Video: How commercial RE professionals can find success with MP 3D Tech15186
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|Video: How commercial real estate professionals can find success with 3D technology | Video courtesy of Matterport YouTube Channel | 1 July 2021
From the Matterport YouTube Channel
In this [Matterport] webinar, our co-hosts, Amir Frank and Sarah Suwanjindar lay out some of the benefits of using Matterport with your Commercial Real Estate.
We also talk to a panel of guests - Sarah Dreyer and Peyton Johnson from Savills and Mike Merron from VRPM to better understand their workflow and how Matterport digital twins have helped them in this field.
Source: Matterport YouTube Channel
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|Transcript (video above)
Amir Frank (00:02):
Welcome everyone. Thanks for joining us in this webinar where we are talking all about commercial real estate. So very, very excited to have you with us. And we have got a lot, a lot of stuff to cover. We've got some very special guests with us from VRPM and from Savills. And Sarah is with me today to help out with that. And we'll get to all those introductions and get to know everybody and why we want to pay attention to what they're saying in a minute. But for now I just wanted to take a brief moment and kind of go over a little bit about Matterport. You may not be as familiar as others with it. So just kind of cover what we do, show you a little bit of a demo and then we'll get to the panel.
Amir Frank (00:46):
All right. So with that said, here we go. Okay. So as I mentioned, Sarah Suwanjindar is going to be with us in a moment, and we'll be talking to Mike Merron from VRPM, Sarah Dreyer and Peyton Johnson from Savills and hear what they have to say. So very, very excited for that. And our agenda today is looking like this. We'll talk a little bit about 3D technology, and how it's playing a role in the whole commercial real estate industry. We'll show a demonstration, we'll go into the role of digital twins and how that, is kind of being incorporated into that workflow of commercial real estate. Then we'll talk to our panelists and then we'll head up the Q&A. Speaking of Q&A you should see a Q&A button at the bottom of your screen. You can go ahead and tap that and feel free to ask your question any time, just type away. I've got some helpers on hand, who can help answer some questions before we get to the end.
Amir Frank (01:58):
And if we can't answer them prior, then we'll just go ahead and wait till the live Q&A at the end and address them at that time. All right. So a brief bit about Matterport. If you are new to Matterport and you haven't been with us and unfamiliar with what we do, who we are. We have, five million spaces under management, which basically means that five million, more than five million really, spaces, structures, buildings, rooms, anything you can imagine that, that's been built has been captured and is in the database. So, that's by far the largest database of 3D spaces. 250 plus 1,000 users around the world capturing these spaces. And we have got offices throughout just keep kind of popping up. I'm in Sunnyvale and got a office in San Francisco, Chicago, Kansas, London, and Singapore.
Amir Frank (03:06):
All right. So this is the camera ecosystem. Again, if you're not familiar with Matterport you may not know that we not only have our own camera, the Matterport Pro2 that you see here. But we also have the Leica, which is a very high end precision camera. It does a very, very high dimensional accuracy. You can see here it's 0.1% as far as its dimensional accuracy. The Matterport camera is dimensionally accurate to within 1%. We also support the 360 cameras from Insta 360 and Rico. So a bunch of different models, not just the two you see here. They are accurate to within a four to 8%. You can also use the iPhone that you may have in your pocket to actually capture a 3D model, which is pretty cool. And lastly you can just hire somebody. We've got a whole network of capture service technicians who are out there using the Matterport Pro2 to scan, and it can provide you high-end model for whatever your needs are.
Amir Frank (04:17):
All right. So looking at digital and how it works with the ... Well, let's stick to not just this vertical but the models can be used in a lot of different verticals, but specifically with CRE commercial real estate, in the pandemic, obviously it helped tremendously. And I'm sure we'll touch on that with the panelists and see what they have to say, but clearly when people can't come to you and you can provide them with a digital twin model that they can virtually experience without having to come onsite. So, that's great. So it's been tremendously helpful throughout the pandemic, but not only that after the pandemic is over, it just seems to be a much more efficient way of showing people the property.
