“As a realtor who’s been in the business a long time, I’m always looking for the next step that sets me apart from the others,” says Toronto real estate agent Richard Silver. Now, with a new piece of innovative 3D mapping technology called Matterport, Silver may have found that next step.

Matterport has only recently come on the market, and already agents like Silver are seeing the benefits of what this technology can do.

Silver and his team recently used a Matterport 3D Showcase to enhance one of their property listings, and they ended up selling the property within only a few days of listing it. What’s more, the sale became a “double-ender,” as Silver’s team ended up closing the deal with the buyer themselves rather than working with a buyer’s agent.

“It sold to somebody who saw it on our newsletter,” says Silver. “They called us right away and said they wanted to see it and we took them through and they bought it. So it wasn’t another agent showing it; it was our newsletter going out with [the Matterport 3D Showcase] embedded in it.”

The Next Big Thing in Real Estate?

Developed by a California startup company called Matterport, the Matterport 3D camera allows its operator to capture of 3D image of a structure that a viewer can then “walk through” from anywhere in the world via a web app.

For Silver, Matterport is the best tool for giving buyers that “almost there” feeling.

“A lot of my buyers are offshore, or one partner’s away and the other partner is shopping,” says Silver, “so [Matterport] gives them a sense of realism.” More than simply providing a picture of what the house looks like, Matterport actually gives “a sense of being in the unit and moving from room to room,” Silver says.

The Matterport company calls the Matterport 3D tour an “immersive, interactive, photo quality experience,” and says that their tours differ from typical virtual tours because they let you “experience [a space] as if you were there.”

Brad Miller, another Toronto Real Estate Agent, agrees that Matterport’s technology is miles ahead of what virtual tours used to look like. “This is a hundred times better than what a virtual tour was. The level of detail and the quality of the zoom in/zoom out is exceptional,” he says.

Better for Buyers; Better for Agents

One of the benefits of being able to provide an “almost there” experience online is that it helps people quickly discern whether or not a property is worth seeing in person.

“I’m a firm believer in the mentality of give the consumer as much information as you can,” says Miller, “so that, if indeed they do want to look at [a listing], they’re predisposed to buying it because they’ve already done their homework online,” says Miller.

Silver agrees that the Matterport tour “either discounts somebody because [the listing] is not for them, or pushes somebody towards a purchase.”

“I’d much rather have somebody go through [a listing] on the Matterport and decide it’s not for them […] than somebody who’s going to see a couple of great photos and then get there and […] decide it’s not for them,” Silver says. “People don’t want to be deceived in any way. They don’t want to put lipstick on a pig; they want to see it the way it is.”

Further Innovations to Come

Though Miller is impressed with the overall look of this new technology, he also sees some room for improvement, particularly in the area of navigation. Having to navigate through a property using a mouse can be confusing for some people, Miller says, and he looks forward to new developments that will make Matterport more integrated with mobile devices. “When you use your finger and point the direction you want to go, that will probably work easier than using a mouse,” he says.

Fortunately, the Matterport company is keen on working with users to continue improving their technology. Currently, Matterport 3D Showcases are viewable via any device that uses WebGL – the latest standard for online 3D content viewing. This includes the latest version of any desktop browser, plus Safari for iOS 8 and Chrome for Android. The company, however, is working hard to make their 3D Showcases accessible from all tablets and mobile phones in the near future.

In a video on the Matterport website, the company also states that they’re planning on adding several advanced features to their 3D Showcases in the near future, which will allow for an even more interactive experience. This will include features that allow viewers to take virtual measurements, leave virtual sticky notes for themselves, and even virtually rearrange the furniture.

These advancements could make Matterport an essential part of the real estate shopping process, even for those who have already seen a property in person. Just imagine being able to rearrange somebody else’s furniture and mark up their walls without having to clean up the mess! 

For more information on Matterport 3D technology, or to book a Matterport shoot for one of your listings, contact SilverhouseHD.