When you’re looking at a real estate listing online, you want to be able to imagine yourself living in the home. You should be able to picture your family sitting at the dining room table together and understand the bedroom layout that will work the best for you. Maybe you’ll even envision nights in front of the fireplace together or working on auto projects in the spacious garage. Whatever your needs may be, it’s important for potential buyers to really get a feel for what the entire house has to offer.


Video tours in lieu of photo galleries have become extremely popular over the last few years because it gives the viewer a better understanding of the home’s layout. You walk the path from the front door all the way through the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, and all other bonus spaces. You get a more accurate understanding of room size and whether you’d be interested in touring the home in person.


Now there’s a new way to virtually step inside a listed property that’s taking real estate marketing by storm and it’s called a Matterport scan. Matterport describes itself as being “the only all-in-one reality capture system that gives you realistic, interactive 3D and VR experience” on the market that can truly make you feel like you’re standing in the home. Virtual reality is a growing trend in numerous industries, and it makes sense that it’s becoming increasing popular in real estate marketing as well. After all, the central focus of real estate marketing is to help people imagine themselves living in the home you’re trying to sell, and create new realities for people is exactly what VR tools are designed to do.


How do Matterport scans work?


It might seem a bit crazy that a single camera can create a virtual 3D model of your home in just an hour, but that’s the best part about Matterport scans: they create realistic models of your home without being time consuming or expensive.

The camera is so simple to use that it has just a single button! You don’t need additional lighting or any other fancy equipment, just a clean home and the special 3D camera, which sits on an easy-to-use tripod. The secret to capturing your entire home on the 3D camera is to use the Matterport app for iPad. Choose a place to start in your home, and as the camera rotates to take a large image of the room, the photo will load to the app!


Now on the app, you’ll be able to see how much of the room has been covered, but if you’re not sure where to move the camera next, the app actually recommends placement spots for the following picture to be taken. So if you take a photo of your living room, the app will suggest that you turn the camera around to record the other side of the room, or it might tell you that the whole room has been captured and suggest you move onto the space behind the photo, like a hallway. When the image has been loaded into the app, you’ll also be prompted to identify where windows and doors are located in the room, which is a huge help for potential buyers as well!


The camera is very portable (it’s under 7 pounds!) as you move from room to room around your home, with most homes taking just an hour to be captured entirely for the 3D virtual tour.  The camera also features its own internal wifi, communicating seamlessly with the app to create the best result possible.


After the entire home has been scanned, you can upload your scan images to the cloud. This process takes a few hours, depending on the size of the home, but once the 3D virtual model has been constructed, it’s simple to upload and share with others. You can share the model the same way you share a video or attach a link, making it incredibly accessible for potential buyers who find your home listed on a real estate site or on social media.


What are the benefits of a 3D virtual tour?


Real estate marketing experts know that photos are mandatory for a listing to do well online, and with a majority of potential buyers using the internet to shop for homes before deciding whether to visit in person (and that number grows each year), listing a home without photos is almost unheard of… but, pictures can be deceiving and it’s sometimes difficult to understand the size of a room in a photo.


When video tours became popular a decade ago, homes that utilized video walkthroughs saw an increase in digital views and buyers who interacted with the listing. But not every video gets the job done. Some videos aren’t uploaded in a great quality, others don’t show every room in the house, and if the person recording the video forgot to show one area of the home or highlight amenities that buyers find useful, they likely won’t take the time to record the tour all over again.


With virtual reality trending in multiple industries and consumers wanting immediate access to every detail of a new home without actually traveling to see it in person, 3D scans and virtual models will


Giving you a competitive edge in real estate marketing


Over 80% of buyers use the internet to shop online for homes, and if you’re selling in an area where many potential buyers are moving from another community or another state, like in the Blue Ridge area,  you want to provide as much information about the home as possible to raise buyer confidence.


Experienced real estate agents know that including high quality photos on a web listing will increase the amount of views and engagements with the post, but now you can stand out as a more professional, interactive, “nothing-to-hide” listing. Embracing new virtual reality technology will give buyers the ultimate tour of your home, without having to arrange specific dates and times, or inconvenience the home’s current residents.


Buyers may not have interacted with a 3D virtual scan before, but they will quickly fall in love with important details like being able to determine whether furniture will fit, how it will be arranged, and where they’ll host gatherings with family and friends. They’ll use the Matterport scan to realize their own vision for the home and imagine themselves personalizing the property.


Matterport scans let shoppers explore the home at their own convenience, while showing them an exact model of what they’re purchasing, the ultimate transparency for potential buyers. After buyers use Matterport scans, other real estate listings that only use photos won’t even come close. Have a competitive edge over other homes in your area and give buyers additional confidence about your home by uploading Matterport scans for your listings.