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Are 3D tours really going to change the game? Two listing experts on how Matterport maximizes convenience for buyers and sellers alike

May 11 2017

If you've been to a real estate conference in the last few years, you've likely seen a demo or presentation on Matterport, the leading 3D home tour technology that allows buyers to virtually walk through any property from room to room (and beyond).

While 3D home tours offer a significantly more immersive experience than virtual tours, plenty of agents have yet to integrate Matterport into their listing plans. But a recent study from® shows that virtual tours are the #2 desired feature in their home search experience, second only to high-quality listing photos.

If you're curious about how 3D home tours work, are received by buyers and sellers alike, and could change the frequency of in-person showings forever, read on for insights from two industry leaders whose firms are incorporating 3D showings as a "must-have" for seller clients.

Attend this FREE webinar on June 2 to learn more: Powering Up Listings with 3D Virtual Walk-Throughs


Lisa Larkin

  • Managing Partner, RE/MAX Excalibur, Tucson, Arizona
  • Three offices across Arizona
  • 28 certified luxury home marketing specialists

Charles Nitschke

  • Chief Marketing Officer, Tomlinson Real Estate, Spokane, Washington
  • Three real estate brands representing the Tomlinson Group: 13 Coldwell Banker offices, two Sotheby's, two Century 21

How does a 3D tour differ from a virtual tour?

In a virtual tour, you can pan from one side of the room to another to get a 360 degree view of any room. But you can't move from one room to the next, so your brain ends up piecing together the home's layout by paying attention to clues in each photo's background.

In a 3D home tour, you can fully move from one room to the next, allowing you to understand the home's layout, the size of each room and how each level of the home relates to the others. With Matterport tours, you can also see alternative views, like the Floor Plan View (bird's eye) and Dollhouse view (see the full property, including all levels, with the facade of the home removed).

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Example of the Dollhouse View in a 3D tour from Matterport

How can sellers benefit from virtual tours?

Charles and Lisa agree that 3D tours are much more than a gimmick — and the main value proposition of this technology is that it allows for maximum convenience for everyone involved. Lisa, who works in a vacation market with plenty of luxury homes, says they have begun to use 3D tours to help minimize inconvenience to their sellers.

"What I've discovered through listing conversations is that sellers want to sell for the most money in the shortest period of time, but they're also looking to not be inconvenienced. They do not want a bunch of looky-loos running through their house just because they happen to be in town and want to see some homes," says Lisa.

"So we use 3D tours as a screening tool. We ask, 'Have you seen the 3D tour? Because if you've seen the 3D tour and you're prequalified, then we'll let you see the home.' Otherwise, we're not going to have our seller leave the house for an hour or two, with their dogs in tow, just so you can look through a house that may not be the floor plan you're interested in, or the view or kitchen layout you want."

Some naysayers worry that fewer in-person showings may lead to minimal buyer interest and fewer offers. Lisa believes that 3D tours simply tend to show the buyer what they'd see in person. If a buyer rules out a home because of what they see in the 3D tour, it's likely for the same reason they'd have nixed the property in-person.

As Lisa says, "It's not just about the traffic, it's about the quality of the traffic."

How can buyers benefit from 3D tours?

Sellers may love the technology that allows them to show off their home in all its glory, but Charles says buyers also benefit from the convenience from 3D tours.

"We live in a place that's very geographically difficult because of mountains and lakes; it might be a 15-minute boat ride across the lake to see one property or a 2-3 hour car ride to make the journey to the other side of the lake. So the ability for agents and clients to pre-visualize the homes and either eliminate them or include them in the showings for the day, is hugely valuable," says Charles.

Of course, plenty of agents work in markets where it's easy to drive to 6 or 10 showings in a row. In these traditional markets, should 3D tours be relegated to luxury homes, where the sellers may want to keep 'looky-loo' buyers out of the mix? Not necessarily, says Charles.

"Everyone always thinks of this in terms of expensive luxury properties, but we've had fantastic success in the entry level of the market or even REO, where people are making cash offers on homes they've never seen before. And this gives them the confidence to make those offers, especially given how competitive buyers today today have to be to get the property."

How can buyers see 3D tours?

Agents who use Matterport will be given a unique 3D tour URL they can promote across all their digital channels.® has recently integrated Matterport into their site and mobile apps.

When consumers see the Matterport logo in their search results, they'll know that they can easily view the 3D tour without leaving the app or desktop search experience:

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Want to learn more about Matterport and chat with Charles and Lisa about their 3D tour strategies? Join us for a webinar on June 2nd where we'll discuss how agents can leverage 3D tours to win new listings and delight buyer clients:

Power Up Listings with 3D Virtual Walk-Throughs

Date: Friday, June 2nd
Time: 10AM PST
Host: Andrew Dorn | Vice President of Events,®
Featured Guests:

  • Lisa Larkin, Esquire | Managing Partner, RE/MAX Excalibur Tucson
  • Charles Nitschke | Chief Marketing Officer, Tomlinson Real Estate
  • Mark Tepper | Vice President of Sales, Matterport

Register now to save your seat!