Ok, so no...Matterport is not a new futuristic teleportation machine. But I bet you thought that’s where I was going right? As usual… I am speaking real estate lingo here. And yes, it is in fact "remotely" safe!
The Matterport is a camera… a 3D camera to be exact. This nearly $4,000 camera combines 2D imagery and 3D data to create what they call a “space”. The space is an imagery tour or the ability to fly through physical rooms within (in our case) a home for sale...à la virtual reality!
The application is amazing and the end product of this photographic process is a “3D Tour” of the home. You get to see every aspect of the house as if you are right there. Flying from room to room, the viewer has the ability to stop and rotate 360° taking in details of the beautiful home from floor to ceiling.
You can navigate up and down stairs, and the image is so clear you are able to see the finest of details. The Matterport 3D tour of a home is so detailed I have to warn my sellers… “The house has to be spotless!” The camera captures EVERYTHING!
Quite amazing how far we have come from the virtual tours of old. Remember (if you were a Realtor in the early 2000’s you certainly will) the first form of virtual tour? It was a camera on its back mounted on a tripod with its lens pointed to the ceiling. Then the photographer would put a conical shaped mirror that fit over the lens and a picture would be shot… of what was reflected in the conical mirror! Basically a 360° mirror view of the room the camera was in. The end result worked… sometimes. And when it worked, the tour still looked as if you were seeing the room reflected by a distorted funhouse mirror.
This new format of 3D imagery is a powerful selling tool and it is expensive. The tour cost is based on the home’s square footage and can easily be $400-$600 just for this tour to be produced. It can also be a lengthy process. This type of photography is not quick and takes a good 2 to 2 1/2 hours to shoot a 3500 to 4000 square foot house.
But is a Matterport tour for every home? No. Personally, and professionally, I do not believe this tour is right for smaller homes. For a more compact home or condo, it can make the experience seem a little cramped and may create a distorted view that the house is smaller than what the buyer is looking for. Also, is this 3D-type of tour good for a house that needs work or at least some TLC? In my opinion… only if the house has a historic feel and has intricate features or unusual rooms to show off.
There is something else to consider when deciding if your home should have a 3D tour.Are we showing the buyer too much? With all of this high definition photography, unlimited online verbiage, and 3D virtual tours…. What is the real end goal?
To sell the house.
What do we need to sell the house? We need to get the buyer through the front door. Live and in person, the buyers of your home need to experience it in the flesh. All of this carefully executed marketing works its magic when it encourages the buyer to put down the iPad or cell phone and pick up the car keys. There is a fine line to walk between giving buyers an enticing preview that results in a showing versus "virtually" overselling by providing an all-access pass that promotes inactivity.
You can be the judge. Give it a try! Take a look at this 3D Tour of 309 Linden in Oak Park that was created using the Matterport camera by VHT Studios’ photographer, Autumn Latronico.