How 3-D Home Tours are Changing Real Estate


When we think of 3D, we often remember wearing the paper glasses that wouldn’t stay in place in the movie theaters for Jurassic World or Jaws 3D, but in reality, 3D has evolved into much more. It has become one of the newest trends in the real estate industry as well. Brokers are just beginning to realize the value of offering online tours of homes with the use of 3D technology. Larger companies such as Zillow and others are taking the plunge and moving into the arena of 3D tour options to show homes within their listings.

What is a 3D tour?

A 3D tour is an online tour of a home which allows for total viewing of the home from the inside out. It is much like a virtual tour. Instead of physically walking through the home, you can move from one room to another virtually by using your mouse and keyboard to move through the different areas. It is a simple process and anyone can do it from the convenience of their homes or offices.

The companies behind this technology

Real estate broker Briggs Johnson has taken an interest in photography. He started this trend by using 3D technology to showcase the rental listings in his portfolio. His approach was simple. He started with a few photographs and then realized that the investment of a Matterport 3D camera would provide him with the capability of producing his own 3D home tours online. He has since branched out and is now assisting more than a dozen local brokers in his area to set up their own 3D home tours online. The Matterport company offers the hardware and software that is needed to create your own 3D home tour and they maintain that their innovations will revolutionize the real estate industry.

Advantages for real estate companies

Setting up 3D home tours means that prospective clients may tour the properties that they are interested in on their own schedules. Brokers will not need to make the journey to the home to show it and explain the benefits as clients can see for themselves. This will save both time and the money that the company would spend in fuel and other associated costs.

Offering 3D tours will set your real estate company apart from the competition. Users will appreciate the convenience of touring homes on their schedules without the pressure that is often applied by some real estate brokers who are out to make a quick sale. It is new and trendy and in addition, makes your company look like it has the advantage of advanced technology, which it would if you went with this option.

You’ll gain confidence from both buyers and sellers who are tech savvy and it may end up bringing more business your way. 3D home tours offer a better perspective than regular photographs. It can help to save time by allowing potential clients to make decisions on a home without the need to visit twenty different homes only to realize that they are not what they were looking for. It offers the ultimate in benefits for clients who live in a distant location and would have difficulty making the trip to tour homes physically.

Disadvantages of 3D Home tours

This technology is limited in its capabilities and may not be suitable for showing all homes. If the home is clean and uncluttered it works very well. If there are obstacles in the way, it is most likely to prevent viewers from getting the full picture and a clear view of all areas of each room and important amenities may not be visible. Another potential downside to 3D home tours is that it doesn’t allow the broker one on one time with the clients to pitch selling points of the home or answer questions that they may have.

There is also the expense associated with using 3D technology. The camera alone cost $4,500 and the equipment that is required to use in addition will ad another $450 to the bill for a total of $5,000 to get started. You could hire someone to set up the program for you or invest the time in learning how to do it. Either way, you’ll need to allocate resources whether it is time and money or simply money.

There is always a risk associated with new technology. There is a risk of failure and the need to use some type of tech support to work out the bugs if the system does go down. In addition, someone will need to be in charge of monitoring the 3D tours to ensure that they operate properly. There are pros and cons associated with the implementation of 3D tours and whether or not it is worth the risk for you and your business is a personal decision. This technology for the real estate industry is still in its infancy and while reports of new users having amazing results with their listings, it is a decision that each individual broker will have to make.

Final thoughts

The use of 3D home tours definitely has the potential for revolutionizing the real estate industry. From all appearances, the benefits seem to outweigh the disadvantages if the cost is not prohibitive. It has the potential to separate those who use this technology from those who do not. More and more brokers are moving towards the use of 3D home tours and their clients are very happy for the added conveniences.

It looks like this new trend is the hottest thing going in real estate for the time being. As more brokers move towards the use of this virtual home tour platform it could well become the norm instead of the exception. It will take a few years to see how well this practice catches on and how well it performs through time. This is an arena in which we expect to see new startup companies promote their products for improving user experiences with use of the cameras and software or perhaps through offering subscription services with competing prices. Only time will tell but as of right now, the future for this technology looks fairly bright.


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