Amir Frank (05:23):
You don't have to be site to see it. So a lot of times you may not be able to know whether a property is the right fit for you, but I would say that you can certainly tell whether a property is not the right fit for you. Okay. So that's very important and part of how this helps make the whole process of leasing and selling commercial real estate so much more efficient. You don't have to go to every single property before closing a deal. Okay. I'm sure there's a lot of other things that we'll get to with the panelists. That's just an example. All right. So how the digital world is here to stay. Basically you can use these Matterport models, these digital twins for a lot of different things, the benefits of having a digital twin beyond having something that is just 2D images, or even if it's 360 degree panoramas, you're still talking about a two dimensional image with a digital twin, with something that is dimensionally accurate and to scale of the actual, property, you have the ability of taking measurements.
Amir Frank (06:41):
You have the ability of knowing how it's going to work with what you need. If you're talking about filling it with a bunch of desks for employees, then you can know exactly how many are going to fit before ever going onsite. So again, it's all about just being more efficient in how you go about it. Okay. Let's check out a quick demo. This is just a piece that, this is actually a model for Savills. So this is a really cool model, and you can see here this is the dollhouse, and this is what I'm talking about when I say dimensionally accurate. This is obviously a perspective that really allows you to see the layout and the structure for what it is precisely. You don't need to guess when going from one Panorama to another, where you're located and where you're going to end up.
Amir Frank (07:42):
So, but this is how we can go through the model. You can also go inside and you can go to any one of these little circles to see it. You can actually step inside this conference room and see it from inside. And I can also take measurements. So I can take measurements from here if I wanted to just double click there, and I know exactly how high this is. If I want I can check it out in the floor plan view and again take a measurement all the way across and know exactly how large this room is. Okay. So I can walk throughout this entire property and see it, how it was captured. So, that's pretty much it. It gives you a lot of flexibility and you can do a lot with it. Like I said, we're going to be talking to a Mike from VRPM very soon, who will tell us all about the different things that you can do to allow visitors to see what it could possibly look like, set up in different ways. So I'm very excited to hear from Mike.
Amir Frank (08:54):
All right. Let's keep going here. Okay. So with your digital twin, you're not only able to use it for promotional purposes, which a lot of commercial real estate usage these days is promotion. A lot of if you've heard of Matterport may have come from the fact that we have a large presence in residential real estate certainly getting into commercial real estate, and it's all like promotion based. But that is actually just the tip of the iceberg as far as what you can do with your digital twin. It is in fact used throughout the entire building's life cycle. And promotion is just a small part of that. Once you're done promoting the space for example, and the client is in there, they may have a facility management team or a person that can then use that model to help with facility management.
Amir Frank (09:52):
So you can kind of pass that onto them or share that with them so that they can do things and kind of better understand the space they're in. If Matterport was used in the construction stage of building the facility, that too is tremendous asset to be used for facility management because you can actually see what's inside the walls and so on. So it can be used again throughout the entire building life cycle, promote this use case is just one thing that you can do with the Matterport model, because you have that dimensional accuracy and that ability to measure, you just are able to get so much more out of it. Also, like I said you can use it for repairs collaborating with team members, if it's a reconstruction or something like that some damage was caused, then you can provide that model to the contractor and say, "Hey, look, this is what we're looking to restore. This is what it was like."
Amir Frank (10:57):
And they can provide you with an estimate of what that would cost very quickly and very simply. And you can probably get a few estimates very easily without ever having to actually bring a contractor on site. So there's that and as well as that, there's also the design aspect of laying out the space. So you can actually take a Matterport model and bring it into ... You can extract assets from it that you would not otherwise be able to do with virtual walkthroughs that don't provide you with that 3D aspect. So you can actually provide that to an architect or a designer who can then take it, bring it into something like AutoCAD or SketchUp, create an as-built model and redesign the space for you or add additions and whatnot.
