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|Posted today [Thursday, 10 November 2016] in the daily Inman report:
Realtor.com’s 3-D integration
Realtor.com, on the other hand, is reportedly gearing up to integrate 3-D tours into its site.
It currently only lets agents add links to 3-D tours on listings. But Matterport, a leading 3-D provider, is working with realtor.com’s product team on how to increase their accessibility, Matterport CEO Bill Brown said.
Agents say 3-D tours “wow” sellers at listing appointments, attract out-of-town buyers and cut down on pointless showings.
Marketing firms charge around $200 for a typical Matterport tour in some areas, but much more in others. Some brokerages lower long-term costs by buying Matterport’s camera, priced at $4,500, and creating the tours in house.
3-D is still in its infancy, but adoption is expanding rapidly. Matterport claims to host tours of around 85,000 active residential listings and has sold about 5,000 cameras so far. Brown says camera sales have more than doubled in the last year.
News Corp., the owner of realtor.com operator Move, has made a “strategic investment” in Matterport, and some of its property search sites — including Australia’s realestate.com.au — already let agents stitch Matterport tours into listings. Further reflecting its interest in 3-D, News Corp. bought digital real estate marketing firm DIAKRIT for $40 million in February.
Realtor.com spokeswoman Christie Farrell said the listing portal had “nothing to share at the moment” about 3-D integration “but certainly will reach out when we do.”
Realtor.com used to let agents add videos to listings, but it deactivated the feature sometime last year. Farrell said realtor.com also had “nothing to share at the moment” about potentially introducing a new video option.
Realtor.com plans to roll out a new version of its enhanced listing product — “Showcase Listings” — later this quarter. Perhaps it will include 3-D tour and video features.
Disseminating 3-D tours can be a challenge today. Along with emailing the tours to prospective buyers, some agents slip screenshots of them into listing photo galleries. Others add phone numbers to for sale signs that buyers can text to explore tours on their smartphones.
But realtor.com’s 3-D integration will greatly expand distribution, bolstering the argument for investing in the technology.
Zillow previously let agents add graphics to listings that linked to Matterport tours, but it disabled the feature in 2015.
Some agents speculate that Zillow did this to maximize adoption of its video feature. Asked about that theory, Wacksman would only say that “typically when we move stuff out of A-B testing, it’s click-through rate and conversion-rate based.”
But 3-D is “rapidly evolving from the demo stage to mass market appeal,” Wacksman said. Consumers will increasingly use virtual-reality devices and next-generation smartphones to create and view the media on their own.
“That’s when [3-D] gets interesting for [Zillow],” he said.
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