Meet the Real Estate Tech Founder: Pieter Aarts from roOomy
In our latest real estate tech entrepreneur interview, we’re speaking with Pieter Aarts from roOomy.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Pieter Aarts, CEO and co-founder of the leading virtual staging, CGI and 3D modeling platform, roOomy. In 2010, together with co-founder and COO Jan-Hein Pullens, we founded roOomy in Amsterdam and shortly after, we entered the U.S. market. At the core of our business, we are solving key visualization challenges and bringing efficiencies to both real estate and home furnishings retail to improve the way that consumers shop for and purchase/rent their homes as well as the furnishings that fill them.
We provide CGI and 3D modeling services for home furnishings retailers at an unmatched scale and efficiency to help retailers better market and sell their products. It’s these very furniture and décor models that roOomy creates that fuel the roOomy Virtual Staging platform. Through the power of 3D models and immersive AR/VR/MR technologies, our real estate virtual stagings, which can be developed from both furnished and unfurnished properties, allow developers, property owners, brokers, home sellers, buyers and renters to envision properties at their fullest potential. This gives them the ability to customize spaces in a variety of layouts, configurations and design aesthetics while also allowing the end user to purchase the very furniture and décor that they see and engage with. By doing so, we provide a cost effective and scalable solution for staging properties, maintaining the necessary flexibility to cater to a wider range of prospective homebuyers and renters, while streamlining the home furnishings shopping experience.
What problem does your product/service solve?
We know that staging a property can make a big difference when preparing a home for sale or when preparing units for rent. Recent stats have shown that properties sell 87% faster than non-staged homes (and for more money). But the task of physically staging a property is cumbersome, time consuming and often very costly. That’s where virtual staging comes in. We are able to solve key visualization challenges while showcasing various styles and designs that appeal to a wider range of home buyers and renters. Virtual staging is also very quick – we often are able to turnaround our virtual stagings within 48 hours, operating at the quality, speed and precision mandated by the real estate industry.
At roOomy, we aim to improve the showcasing and marketing of properties with the use of nimble digital visuals. With our technology, both real estate professionals and home sellers can showcase multiple styles and functions of their properties, ultimately appealing to a broader range of prospective tenants and buyers.
Additionally, we are bridging the gap between real estate and home furnishing retailers. Because we are the preferred CGI and 3D modeler of large-scale home furnishings retailers, roOomy Virtual Stagings are designed with real, shoppable products, ultimately placing home furnishing retailers in front of one of their most important audiences: new home buyers and renters who are actively seeking furnishings for their new homes. In fact, studies have shown that new homemovers spend five times more on furnishings than non-new homemovers. Here at roOomy, we are creating a more streamlined and immersive experience that allows home movers to view a virtual staging and purchase the real furnishings that they see with just a few clicks.
What are you most excited about right now?
AR/VR and spatial computing technology are creating a paradigm shift for real estate spaces — and it’s an exciting phenomenon to see it take shape firsthand. We recently participated in Magic Leap’s Independent Creator Program, an initiative that allowed us to create innovative experiences for the Magic Leap 1 spatial computing device. As part of this program, we created first-to-market custom applications for several leading real estate companies including Sotheby’s International Realty and Toll Brothers Apartment Living.
Through these custom applications, potential home buyers and prospective tenants are able to experience a property like never before, taking the virtual stagings that they see online into the homes themselves. Wearing the light-weight headset, users can view different layouts, configurations and designs as if they are actually in front of them to help overcome key visualization barriers encountered during the home search. This powerful tool not only allows the home buyers and renters to view the space at its fullest potential but also experiment with different design layouts that appeal to them – all in real time.
In addition, we’re excited to see the continued evolution of other seamless, user-friendly integrations, like sponsored virtual stagings and “shop-the-room” feature roOomy Ready, that further bridge the gap between home furnishings retail and real estate. For example, Sotheby’s International Realty and Perigold recently announced a collaboration that gives Sotheby’s International Realty agents the opportunity to select roOomy Virtual Stagings that feature exclusive Perigold furnishings. This helps the agent show a beautifully staged space that their clients can envision as their future dream home while also marketing Perigold’s luxury home furnishings.
What’s next for you?
We are continuing to focus on enterprise tools for both the real estate and home furnishings retail industries that leverage our best-in-class virtual staging platform and our CGI and 3D modeling services. Our mission is to go from toy to tool with 3D/AR/VR/MR, and build solutions to solve for pain points throughout the customer journey.
>One particular update that we’re looking forward to rolling out is our latest QR code enablement feature for Magic Leap 1. Users will be able to seamlessly view and explore property-specific virtual staging designs that they will see online right in front of them while they are visiting the property. Through this feature, we aim to answer critical questions about a space, like “how can I maximize a 650-square-foot studio?” and, “how can I add more storage solutions to the bedroom?”
Through new features and first-to-market enterprise solutions like the QR code enablement feature, we are redefining the gold standard of how best to market a home while improving the overall home and home furnishings shopping experiences.
What’s a cause you’re passionate about and why?
Mentorship is something I have always been very passionate about, and throughout my career this has played a key role in my ability to grow and scale a successful business. From the very start, I’ve found it critical to surround myself with people who I can trust and who act as valuable advisors. Some of my most important business (and personal) lessons, I have learned from those around me.
As we look ahead to the future, it’s extremely important that we continue to mentor those around us, carrying forward lessons learned and best practices. I was fortunate enough to have great mentors to guide me along my path to roOomy, and I continue this practice by mentoring other U.S. and Dutch-based entrepreneurs, sharing insight on how to grow and internationalize their startups.
Outside of the office, I have a love and passion for all things travel and try to explore as many new places as possible whenever I have the chance. My favorite travel destinations to date have been Argentina, Vietnam and Nepal.
Thanks to Pieter for sharing his story. If you’d like to connect, find him on LinkedIn here.
We’re constantly looking for great real estate tech entrepreneurs to feature. If that’s you, please read this post — then drop me a line (drew @ geekestatelabs dot com).