of-show prep with the team, and then maybe have to turn right around and come back and have the reverse Jetlag all over again. This time, I saved myself the travel, but uncertainties remained, would I have that same level of immersion? What could I do to really feel like I was there?
So as I thought about this, it became very evident that spending as much time in VR during the conference was going to be super important for me while trying to create presence while still being physically in California. We therefore planned the event so that on the first day we would have a lot of programming in Hopin (a platform for virtual conferences that is already adopted as the new standard in Europe) and some prerecorded content, but on the second day, I hosted a networking session with Amy Jupiter in Altspace, with a special set from DJ Keyframe just for the event. Hopscotch Interactive Media Editor Fanny Garcia was in attendance as well, so we got to hang out, and also meet a lot of other people from the show, and it really felt like we were attending something - and that we weren't actually still just in our offices zooming away. About 30 minutes into it, it was apparent that the networking session was so successful that we realized some people didn't want to go back to Hopin yet, and so we scrambled a bit and then got the live feed of the AUREAs streaming into our venue in Altspace so that we could watch the show in VR. That was something later we thought we should have done from the beginning, but we thought about it only in the moment. And, I have to say that Victoria Grant of Making XR was an amazing developer to work with, because she literally had 1000 things happening at once and just to get the Altspace venues to be as great as they were took many, many iterations and lots of testing together in the platform to get it right. The fact that she got the hack for the livestream operating as quickly and as well as she did, just showcased to me her many talents.
While the majority of the second day's events continued in Hopin and were also being live-streamed in VR, I ended up staying in gear for the majority of the second day and that continued through the pitches, through the entertainment, and even through to the piece de resistance which was Ain der Machine performing the clips from the panel that I had been on from the day before with Jury Chair Kathleen Cohen, Amy Jupiter (Honored Guest and Speaker), and Cathy Hackl (Jury Member). The video above gives you a glimpse into what he performed live with his body as an instrument and all of the live video mixing he was able to do...we were all blown away and I got to experience becoming a "meme" for a minute as the quotes of the day were all threaded into the performance. He was spectacular.
Fast-forward to the awards and the moving remarks by Michael Mack, CEO of Europapark, and Friedbert Pflüger, of Pflüger International and iConomy Foundation, and there was certainly a tremendous feeling of pride for what we had all accomplished and also that we could feel so connected as a community even though we were apart in distance. I really truly feel like I was there, and being in VR and seeing the "telecast" streaming of the performances and everything else really brought me to this place of virtual presence.
And in years past we have partied after the show in one amazing venue or another at Europapark such as Rulantica or at the Palast, but being able to meet with jury members, attendees, and other XR friends afterwards was really a mind-blowing and unique experience that I'll never forget. I loved that Athena Demos and Doug Jacobson from BRCvr (who had just won in the category of CREATIVE for Burning Man in VR) joined us - via Mexico, and that Frederic LeCompte from the Jury & a previous winner joined us via Paris, plus Kathleen Cohen, Chris Bellaci, and many, many more. The tremendous effort that Keyframe put in with DJ Celeste to premier the Club Zenith for our event and to have her perform live in Tribe VR was also truly amazing.
So, I came away with the feeling that it's absolutely possible to take a community and to establish it in a meaningful way as a hybrid or completely virtual entity - and that even though I didn't get to go to Europapark in person and ride the VR coasters, I got to be there and create something magical with my friends, and to make new friends (Hopin speed networking is INSANELY AWESOME), and so there are actually things that make a virtual conference even better than one IRL, though I know it's hard to imagine. And I think it's super important to seek every ounce of positivity we can in spite of all of the challenges this year. I also didn't come home with Jetlag, even though I was "there", so while I'll look forward to hanging with everyone in the wave pool at Rulantica again soon, I have no doubt that we elevated the AUREA Award conference in such a profound way, and that this is just the beginning.
Note: to join the AUREA Award Community friend me on LinkedIn and ask to join. We are a growing community of XR professionals who care about the future of XR and it's place in entertainment and reimagining spaces.
Since the April 10, 2020 guidance around photography being explicitly allowed an essential service for the real estate industry, there has not been a question as to whether or not our services are permitted in the state of California. This remains unchanged as of today. However, on 12.4.2020 the state has announced it will be starting to put shelter-in-place or "stay-at-home" orders back into the five largest Bay Area counties as well as elsewhere in the state through January 4, 2021.
While there is no explicit change in the guidance at the state's COVID 19 official information website, we will be monitoring the situation closely and may not be able to perform services in all situations out of an abundance of caution and we reserve the right to review all potential shoots on a case-by-case basis. It is important that our clients and customers know that our first goal is to the health and well-being of our staff and community, and so we will work closely with you to see if the project will be permissible under the current guidelines.
When in doubt, we will err on the side of cautions, but at this time there are no additional restrictions that we can find which impede our ability to do our work to continue to provide real estate photography services and virtual tours. To review the Hopscotch Interactive COVID Policy, please click here.
Hopscotch Interactive is excited to announce that it has hired Fanny Garcia as its new Media Editor to support quality control and media assets for our clients including still photography, Matterport photography, and Zillow3D Home tours. She will be supporting Emily Olman, Chief Photographer, and other members of the team with consistency of deliverables and making sure that everything meets and exceeds client expectations.
Fanny Garcia is a first generation Salvadoran-American artist from Los Angeles, based in Oakland, CA. She is an Army veteran who served from 2010-2013. After leaving the military she received a BFA in Photography from California College of the Arts in Oakland.
She has an enormous passion for music, art, travel, and animals. On any given day, you can find her editing away images on her computer.