Amir Frank (11:50):
So all that is possible. Okay. Oh, there's one more, building and optimizing operations. This kind of just goes back to facility management I think, and taking care. Also, education right? So you can have these matter tags. This is something that we provide that you can embed a lot, a lot of information within the matter tags. If it's things like instructional material, PDF documents, things like that, about the space itself. You can include that in the matter of tag and provide that to your tenant for example, if we are talking about commercial real estate who can use that as kind of like a hub of information anytime they need to know something about something in that space, then they can find what they need in that model. Alright, Sarah, let's bring you on. There is Sarah. How's it going, Sarah? Thanks for joining
Sarah Suwanjindar (12:55):
Doing well. Thank you Amir. That was a great preface. So pleased to welcome Mike, Sarah and Peyton here today, our panelists. So thank you. Thank you all for being here. Mike, Sarah and Peyton. I know that our attendees are probably really eager to hear from you, so Mike let's kick it off. And let's maybe hear a little bit more, you are I know the founding director at VRPM, and I was hoping maybe that you could share some of your rich history with Matterport. I know you got started with Matterport as one of the very first and Matterport service providers in the UK. So maybe you can share a little bit more about your journey, how you got started and how you've become now one of the leading platform partners in the UK that specializes in virtual staging specifically with a specialty in commercial real estate staging.
Mike Merron (13:48):
I was going to start talking then whilst being on mute and have to reset. Thank you and hello everyone. So I'm Mike Merron I'm the founding partner of VRPM. We became an MSP and a Matterport service provider back in 2016. Basically we're off the back of just knowing that there's definitely a better way to understand property in a way to explore it. And we're real fans of the Matterport camera and the virtual tools and Matterport 2016 but in 2016. So since then we've, I think we've scanned something like 15,000 properties across the UK. We're based in London, but we work nationwide. And over the last couple of years we've done with scam prop ... We've done everything from sort of large commercial offices, hotels, I mean, spaces of all sizes and shapes and sizes. And specifically our interest in sort of architectural visualization and CGI design kind of comes from my background.
Mike Merron (14:54):
I've been working in architectural visualization and visual effects for TV for a number of years, and we felt that there was such an opportunity to bring some of that learning into the Matterport environment. So over the last 24 months we've been developing our virtual staging tool set, and we're very happy to launch that just well launched that in March last year just to happen to coincide with COVID. However even over that whole period of time the virtual staging has really taken off. There's a real demand for it because of sort of the extra functionality and the ability to squeeze the assets as we like to say. We've got this fantastic tours, but what else can we do on top of them? So the virtual staging has gone from strength to strength over the last 12 months.
Sarah Suwanjindar (15:46):
That's wonderful. And we're looking forward to jumping into a demo in just a few minutes, but first, I wanted to introduce Savills and our speakers that we have from Savills. Savills is a global commercial real estate leader. We have Sarah Dreyer, VP and Head of Americas research and Peyton Johnson, Transaction Management Manager with us here today. Sarah and Peyton, I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about Savills and your roles there.
Sarah Dreyer (16:15):
Sure. Happy to thanks so much Sarah. And again yeah, I'm Sarah Dreyer, I'm Vice President and Head of Americas Research here at Savills. And as you mentioned Savills is a global commercial real estate services firms, but here in the U.S. we have unique expertise in tenant advisory, in North America where we have close to 40 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Our services here include everything from leasing representation to location and workplace strategy, project management, and real estate, data analytics and visualization through technology. But it's all geared towards occupiers and users of space.
Sarah Dreyer (16:49):
So in my role, I have oversight of our research and data operations but as those two components are feeding very heavily into technology, I also get to have experience and insight on many of our emerging technology platforms and tools. And I'm delighted to have Peyton Johnson here with me on the call. Peyton is one of our top experts in occupier services and technology. So I'll pass over to her now to introduce herself.
