Imagine an advanced platform powerful enough to increase real estate virtual walkthroughs by over 300%. Matterport founders Matt Bell and Dave Gausebeck accomplished that by conceptualizing the 3D equivalent of a camera in 2011.
Matterport’s free iPhone app and 3D cameras (starting at $400) allow photography enthusiasts and amateurs alike to digitize and view physical spaces from multiple angles, build functionality on top, and get accurate measurements. Users take a single scan, and the Matterport camera will automatically create 3D walkthroughs.
While the product is an ingenious tool for trades like construction, facility management, and photography — or anyone wanting to turn a physical space into an immersive 3D digital twin — the real estate industry is where it shines.
A New World of Real Estate Marketing
In the brutally competitive world of real estate, agents need to think far beyond glossy photos, adverb-laden online listings, and exclamation-point-packed flyers affixed to “For Sale” signs.
Drones have flooded the market to produce aerial footage granting prospective buyers a birds-eye view of properties. High-definition walk-through videos give home seekers an option to learn more versus wordy listings.
Since Matterport’s technology digitizes reality, agents can provide virtual tours of properties accessible from any device regardless of time. It’s essentially a 24/7 open house without the warm coffee, freshly baked cookies, and firm handshake greetings at the front door.
The company claims 74% of Matterport-using agents snag more listings, and 95% of prospects are inspired to pick up the phone for properties featuring 3D virtual tours. A commissioned study purported that average listings with 3D tours sold for up to 9% higher and closed up to 31% faster.
“Walking” through a Matterport listing on your home computer or mobile device is similar to “walking” down the boulevard using Google Street View. You can move from room to room and rotate the view. Along with the retina-pleasing image quality, Mattertags allow agents to embed annotations and rich media within the tour.
By tapping on a blue-white dot located on a sliding door separating a front room and backyard, for example, prospects learn a variety of details such as that the sliding door is a Sierra Pacific multi-slide door. Repeat the process for everything from ceiling fans to stainless steel appliances, and bullet-point information routinely found on flyers is replaced with an engaging on-screen experience.
Another feature is Measurement Mode, which allows viewers to assess with 99% accuracy the size of each room, even providing the ability to measure walls, doors, and windows. This functionality enables homebuyers to easily select furniture for their new homes. Additionally, Matterport users can snap an image of any schematic floor plan with the push of a button and publish it on sites like Realtor.com.
Pandemic Usage and Beyond
Matterport-produced tours increased during the pandemic and encouraged social distancing by making open houses and agent-escorted tours less necessary.
“Between March 2 and June 14, we saw a 157% increase in models created per week,” said Linda McNair, Director of Content and Communications. “In the four weeks between March 2 and March 23, and May 25 and June 15, our top 200 models saw an increase of 197% in views.”
Matterport faces an enormous addressable market. There are four billion buildings and 20 billion spaces across the globe suitable for virtual walkthroughs, according to the company. But it won’t be Matterport employees that go traipsing through all of these structures. Matterport’s paying customers will cover that base, and the treasure trove of data they collect should have a value of its own.
July 14, 2020
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