Heat Level: Hot: These tips are meant for marketing experts.
Bottom Line: Virtual showings are becoming the new normal in the real estate industry. But only showing listing photos and walk-through videos can limit your ability to reach interested buyers.
Do This: Transform your listings using Matterport’s 3D tool so prospective buyers can get the most realistic home-viewing experience possible without having to travel.
Matterport is a new technology that lets you capture any space three-dimensionally from top to bottom. Buyers can virtually “walk through” each room, look around left to right and top to bottom, and get a realistic perspective of the home. The platform even allows users to measure areas so they can get an idea of how their furniture will fit in each space.
With more and more competition coming into the marketplace, showcasing your listings in the best way possible can help attract potential buyers and get more offers. Virtual showings can also cut down on travel time and costs for both real estate professionals and buyers. And of course, with buyers and sellers being especially cautious these days, a virtual tour helps eliminate unnecessary foot-traffic in a home.
Matterport lets you capture High-Definition Resolution Panoramas of your space using a compatible camera. The platform then processes the living space’s data and imagery, creating an accurate “digital twin” of the space. You can then share it on your website using an embed code, social media pages, or in an email letting buyers walk through the property anytime, anywhere.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go out and buy any fancy equipment to start using Matterport. iPhone users can try out the platform as long as their device model is an iPhone 6 or later. iPad users can also use the app as long as they have an Air 2 or newer. Other compatible devices include 360 cameras, Matterport’s Pro2, and Leica BLK 360. Matterport will also soon be compatible with Android devices.
If you don't have any of these devices, look for a professional in your area who can shoot the tour for you. This may cost a few hundred dollars, which you should see as an investment into selling the property faster. But if you're lucky enough to have a compatible device, you can use the app for free. Here's how.
I decided to test out the Matterport app on my iPhone 11. I first created an account on the website and downloaded two different apps: Matterport Capture to capture my space and Matterport Showcase to view and share it.
Getting started was super easy, I simply opened the Matterport Capture app and selected New Job. I was prompted to fill out the address and add a description. (You have the option to change the visibility of your property’s address if privacy is a concern.)
My phone’s camera then opened and another prompt appeared to tap the Capture button. But before we start scanning, let’s go over all of the options.
I noticed an Options button in the lower-left part of the screen next to the Capture button which lets you choose how you want to capture your space. The different options were 3D Scan, 360 Capture, Simple Scan, and Complete Scan.
Which one is best to use?
This step required a little research. Simple Scan allows you to capture your space in one full 360° rotation. Think of it as doing a full rotation horizontally around the earth. This method is faster to process but will limit the field of view of your space. Since you’re not capturing your space in a vertical rotation, there will be some blurry areas on the ceilings and floors once your captured space is processed.
A complete scan captures your space vertically and horizontally. This means your space will take longer to process, but the capture will look more complete and realistic. This method is ideal if the space you’re scanning has high ceilings or details like crown molding that you’d like to highlight.
I decided to go with 3D Scan and Simple Scan because my camera’s wide-angle lens lets me capture a wider field of view. If your iPhone model is the 10 or older, the Complete Scan is a better method. But don’t be afraid to experiment and try both!
Now that you’ve decided which type of scan you’d like to use, it’s time for the fun part: creating a digital twin of your space. Tap the Capture button and keep your phone steady in your hands and close to your body. You’ll notice a solid white circle and a circle outline appear on your camera. Line the two circles up evenly to capture your first shot. Move in a circle, matching up the circles in each shot to complete a full capture of your space.
An important note to keep in mind is to move your body in a circle instead of moving your phone. This took a minute for me to get used to since I have a habit of capturing panoramas by moving my phone side-to-side. Your phone shouldn’t move at all!
Once you’ve completed a full rotation in one spot, move to another spot in the room you’re scanning, this should be approximately 5-8 feet from where you were standing for the best results. Repeat the same steps explained above by lining up the two circles on your camera in each shot and moving in a circle.
When you’re done scanning, hit the Upload button in the top-right corner of the screen. You have the option before uploading to mark mirrors, windows, and other elements to improve the quality of your capture. Once you hit Upload, the magic happens. Matterport’s Cortex AI will begin transforming your 2D space into a 3D model. You’ll receive a notification when your model has been rendered and you can access it in the Matterport Showcase app.
Drum roll, please….
My first-ever Matterport capture. This is without any edits too, not too shabby, eh? You can make the virtual tour more immersive by capturing your space from different areas in each room so buyers can “walk through” the space (refer to the third paragraph in the “Scan Your Space” section to learn how.). You have the option to view the space from a birds-eye view using the Dollhouse or View Floor Plan feature and can even take measurements using the free version of the Matterport app.
If you’d like to see better examples that don’t showcase a twenty-four-year-old’s messy life, here are some breathtaking 3D models that were shot with a regular iPhone.
Although the free version only allows you to upload so many models to your cloud, it gives you the opportunity to learn how to create 3D models and decide if it’s worth investing in for your real estate business.
The real estate industry is an ever-changing landscape that has recently been hit with unexpected work restrictions. Make the best of the situation by taking advantage of new AI technology like Matterport to transform your listings from 2D images to an immersive 3D virtual tour that buyers can access anytime, anywhere.