In Real Estate, immersive tours significantly improve the interaction a prospective buyer has with a property. A 360° tour by its very nature requires active engagement creating interaction with your listing.
Let’s look at where each platform might fit into your marketing concept. We will identify how to leverage these products to maximize impact to your brand image and minimize the impact to your marketing budget.
Matterport 3D Showcase offers that distinctive dollhouse top-down view and floor plan with navigation disks that move you smoothly about the home. I believe the 3D tour industry was born of Matterport’s investment in technology and marketing – It’s an industry icon. The camera and technology have improved significantly over the years making it the great marketing tool it is today. It offers a significant “wow” impact to your branding.
However, I feel Matterport just kicked sand in the eye of every Matterport Pro 2 operator by developing software compatibility with anything from your mobile phone to consumer 360° cameras making it DIY friendly - well, sort of.
Its pricey, with a national average cost starting at about $300. But that’s only the start of it. After your term of hosting expires you must continually renew the hosting with your provider. If you are purchasing a Matterport tour as a branding tool, create your own paid Matterport subscription and transfer the space over to your own paid account where the tour will be live as long as you pay for it.
iGuide, my iGuide. I do love a good iGuide. If precision and accuracy is your mantra this is the 360° tour for you. Chalked full of details, meticulously measured and presented. It’s a neat and tidy display of engineering and art you can place in your hand. The platform provides an immersive solution where one link takes you to the 360° tour, images, videos, floor plans, room measurements, and area calculation, it costs about the same as a Matterport tour and is live for a year. There is no DIY’ing this product. It takes training and a specially rigged 360° camera with a laser scanner and software.
Zillow recently launched its 3D Home™ app, that will “elevate your listings.” Its great for marketing an individual home. I like that 15 minutes after upload the tour, it is live! The Zillow map view indicates that the property has a 3D tour highlight by a red map pin. When you click the property from the Zillow map the floor plan and tours are nestled right under the second photo. However, it’s a short-term solution, with little branding impact or legacy. When the market is flooded with 3D Home tours from the DIY’er the significance of the “red map pin” will diminish. When something is free, you are the product.
Zillow allows you to create 360° images with your mobile phone and the app creates the tours for you. If you want a significantly better-quality image or floor plans use a Ricoh Theta Z1 and a Zillow certified photographer. The 3D images are photographs; therefore, the camera, lighting and composition play a significant roll in the quality and outcome of your tour. Mind the copyright, those floor plans and images are the property of Zillow. Our experimentation revealed the dimensions presented by the floor plan to be loosely approximate - Caveat Emptor.
DSLR 3D Walkthrough is a completely bespoke product mixing photography and specialized software to create the tour with limitless possibilities. It’s typically used for Megapixel 3D walkthroughs of businesses, churches and luxury homes for builders. You can zoom in with sufficient detail to seen the name of the artist on a painting across the room. For businesses it’s an awesome tool to extend your storefront. Customers virtually tour your storefront allowing them to get to know your business before they even walk through the door.
Good marketing is memorable. If you want to present your properties in a way that leaves a memorable impression, try a 360° tour. They are available at every price point. Here is my input on making your choice.
Matterport, its an Iconic brand requiring a sustaining investment to keep it live. Sellers will recognize the investment you’ve made in their marketing their home.
iGuide is always a good choice to align with the image of your band, it’s accurate and thoughtfully designed. It costs about the same as Matterport.
Zillow 3D home is easy to implement and it really does elevate your listing – for now. As soon as Zillow has conquered the world in 360° it will not have anywhere near the same impact. Use them while they make a difference.
DSLR 3D Walkthroughs are an investment. I love seeing a dramatic megapixel 360° tour, take a look at our home page to see one in action. I think that these are the best tool for branding your business with technology in the forefront. These play a role in real estate were builders, high-end homes, on your web site and social media were you want to make a lasting impact.
Fix The Photo wrote a detailed and awesome article covering 3D Real Estate Photography. It’s a juicy read covering information that any Real Estate Agent would love to know before making marketing decisions. It also addresses what a photographer will find useful with detailed equipment lists. Read it here.
Fix the photo ends the article saying that 3D is the future of real estate marketing.