Matterport Technology is Changing the Way Luxury Homes Are Marketed and Sold!
Virtual reality and the technology surrounding it are changing the way we live, learn and sell. Luxury home builders can create incredible experiences for potential buyers using these tools. Technological advances allow consumers the ability to have an in-person, lifelike experience touring a property without ever having to step inside, or even visit the physical location.
Imagine being able to offer your clients a 24/7 always “open house” as a way to market their property. This is the beauty of virtual reality. Technology by companies like Matterport and their 3D Pro Camera provides agents the ability to create immersive virtual tours that can be experienced with technology like the Google Cardboard and Samsung GearVR headset, or even delivered through consumer smartphones and tablets. Today, you can provide your buyers with the emotionally driven bonding experience of a physical walkthrough, without ever having to leave their couch.
How it Works
At Village Features, we're very familiar with Matterport's technology, and it's a technology used in existing structures. While we often use other advanced technology to create virtual tours of homes that are not yet built, Matterport takes 360-degree shots of existing homes and using their proprietary software, and turn those shots into a virtual tour.
Matterport's 360 - 3D Pro camera sits on a tripod and rotates 360-degrees scanning the room it's in and collecting data that is used to create a 3D display. Several sweeps from different locations within the space may be necessary to capture the entire image and character of the space. Once scanning is complete, the information is uploaded to Matterport's cloud server, where the images are organized, and your home tour is assembled.
Your rendering is stored on their server, and a portal allows you to share your tour with clients and potential buyers. They have a player available you can upload onto your website listings page where users can click on it to see the 3D tour (no glasses required!). As I mentioned before, the tour is viewable on any device including smartphones, laptops, desktops, and VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream or Cardboard.
Matterport 360 Benefits
Matterport created 3D tours can be shared easily on any device through your existing marketing channels. With 3D virtual reality, buyers can experience a home tour as if they were physically in the home. VR can help you to not only move properties but brand your business as an innovator in the space. This type of marketing technology captivates buyers and motivates sellers. With Matterport technology your agency can:
Expand Your Existing Market
Real estate used to be a locally oriented, market specific industry. Today, virtual reality technology and multi-device delivery allow you to provide out-of-town and even international buyers with an immersive experience that makes them feel as though they are physically in the space. The experience is so “real” that customers can create the emotional bond that sells homes.
Current economic trends throughout the world are creating tremendous buying opportunities for buyers outside the US. Many urban and resort areas are experiencing massive growth with regards to international sales. Using virtual reality technology allows you to provide those buyers the opportunities to view properties from the comfort of their couch. They experience the tour as if they were there, and this can save time and the expense of traveling to a site to tour a home.
Address Privacy Concerns of the Seller
Selling a luxury home can be disruptive with buyers coming through, open houses and the like. 3D technology offers sellers the ability to market their homes 24/7 with no disruption. Prospective buyers can view the home at any time and buyers who have toured your home virtually, are motivated and pre-qualified when they do come for a physical walk through. Virtual reality can help prospects make a decision earlier in the process. That means that buyers who do come to your home after a virtual tour are already serious candidates!
Rent Property More Easily
Many large scale luxury developments have a real estate office that rents vacation homes for residents. Gaining access to a rental can sometimes be difficult. Offsite homeowners can be hard to pin down. 3D rental tours reduce the number of access requests making the process easier for everyone involved.
Sell More Homes Faster
Onsite realtors who are early adopters of VR technology are selling more homes, faster. Matterport has made virtual tours accessible to everyone. The technology is easy to use, storage of your renderings on the cloud makes your listings available from anywhere at any time. In fact, potential buyers of properties that offer virtual 360 experience spend 3X as much time exploring the listings and are 95% more likely to reach out for further information.
Limitations of the Matterport Camera
With all its benefits there are some shortcomings to the Matterport camera. Here is a rundown of what to expect.
- Dynamic Range - While suitable for most interior capture, Matterport does lack the high definition necessary to capture subtle details like the texture of rich materials and nuances of lighting.
- Camera Size - The camera is bulky and requires a sturdy tripod to operate, it's not your iPhone.
- Time - Capturing all the rooms in a large luxury home can take several hours (give yourself about 4 hours typically).
- Image Mobility/usability - Matterport stores all your 360 images on its server and makes them difficult to download so if you decide to cancel the service be sure you can take your 360 images with you.
- Camera Cost - Finally, the Matterport camera is expensive with the price as of July 2017 is $3,995.
Alternatives to the Matterport Camera
Of course, the Matterport is not the be all end all in real estate virtual tours. There are several other options each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Here is a short list below:
- Ricoh Theta S - the line of Ricoh Theta cameras make 360 super easy and reasonable affordable. Think of them as the original 360 point and shoot camera. They also have the ability to assemble the images into an online virtual tour.
- Insta360 Pro - This camera is intended more for creative professionals though it is worth mentioning due to it's a similar price to the Matterport. It offers 8k video along with 60-megapixel images which will look richer than the Matterport but you will have to assemble the virtual tours yourself. I highly recommend Roundme.com for virtual tours from your own images.
- Panono Camera - While the Matterport actually creates a 3D scan of your listing, if all you need is images then the Panono could be a better choice. With automatic 360 stitching and easy virtual tour creation, Panono boasts the best still resolution (not video) for any 360 cameras on the market so all those subtle materials will come out.
- Professional DSLR - While more cumbersome, using a pro DSLR with wide angle/fisheye lenses, a dedicated panoramic rig, and stitching software (PTGui) will still reward the user with the most stunning results.
If you'd like to learn more about 360 capture technology, or the other methods we use for creating virtual home tours, give us a call! At Village Features, we're experts who use the latest technology available to create fantastic experiences for our clients that sell more homes, faster. We're always happy to answer your questions, explain our process and help you to grow your business! Contact Jacob Hale at Village Features. We have been providing virtual reality technology marketing tools including immersive VR, augmented reality, 2D and 3D 360-degree video for our real estate clients.