For today’s homebuyers, so much more research is being done online before ever going to look at a home in person. Plus, with the COVID-19 pandemic coming into play, the online experience has become paramount, as more buyers are hesitant to visit busy open houses, let alone walk into anyone else’s home. Even outside of a pandemic, the process of hunting down homes, scheduling tours, and going to showings can become tiresome after a while, especially for those who have been immersed in the market for a long time.
As a realtor and previous MLS (Multiple Listings Service) Director for Southwest Montana, I saw firsthand how rapidly the real estate industry was changing with the evolution of the internet. That’s why at PRIME, we’re always scoping out tools to help our real estate and development clients stay ahead of the game and draw in leads through the digital space. One of the favorites we’ve been working with over the past two years is Matterport, a software that’s changing the game of virtual touring.
Making virtual tours a reality
Matterport is a platform that allows interested buyers to view a property before ever setting foot inside. We're not talking about the aerial views of old school blueprints of yesterday, or even professional photography. These are in-depth, 3D rendered, hyper-detailed explorations of a space. Buyers can have the experience of moving through a home – walk through the front door, check out the wood floors, peruse the bedrooms, critique the fixtures in the kitchen – all before actually setting foot in the house.
Qualifying Your Audience VIA Virtual Tours
It's a brilliant addition for buyers and sellers alike, as it reduces the amount of time and resources needed on both ends. As a seller who offers virtual tours, you have a greater chance of drawing in more qualified prospects. Those who tour a property virtually and discover they’re not interested in purchasing are funneled out early on, leaving you with a smaller but stronger audience with a higher probability of buying once they set foot in a home.
The same is true for buyers. Instead of driving all over town, touring home after home, they can pre-screen properties before devoting a chunk of their Saturday to the process. This is especially handy during the pandemic, where travel and close proximity indoors is something the majority are trying to avoid.
Likewise, in especially competitive markets like Bozeman, Montana, the Seattle metro area, and Portland, Maine, buyers are placing offers sight unseen, sometimes from another state entirely. By providing the most accurate representation of a home upfront, buyers and sellers can be more confident that the home will successfully close faster.
How it works
While virtual technology like Matterport is complex, it's extremely easy to navigate for the user. It’s essentially a large set of photos taken with anything from an iPhone to a high-quality 3D camera. When the software puts them all together, it creates a seamless and highly realistic viewing experience.
The user can view the entire floor plan from overhead, then dive in and explore each room as if they were on foot, walking through the home. Once you are virtually inside of the home, you will see multiple points on the ground that you can then drag your mouse to and click. When you do this, Matterport will move your point of view to that location, allowing you to move about the house, zoom in and out, observing every inch.
See how it works firsthand on our client Prescott Ranch’s website. Simply scroll down, click “Take Virtual Tour,” and start exploring.
Staying ahead of the game
As virtual technology evolves, pushing real estate and development industries forward, virtual tours will soon become the expectation, not the exception. As with any budding technology, the early adopters will soon shift into mass acceptance, and then expectancy. If you’re not currently employing software like Matterport, it’s something to consider adding to your overall marketing strategy. For our real estate clients, it’s been a great addition to the websites we’ve built for them, especially as part of a fully integrated digital marketing strategy.
Looking to gain more qualified leads on your properties? Reach out to PRIME to see how we can help. For more than 10 years, we’ve been helping clients in the real estate and development industry sell homes and entire subdivisions with smart, data-proven digital marketing solutions.
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