Why you should be using 3D Tours
Updated: Oct 29, 2022
Of all the services I offer, the one brokers push back on the most are Matterport 3D Tours. If you aren’t familiar with Matterport, it is a brand of 3D virtual tour and I will use the name interchangeably with 3D tours in this post. Matterport was the first company to really make commercial headway in the 3D space. It has the best tech and user experience and has become the “Xerox” of 3D tours. People often use “Matterport” to describe any 3D tour.
So, why don’t brokers like them?
Well, many of them do and use them for all their listings. For the ones that don't, the two issues I hear the most are, “ It makes me dizzy!” and “If I have a 3D tour available to buyers, they won’t come to see the house.”
3D Tours Make Me Dizzy!!
I understand that 3D tours can be a bit wonky if not done well and yes, it can sometimes seem like you are flying through the house, even through walls or over the tops of furniture. Usually, the cause is that there aren’t enough scan positions (these are where the camera operator places the camera). The other reason this happens is that you are using your mouse to navigate the tour. I have one word of advice.
USE THE ARROW KEYS ON YOU KEYBOARD!!
Seriously, it’s a game changer. Obviously, if you are on a mobile device you can’t do that but if you on a desktop or laptop with a keyboard, using the arrow keys will make for a much nicer user experience.
As for the perceived issue of people not coming to see the home because they saw the tour first. I think this is unfounded. If someone looks at the home using a 3D tour, doesn’t like what they see and then decides not to bother seeing the house, isn’t that a good thing? Especially nowadays with homes sitting on the market and sellers having to leave each time someone wants to view the home. It’s like having a 24/7 open house.
On the flip side, there are some compelling reasons for using Matterport on your listings….
Buyers love 3D tours
We all know that most people start their home search online. 3D tours are just another avenue to market a home to that online audience.
In the 2021 National Association of Realtors “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers” 77% of Buyers found virtual tours either “Very” or “Somewhat” useful. The same survey also states that 37% of sellers moved 50 miles or more from the home they just sold. For people looking from a distance, the virtual tour can be the deciding factor on whether to make the trek out to see the home. It may not be worth it to make the effort if they can’t see it virtually first.
Matterport just published stats from a survey of recent buyers
31% of buyers spent more time viewing listings with virtual tours
30% of respondents made an offer on the property sight-unseen
62% of buyers surveyed stated the virtual tools would be an essential resource for future purchases.
Buyer engagement is crazy good!
It stands to reason that people are going to spend more time with interactive media then passive media (video games anyone?) Redfin, arguably the most tech-forward, stats-driven brokerage in the country, does Matterport tours on ALL their listings. They also heavily advertise this fact and point out on their website that Matterport tours usually aren’t included with “traditional” broker’s marketing. For a stats ddriven company, there must be a reason they consider 3D tours as essential.
Luckily, Matterport provides stats to show us just that. In my own (albeit non-scientific) research using my client’s 3D tours, I found that click-through rates were often in the 50%-60%+ range. Matterport’s stats don’t go much deeper than that ( I would love to know how much time people spend in tour) but it’s a pretty compelling number, especially when click-through rates in the single digits are considered to be good by most standards.
In addition to just providing a virtual walk-through of a home, Matterport tours offer several other features too.
You can generate floor plans from them. The NAR study found that 85% of buyers wanted to see floor plans of homes they were considering
You can measure using the Matterport measuring tool just as if you were in the house. This is great for buyers who want to know if their sofa will fit or if they need measurements for a contractor they will be bringing in after closing.
You can place “self-talkers” in your Matterport just like you do in the actual house. You can even add media to them.
Matterport uses content distribution to automatically send your tours to Realtor.com and Homes.com.
They can even be virtually staged!!
Try it today!
If you haven’t been using 3D virtual tours as part of your marketing package, I highly encourage you to reconsider. This essential tool is not going away any time soon. In fact, if Matterport’s marketing is any indication, I think we’ll start to see them more in other aspects of our lives, from hotels to retail stores, even home inventory for insurance purposes.
Many of my clients are already using Matterport, along with photos, aerials and floorplans, as part of their basic marketing package on all their listings. They are relatively affordable and I offer a $50 discount on photo/Matterport packages. Call me today if you’d like to try Matterport!