Peyton Johnson (17:11):
Thanks Sarah. Like Sarah mentioned, I'm at Savills I work in advising occupiers globally, and that means that I get to use our plant technology tool knowledge queue both to undertake portfolio strategy to better document the current state of things, and future state and better understand markets so that type selection and transactions globally are that much smoother and enriched with kind of real touch experiences where digital scans and digital twins really play a key part. So excited to demonstrate that in our platform truly.
Sarah Suwanjindar (17:48):
Yeah absolutely. I know that the platform and we can jump into that just right here. I know that the platform, the knowledge queue platform that you're going to be demoing today is really one of the differentiators, of Savills and that you've received a number of rewards, the Financial Times Business Intelligence Award as well as CoreNet's Global Innovators Award. So congratulations on your success there, with your knowledge keeps tools with no further ado would you like to kind of jump in and give us a preview of how the technology works and how you use it in working with your clients?
Peyton Johnson (18:29):
So before we kick off into a couple of videos to demonstrate the platform, just to orient you quickly around knowledge queue. We've developed this best in class occupier centric technology platform that's really kind of a modular ecosystem. And what that means is we're able to pull a variety of different data sets whether that's client datasets or our own market data sets that Sarah is on the forefront of developing, pulling those all together in one interactive place in a series of apps. Some of those apps are more designed to light up your portfolio, portfolio data and your portfolio imagery, and some apps are more geared towards enriching your understanding of markets and the alternatives within those markets. So that's just a quick glimpse into how our platform works. So without further ado, I will hop into a quick video demonstrating first more of a portfolio overview.
Peyton Johnson (19:25):
So this is an app called Portfolio Map & Summary geared towards being kind of a home screen for everything you need to know about your people in portfolio data. You can see here that a variety of different underlying data sets power a series of key metrics about your costs, your utilization, and things like that. And because of this kind of modular ecosystem that we touched on, you're able to integrate a variety of different databases for real time information. This is a workplace management tool called Office Space. So you're here able to see how we keep track of our floor plans and desk assignments across our portfolio in North America, which makes operations that much easier. And then of course, we're able to also document our spaces in 3D digital twins. And that's been really important for both us and our clients, as workplace management changes as workplace design. You can kind of see from an old school to a more, cutting edge space.
Peyton Johnson (20:25):
So we were just in our New York office that was at 20 year old build out much more drywall. And here we take a look at kind of the office of the future and where more of our builds are starting to trend. So this 3D digital scan obviously gives us a great understanding of what the window line looks like, what are the office assignments and all of those things that help us better understand our portfolio, not just at a GPI level but really kind of understand the touch and field when we might not be able to be there in person.
Peyton Johnson (20:56):
And the next step, I'll give you a quick glimpse into our market alpha, which is kind of a platform within a platform geared at helping understand markets. So we understand that when tenants are looking to make a real estate decision, there are a number of different things that come into play here. You know it's not only what is the best space for us, but where where's the best place in the market for us to be located? So you need to first think about where's the labor in a given market and what is the demographic breakdown across the market and the target demographics we're thinking about? So we can understand the hotspots of the different sub markets that we may want to target. And once you can narrow it down, use these tools whether that's a function of commutation patterns, labor demographics, and trends, then maybe we get a better set hone in on a better sense of the real estate.
Peyton Johnson (21:48):
And that's really where understanding alternative spaces really comes into play with both bringing in our market research. So we have the example to here locate our real time Savills boots on the ground, understanding of research and building stacks and tenants expiration dates of those things to understand kind of what's on the horizon in that particular building. But then just as importantly, once you've got to get a sense for the building and the building makeup, what are the spaces? What do the spaces look like? And whether that means we're looking for taking over a space that's already mostly as built and you really want to find a floor plan that best suits you and your way of working, or maybe it's a law firm tenant for example, that's going to take down 100,000 square feet full floors where it's not so much the as-built condition that matters, but more what's the core spacing and what are the window lines and what are the light channels into the space that really affect how different buildings stack up?
Peyton Johnson (22:51):
So we found this to be a really powerful tool, especially during the pandemic for orienting leaders who maybe weren't able to tour spaces or even visit that part of the country to understand the options that they have.
