Elite AgentTECH + SOCIAL

Digital Window Displays – The Good, The Better and The Best

Mark Lynch, Business Development Manager, The Barry Plant Group, takes a look at how a number of Barry Plant outlets are using digital window display technology and that one size definitely does not fit all.

Mark Lynch, Business Development Manager, Barry Plant Group, takes a look at how a number of Barry Plant outlets are using digital window display technology and that one size definitely does not fit all.

The real estate window has come a long way from the painted piece of Masonite sporting (courtesy of drawing pins) envelope sized cards featuring a small photo of a property and a typed description pasted underneath.

Elegant display screens are the new high tech approach to providing window shoppers with property information. But while they are definitely the way of the future they are changing how buyers and browsers interact with real estate windows. Is it a good change, or just different?

When Gino De Iesi from the Barry Plant office in Northcote (an inner city suburb of Melbourne) decided to renovate his office, he wanted a look that matched his clientele – savvy, sophisticated and stylish. As his current static window poster display was looking tired he looked for alternatives. Display screens would not only give his shop front fresh clean lines but, because there was no longer the visual barrier of the traditional display to stop people looking into his office, he felt that it was more welcoming for the public.

With display screens, I can provide passers-by with the same amount of information as they would get on the internet, Gino explains. We load all the property photos on, plus floor plans and a detailed description of the residence. Our screens are selling for us 24/7

He spent considerable time looking at the various digital screens that are on the market and comparing their functionality and chose a provider that combined the technology he wanted with a great looking screen.

Gino found that the biggest problem with digital displays is when sun is shining on the window making them hard to see and while there had been some great advances in the screen composition to minimise this problem, it was still an issue at certain times of the day. He solved this by hanging his screens from the ceiling and with a slight tilt inwards. This configuration also gave him more floor space in his reception area.

As far as the supporting software goes, Gino couldn’t be happier. It’s very easy to use, and when we upload property information to Portplus to be pushed to the Barry Plant website, realestate.com.au etc – it’s automatically loaded onto our screen software at the same time.

As far as ROI goes, they aren’t cheap – it’s a three year rental lease plus the initial set up costs. But I do charge vendors for their property being on the screen and we charge for rental property advertising too. The vendors are comfortable paying a small charge for this exposure for their property.

Gino is also looking at selling advertising to local businesses that have something in common with real estate. People are often looking for a solicitor, conveyancer or even a plumber or handyman but this advertising will be along the bottom of the screen – not interfering with the property details.

Tim Palioudis and his two partners are in the process of re-locating their Barry Plant Geelong premises. They too, wanted to use screens in their window. They are so eye-catching – especially at night,” Tim explained. “I think their biggest benefit is really for attracting the attention of people driving by after dark. As the screens are bright and constantly changing and moving people notice them and this draws attention to our office and to our brand.

Tim did his research into the screen options available and then came up with a very innovative solution. We bought two new flat screen televisions and two DVD players. So we outlaid just over $2000. We’ve got a program that automatically builds a beautifully branded presentation of all our listings which we burn to DVD once a week. We put the DVD on loop and achieve exactly the same result as if we had gone with one of digital screen solutions – but at a fraction of the cost.

At this stage, Tim doesn’t charge his vendor’s for displaying their property on his screens, but is considering offering advertising to local businesses.

The Barry Plant Manningham office is a very modern real estate office with big, bright spaces couple with immaculate décor. They have digital screens in their windows but have taken the concept further with another one in their reception area and yet another in their client meeting room. Principal James Hatzolos believes in taking every opportunity to put their listings in front of people. Our in-office screens not only scroll through our listings, but they also promote our sales people and publicise any local community events that we are supporting.

But James Hatzimoisis at Barry Plant Taylors Lakes, who uses both digital screens and window posters, has noticed an interesting trend.On average, people will spend about ten minutes looking at all our window posters but only spend a few minutes in front of our digital displays. Our competitor next door has only digital screens and he rarely has anyone looking at properties in his window.

James accepts that he needs the digital display – it’s a great visual tool for branding and projects that he is a progressive, successful agent – but he wonders if this shift to display screens is lessening the interaction that potential buyers have with an agency.

With many digital screens, there’s no control over what you see. You basically have to stand and wait for all the properties to click over – and if you’re interested in a property but didn’t quite get all the details, then you have to wait even longer for it to come around again whereas with window posters you can take your time absorbing the information. Granted, you get far richer information on the screen so it becomes an “information versus time” equation for most people.

Are touch screens the answer to this conundrum? Donald McKillop at Barry Plant Werribee has one touch screen and four conventional digital screens. “The touch screens cost more, but it gets the most attention. The touch technology has proven to be very robust and because users can send us a message, we get genuine enquiry from it. I guess the downside is that only one person can use it at a time, but times have changed, people get most of their information from the internet now – information in our window is just icing on the cake.”

Donald put in double glazed windows and that thwarts any would-be vandals. And all those fingerprints? It’s nothing Windex can’t fix.

Show More

Mark Lynch

Mark Lynch is the Business Development Manager for the Barry Plant Group. Prior to joining Barry Plant, Mark was a Franchise Manager with both Ray White and Wilson Pride (now Century 21). Mark also ran a successful Real Estate business within the Wilson Pride network.