Swiss startup Backbone — the first full cycle visuals production & sales solution for the real estate industry

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With a stagnating market, real estate companies face the challenge of elevating their visual marketing and sales operations to survive

Backbone was founded in 2018 by three photography enthusiasts with backgrounds in real estate— Dorian de Vinck, Antoine Tomasini, and Federico Leis — and has offices in Berlin, Geneva and Prague.

backbone co-founders Dorian de Vinck, Antoine Tomasini, and Federico Leis
backbone co-founders Dorian de Vinck, Antoine Tomasini, and Federico Leis

Starting in Switzerland and then quickly growing across the DACH region, Backbone is working with more than a thousand real estate companies, including global companies like Sotheby’s and CBRE, pension funds and local realtors.

Backbone raised $5.5M in a September 2021 seeding round led by VR Ventures, joined by EquityPitcher Ventures and TX Markets, with additional participation by existing investors Wingman Ventures and ACE & Company.

Backbone is the market-leading solution helping 1000+ companies to produce and manage all types of real estate visuals.

Now, with the launch of Backbone Plan, Backbone provides real estate companies with one platform to facilitate and streamline their marketing production and sales operations. Backbone Plan offers realtors a unique service to market properties better and faster and to sell at higher prices.

How Backbone Plan counters current real estate market dynamics

Rising interest rates and macroeconomic environment impact European real estate transaction volume. With a recession looming, financial concerns and uncertainty have made their way into the minds of would-be buyers and threaten to shrink a $200T global market.

To attract prospective homeowners, real estate companies must realise the importance of a differentiated and high-quality marketing approach. High-quality visuals lead to properties selling 32% faster and at a higher price. The ability to produce, manage and distribute these visuals will be crucial to succeed in finding and qualifying leads in the years to come.

The digital transformation of real estate marketing, accelerated by the pandemic, has become the defining factor in standing out as a seller.

Various visuals such as virtual visits, photos, videos, drones, renderings and VR visuals captivate the audience online. It represents a massive shift in the sales cycle, at times fully replacing on-site visits.

To address the challenge of a competitive market and to seize the opportunity of speeding up the sales process, Backbone has developed a single tech platform that facilitates three stages of real estate marketing and advertising, spanning the entire sales cycle:

  • The ordering & production process of visuals
  • Storage and management of visual assets
  • Visuals distribution and sales engagement

Backbone’s technology allows real estate companies to focus on core business

With Backbone Plan, real estate companies can order and produce all types of real estate visuals faster than ever before, with photos delivered in 1 business day after the shoot. Backbone offers a high degree of automation and optimization of the real estate visuals production process.

While individual freelance photographers and creative artists still dominate the market, the real estate companies who hire them suffer from costly and time-consuming manual processes such as negotiating quotes, arranging meetings, and post-production and editing.

backbone photo

Additionally, transport and the need for different types of visuals for each project make it a real headache for real estate agents looking to rent or sell properties as quickly as possible.

The Backbone platform maximises the creative artist’s time spent on producing the best possible visuals by removing logistical hurdles and administrative tasks. With the high-quality photos a Backbone creative produces, a broker can expect a 25% increase in the number of leads.

At the same time, Backbone Plan takes all project management out of real estate agents’ hands, freeing them up to focus on their clients and do what they do best: sell. And while that may seem unremarkable initially, it is vital, as the following statistic shows.

Sales agents spend a frighteningly low amount of 25% of their time on actual sales activities. Backbone’s tech-first approach frees up valuable resources in real estate companies.

One data platform to speed up the full sales cycle

On the Backbone platform, all visuals and orders are stored in a company workspace, with user rights managed by the realtor to enable shared access, facilitate easy and efficient team collaboration and break silos in real estate companies, whether they are between individual brokers, local offices or large-scale enterprise teams.

Backbone Plan also supports the distribution of visuals in advertising properties and listings, providing data intelligence to advise clients on the perfect package of visuals to

achieve the best results, generating more and the best leads, boosting engagement and ultimately, shortening the sales cycle.