Sarah Suwanjindar (23:09):
That is incredible Peyton how you're able to aggregate so much research and so much data in one app. It's just a really exciting. I know Sarah and Peyton when we spoke earlier this year that you were working to really build this library and digital replicas, for your clients, particularly during the pandemic. And I know Sarah, I was hoping maybe you could share a little bit more about how you utilize capture services to really build this digital library in a very short order when we were kind of all in the throws of the pandemic.
Sarah Dreyer (23:46):
Oh yeah, absolutely. And to kind of highlight that, I guess I'll go back to the beginning of our relationship with Matterport. I think we started with purchasing two Pro2 cameras. They were both located in New York and we were using them to be able to integrate scans into the technology that Peyton showed. But also to be able to do as needed space marketing on behalf of our clients, when the occasional sublease assignment came up or we needed to do a virtual tour. But then we went into the pandemic and it was immediately apparent that it could be difficult or even no longer possible to tour office space physically. And we also saw a huge uptake in our clients needing these scans to do more marketing for their sublease spaces, more sublease space came on with the pandemic. So we quickly put heads together and said, "How do we scale this? How do we make this something that all of our professionals can use and all of our clients can benefit from?"
Sarah Dreyer (24:35):
So we not only invested in eight additional cameras, we put those across our major market hubs in the U.S. but then expanded into capture services, which has really allowed us the ability to film space wherever and whenever needed. And it is so easy and so efficient. It's really been invaluable to our team at this time. So just imagine what would have in the past and maybe not even been possible in the pandemic of putting together building options and getting decision makers together to view a space in New York that might be in San Francisco and Chicago and DC, and have to spend days and travel time to be able to do that. But you just saw that Peyton was able to orient clients not just to a market, but to individual buildings and spaces in minutes with this technology.
Sarah Dreyer (25:20):
So, with more flexibility and more of a shift towards adopting smarter and better technologies, this is something it's not going to end with the pandemic. It's something that's always going to be a part of our strategy to help our clients quickly and better understand their options in the market.
Sarah Suwanjindar (25:36):
That's wonderful. And it sounds like capture services has really been just sort of key this past year to helping you scale as you go and really build your library. So that's just great.
Sarah Dreyer (25:50):
Yeah. I have my brokers, they reach out the same week. I picked two times and they show up that's it, and they're thrilled with it.
Sarah Suwanjindar (25:57):
That's awesome. So you don't have to worry about the technology or the cameras yourself, you can just order of the scans and they're ready to go. That's great. And I was going to ask you before we switch back over to Mike, I know that you've utilized it a lot, as you mentioned in your marketing and your site selection as you just took us through, as you and Peyton just took us through, I was curious if you're hearing from clients, like are you hearing the desire to use the digital twins more in their occupancy planning maybe after they started to narrow it down? Okay. This is going to be the right property for us and they're starting to think more about occupying and planning. Are they referring back to the digital twins and looking to use use as a property management and functionality?
Peyton Johnson (26:44):
Absolutely. Yeah. We can speak to one specific example. We have a client that's based in the bay area and is currently transacting in Berlin and their design and workplace lead sits in the bay area and perhaps would have typically visited Berlin at least once or twice before the build-out. And after they narrowed in on a site, they had very rigorous confidentiality concerns about security and access points and ways that things that are 2D floor plan didn't necessarily show and with the orientation of really getting the 3D interactive ability to kind of retrace steps and retrace entrance points really got their security team on board for approving the site. And then when it comes to the actual build out, they have a local project manager, but they're getting the space and also have a restoration clause. So not only is the 3D scan incredibly helpful for someone across the world to manage the build-out process. When it comes to restoration, which can be really cumbersome and very legally complicated, it's obviously incredibly beneficial to then at the end of the lease term have that to document, this is a way we got it. This is the way we're going to restore it.
