Why Real Estate is Latching on to 3D Technology

This is a blog post originally seen at Propmodo.com.

Image above is a 3D Model of a Large Estate shot by Metroplex360 with the Leica BLK 360 and Matterport Pro-2 Cameras.

As the real estate industry continues to catch up to the break-neck pace of technology, leading real estate professionals are building a veritable arsenal of technologically advanced tools. In order to create better efficiencies and sell properties quicker to discerning renters and buyers, 3D technology has become one of the go-to tools in the real estate tech arms race, helping to disseminate immersive imagery and information to all parties in the home-buying and renting process.

Cutting-edge technologies, once considered groundbreaking, are increasingly embraced by real estate agents, developers, and home-buyers alike as they become easier to use and less costly than ever before. At Matterport, we have done our best to bring the power of 3D technology to the early adopters of the real estate industry. Here are some of the reason that we have seen that 3D technology has become so prevalent in the real estate industry.

3D technology makes home showing easier and less expensive

Because physically showing a space is a difficult, time-consuming, and expensive process, agents and property managers are constantly looking for ways to cost-effectively show properties. Ultimately, using a 3D camera to create a virtual model can dramatically increase the comprehensiveness of home or apartment documentation, providing a level of dimensionality and detail that is paramount when it comes to managing the sale or lease of a property.

Clients have myriad considerations when choosing a place to lease and immersive 3D digital experiences solve for this by letting them virtually walk through potential homes at their own pace, as many times as they’d like. It’s more proficient than 2D photography, which limits a user’s ability to view a property holistically. Static 2D imagery lacks depth and detail, and often doesn’t allow for an accurate understanding of spatial relationship within a property, which can hamper a prospective buyer or renter’s ability to make important decisions. With immersive media, brokers and property managers can capture a 3D digital copy of a space, allowing remote viewers to move about and view that space from different perspectives and zoom into details. Instead of a limited gallery of 2D images that were selected only for their ability to show the best parts of a property, brokers can provide a guided experience in a 3D tour which can help increase conversions.

Our immersive media technology, True3D™ give the experience of real-world spaces where users can see properties as a high-definition digital “dollhouse,” allowing them to virtually walk through the space. Today’s most innovative real estate firm incorporate are using these technologies into their marketing programs to differentiate themselves to building owners and potential clients. By using technology to make the sales process more efficient and effective, agents and their clients can spend less time managing site visit logistics and can instead engage around important aspects of the bidding and negotiation process.

Easy come, easy go-go-go

Across both residential and commercial real estate, there already exists an ecosystem for capturing and distributing 2D media. You’re probably already familiar with it: most if not all of the apartment images you’ve seen on online portal sites are two-dimensional. 3D immersive media has been able to leverage these platforms to provide both immersive walkthroughs and a set of 2D media that’s more cost-effective than it would be to just capture the 2D photo gallery of a space with a DSLR camera.

Think of it this way: Capturing in 3D is just like capturing in 2D, with one extra dimension that makes the experience immersive. In order to turn this into reality we designed out Pro2 camera and Capture app that actually automates the process of capturing a space so that non-technical people without any photography background can complete the process quickly and reliably. And, once the content is captured, it can be embedded directly into agent/owner websites or mobile applications through the 3D Showcase application, allowing anyone to incorporate Matterport content into their existing feature sets.

This ease-of-use has made 3D media companies much more popular. We recently t reached the 500 million mark of virtual tours taken by unique users across the globe, and now has more than one million tours in its international digital tour library – the largest of its kind. Within the residential real estate industry alone, we saw over 100,000 immersive tours created between 2017 and 2018. Beyond this, our 3D database scans help professionals from industries as diverse as architecture to insurance create efficiencies through simple design and implementation. Architecture, engineering, and construction pros, for instance, can feature completed projects in their portfolios to drive more business, while also functioning as a workflow tool to document and collect measurements from in-progress build-outs and construction projects. Doing so can cut field-to-finish time by 50 percent. We think that there are many uses for 3D images that have not even been thought of yet.

Brands get it: “Seeing is believing”

Tastemakers are also beginning to see the value in 3D technology. In a recent GE Shopper research study, 81 percent of shoppers today said they research online before making big purchases, which is one reason why big brands are turning to 3D technology to make the biggest impact at first click and deliver a new shopping experience for consumers. Just recently, Walmart announced that it is using our technology to deliver a walkthrough of an apartment/dorm room where all of the furnishings, gadgets, and accoutrements are for sale within the space.

Celebrity brands are riding the 3D technology wave too. Rachael Ray’s home furnishing company also used Matterport 3D virtual tours to give online visitors the experience of walking through an expertly designed and decorated residence. On behalf of top celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Eddie Murphy and Denise Richards, real estate agents have incorporated our home touring capabilities to list their homes for sale and allow the discerning public an insider view on the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Whether you’re looking for an apartment, an office, or a mansion, however, there’s no doubt that 3D virtual tours will continue to be adopted by professionals beyond real estate, including construction, architecture, engineering, insurance, and business listings. Be ready for the day when 3D will be as common as digital photography is today – it may be here sooner than you think.

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