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How to Get Started with 3D Property Tours (and 3 Hidden Features to Try)

May 30 2017

Want an easy way to almost double consumer interest in your online listings? Consider creating a 3D property tour!

According to 3D tour provider Matterport, consumers are 95 percent more likely to call about listings with 3D tours, and are 300 percent more engaged.

While these stats are impressive, they're not surprising. 3D property tours offer consumers an immersive experience that gives buyers a much more realistic sense of a home than still photos, videos, or traditional virtual tours. The experience is so powerful that some agents even report using 3D tours as an effective way to help remote buyers find a home.

But once an agent or brokerage decides they want to create a 3D tour for their listings, how do they go about it? Is there complicated equipment or technology to worry about? Read on for the answers.

Two Simple Ways to Get Started with 3D Property Tours

Though Matterport's technology is advanced, getting started with them is not. And while, yes, a specific camera must be used to capture and create Matterport 3D property tours, real estate professionals are not required to buy or rent one.

Instead, agents can hire a Matterport service provider in their area. You can easily find a provider by going to the Matterport website and clicking 'Find a Photographer.' Fill out your information and Matterport will have up to three local photographers contact you with more information.

Once your 3D photography appointment is scheduled, your provider will take about 1-2 hours to scan the interior of your listing, and about 24 hours to return the finished tour to you.

For brokerages or teams who want to scan a large number of listings, purchasing a Matterport camera may be the most economical option. The cameras are simple to use and don't require in-depth training to master. With your own camera, you don't have to wait to schedule an appointment with a photographer—which is especially important in hot markets where a delay of 3-5 days can make a huge difference.

3 Hidden Features You May Not Have Known About

So you've created or have scheduled an appointment to create your first 3D tour. Don't just post it on the web and forget about it! There are three neat features you can leverage to get the most ROI out of your Matterport tour:

1. Two-dimensional floor plan - One thing that's neat about Matterport's infrared cameras is that they can render the dimensions of a space with 99 percent accuracy. Beyond creating a 3D tour, this camera can also create a 2D floor plan of your listing that you can share online and in your marketing. This is an add-on service to your 3D listing scan, but at under $15, it's a much more affordable than using an architect or other professional to create a floor plan for you.

2. "Mattertags" - You can enhance the value of your 3D tours by adding "Mattertags" to point out important home features. So if your listing has, for example, granite countertops, you can "tag" the countertops so that they're highlighted to any user viewing the tour. You can add whatever information you'd like to the tags—that info will appear in a pop-up dialog box—including media like YouTube videos. This helps buyers understand all the things that go into your listing that are contributing to its value.

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3. Virtual reality - All Matterport tours are ready to be viewed via virtual reality (VR) headsets. This is great for buyers with VR goggles at home, but agents and brokers can also get in on the action by offering headsets in their office for consumers to use. Matterport currently works on Google Cardboard and Gear VR headsets in combination with a free app.