Peyton Johnson (27:51):
And so, I think that it's going to change the way they work going forward. Like Sarah mentioned this doesn't stop with the pandemic, I'm sure now that they're experiencing because of the pandemic required them to advancements in how they can do things remotely. Who doesn't want to cut down on their 10 hour flights when it comes to work travel? So, that's really a use case that we're seeing working on today.
Sarah Suwanjindar (28:20):
So true. Thank you for sharing that. That's kind of incredible full life cycle story that you shared there. Thank you so much. So we'll switch over back over to Mike. I know everyone's I'm really excited to see some of the capabilities with virtual staging as it relates to commercial real estate. So Mike, I'm hoping maybe you can jump into a demo here, and it's just really exciting as we visited this past year about the capabilities and opportunity with virtual staging for commercial real estate. Just the ability to save money, and also rather than having to do, or just to be able to visualize it in advance and in a very efficient format. And as you kept your demo here, it's really not just about furniture as I've come to understand. What you're going to be demoing here today is really floor to ceiling, everything, kind of wall to wall ceiling to floor, that's involved in that, these commercial properties. So with that I'll let you kind of jump into a demo here.
Mike Merron (29:30):
No problem. So just quickly, I'll just share my screen, let me know when that is all up.
Peyton Johnson (29:40):
Yep. We got you.
Mike Merron (29:42):
Okay. So yeah, so virtual staging just quickly maybe not everyone understands or knows what it is exactly. So virtual staging and the way that we're doing it is essentially taking an existing Matterport support scan that's been shot with a BLK the Pro2, and essentially add 3D files to it. And those 3D files can be furniture. It can be new walls, floors, ceilings, superstructures. It can be a whole range of different things, even views outside of the windows of properties. So you really don't limit your thinking to what virtual staging can be as just furniture. Virtual staging has been around for an awful long time, and just to give you a little, I'll just hide this.
Mike Merron (30:24):
So virtual staging has been around for a long time and it properties are much more engaging when they're full of things. It makes a house a home and it completely changes the feeling of a property once that is styled in a certain way, it looks a certain way. But also you're kind of removing that leap of imagination that you're expecting people to have when they're navigating through a property. Now, most times virtual staging is done on single images, or maybe even a single panoramic images, and there's something wrong with it I feel. And that is you don't get as true sense of the space. And what's so fantastic about Matterport and the way you can navigate through from hotspot to hotspot and room to room, is you really get a sense of actually being in that space, because you're navigating through it, and you know where you've just been in and you know where you're going.
Mike Merron (31:07):
So when we virtually stage a property in Matterport, we stage every single scan point as photo realistically, as we can. One of the goals that we're trying to achieve here making sure that the furniture that we add in and the rendering that we're doing is indistinguishable from what it would have been if it had been realistic and actually been shot there. So on the commercial ... Well, before we get into a commercial demo how do we do it? Essentially we are a Matterport partner and we have API and SDK access and we spent a long time working with Matterport to really streamline and make this process efficient. And so it's been a trial, you know it's been a difficult two years to get to where we've got to, but we've got something that I think we're good works really, really, really well now.
Mike Merron (31:56):
So I'll just hop over to a bit of a demo. So from the previous bits and in today's webinar, you were familiar with sort of the doll's house view and this is kind of pretty typical of a CRA scan for us where we're looking at something that's been recently finished, however, it's kind of got this metallic floor and it's a big empty space and is largely kind of ... I mean, it's a great representation as a snapshot of what that space is right now and that's super useful. It's useful for all sorts of planning, understanding space or showing people around remotely doing all that kind of good stuff. Can't take anything away from that, but how and what can we do to this space to help sell it quicker? And that's where the virtual staging I think that's really powerful. So the big empty space. I'm not entirely sure how many 1,000 square foot this is, but it's large if we dive in.
Mike Merron (32:53):
This is complete virtual staging of every single scan point in here, I think it's something like 200 scan points. I will try and not go too quick. I have a habit of whizzing through these spaces. So if I just toggle on and off the original scan below, you'll see the difference between what we've added and the original scan. So we can do things like add meeting rooms, change floor materials, add new floors, desking, kitchens, you name it really, meeting rooms. And we don't limit that to just a single hotspot or even just a handful. We do that for as many as we can and have that high sort of high verbosity of spaces or scan staged. Going up the next tier up from something like this is what we're called some of the standard virtual staging really and that we're adding furniture. And in most cases for a commercial property new floors actually and the occasional meeting rooms or walls, but the next level up from this is something we call virtual renovation which for the next demo is a 40,000 square foot space at the World Trade Center.
Mike Merron (34:16):
Now this is basically just a shell at this point and captured not long after they've just cleaned out all the construction material. So it's a very, very large space kind of difficult to market or lease. I would take an awful long time to prepare and get this ready in sort of marketing materials, et cetera. So I think this is something like 300 scan points. And the brief here was to change everything. So new floors, ceilings, walls, lifts calls, the works. The only thing that we actually kept at the end of this was the view out of the windows which is fantastic. So you dive into here. So yeah, an awful lot of work.
Sarah Suwanjindar (35:20):
It's fantastic. You can really see how you've gone from such a sterile space to really the office space of the future in terms of allowing someone to imagine what it can be so.
Mike Merron (35:27):
Yeah, the virtual staging of office spaces for sort of sales I mean it's done practically as well. You know people will do is they'll stage a single portion of it and that'll be part of the sort of their sort of onsite suite as you get to have a look around. And that's great whilst you're there, but being able to do this efficiently in turnaround times, there's something like seven days or even a space this large enables property to go from being a construction site and get it right through to marketing quite quickly. One of the nice things about virtual staging inside of Matterport is of course that in the workshop in the backend of your tools, when you're authoring your tools, you can take snapshots. And so all of the snapshots of a virtually staged property, all are virtually staged, so you can generate high resolution stills from any single angle you want.
Mike Merron (36:25):
And we know that's an asset that can go out into print or other sort of 2D media. And it's not just about what's inside the virtual tool. That's actually one of the other great things about it and that you can print as many of those off as you like. So it's kind of like an endless supply of CGIs.
Sarah Suwanjindar (36:43):
Yeah, it's really absolutely incredible. I was going to ask you as we're right in a tour here, can you explain to folks joining us today how this spatial data is really the backing of the digital twin with the spatial data? Really makes this possible and how you could also see using it in the future even even further beyond.
Mike Merron (37:07):
It's a good point to talk about. So in order for us to do virtual staging and the way that we do it, we rely on the capture being completed with the sort of the higher end portion of the sort of capture environment that Matterport offers. So that's the BLK the Pro2 and the Pro camera, because they are dimensionally accurate to just a few millimeters in some cases, a few centimeters at most for the Pro and Pro2, and being that, that space is captured it's as Amir mentioned it can be used in ... It can be extracted for AutoCAD, but for us when we're virtually staging it, it gives us essentially an accurate scale platform in order to accurately scale 3D models furniture in and that it gives a true representation of how big these objects are in space.
Mike Merron (37:54):
So we always maintain manufacturer specifications and all of the furniture that we put in here. We don't cheat things by scaling them up. We don't cheat things by scaling them down. Matterport is accurate. And the models that we've put in are as accurate as they are as they come from the manufacturers. And that's a really important point there because as you're walking around these spaces, as you do get a true sense of what it is to be there as you are able to walk around and explore them it's quite different from any other sort of 360 tour, even looking at 2D still. So with the API and SDK getting the accurate date or out accurately visualizing that same space and then getting it back in keeps everything sort of on a level playing field.
Sarah Suwanjindar (38:33):
It's so exciting really it is to see the before and after, and I can imagine it's just really what help cut through and really grab attention sort of in the before and afters and even even seeing some of these views side by side and the before and after in some of the commercial real estate marketing materials would be really powerful. And I know in some instances depending on the client needs, you're even able to do a couple of different iterations, different configurations within a specific space as there kind of evaluating how to plan, how to configure spaces. In some instances you work with clients in that capacity as well.
Mike Merron (39:19):
There are range of different people we're working with to do virtual staging, anybody who has a Matterport link, as long as it's been shot with a certain set of cameras that can have a link from anywhere in the world, it can be virtually staged. And quite often there's diff different clients have different needs. So sometimes it's about getting a property stage, making it look as marketable as possible as quickly as possible. And in those cases where we're using sort of library assets or designs, preexisting designs that we have or even taking briefs, and in some cases it becomes a design tool and where clients would like to see different furniture lay outs and they might want to see a high density FinTech layer or they might want to see something that feels much more creative, or even some of the projects we've done over the last year have involved working out the spacing between desks sort of socially distance working environments and getting people back into the office as well.
Mike Merron (40:08):
So we've done stagings of the same space over and over again which can be combined into the micro-site and clients and potential tenants can look through and see how these spaces can be configured and kind of pick what they like. On top of that actually, when it gets really interesting is all the furniture that we're putting into these properties are essentially from, especially on the commercial side or from commercial office manufacturing and furniture websites. So it becomes essentially shoppable. Once it's been laid out and there's basically an itinerary an accurate itinerary of how many desks, how many chairs, how many tables, how all this kind of gets put together. So it's useful in many, many different ways. And if you've got the original scanner or a property over the life cycle of that building, you can strike it and then redo it again. And so you can really build on the asset once you have it in the library of course. You can build on it time and time again, and revisit things and rejig things and use this virtual staging tool as well as just as a pure visualization tool.
Sarah Suwanjindar (41:14):
That's incredible. So essentially you could have sort of three looks outfitted with furniture, and for someone that's looking to occupy a new space or completely revision their new space as you mentioned they could sort of select from one, two or three options and say, "I want all of the furniture make it exactly as it is." Is that exactly as you see, let's purchase all the furniture, all the equipment and set it as you see it virtually stage. That's incredible so/
Mike Merron (41:44):
We're working with a few different people in the UK who basically use their ... They lease space and they design and build and fit out the offices with the furniture all a sort of one package. And they also visualize it through Matterport and with the virtual staging that we're offering as well. So it becomes kind of an end to end product in and of itself really right from capturing building design the furniture, capturing the space, and then leasing it as it looks.
Sarah Suwanjindar (42:15):
Incredible. Just want to congratulate you on all your success and your partnership, as becoming one of the leading Matterport platform partners and how you've been able to utilize the API and the SDK to make this a reality is really quite exciting. Thank you for this great demo. I think we're probably at about a time where we can switch over to the live Q&A. Amir do you want to take us into that view?
Amir Frank (42:42):
Yeah, we can do live Q&A. We did have a couple of questions that came in prior as people were registering. So I just wanted to kind of bring that up. I don't think I need to share the screen for that bu, we'll just go ahead. I'll just read it out. So, Brittany asks, where do you see the market heading for multifamily and how do you think Matterport showcasing can attract new clients? Are there benefits for virtual staging? I mean, I think we just kind of saw the benefits of virtual staging, but Mike, I think this is right up your alley. Having firsthand contact with, with customers who are using your services, what kind of feedback are you getting from them as far as virtual staging?
Mike Merron (43:33):
How useful and how successful the virtual staging is?
Amir Frank (43:36):
Mike Merron (43:38):
Like I said, the range of needs from clients the world over, some people are using it as design as a design tool. And it's absolutely critical to the way that they understand the space because they want to try things out. They want to visualize it. They want to be able to walk around and let it soak in. So those sorts of design decisions, the feedback that we get from our clients is invaluable. And you could be paying thousands and thousands and thousands to have a visualization studio work with you to do this. And it's because of the Matterport platform, because of the API access that we have, because of the way that we built our tool set, this can be done extremely efficiently in that respect. So from a design point of view, the feedback's amazing and it's quantifiable because the decisions are being made on it. From a pure visualization point of view, it's hard to actually get proper numbers.
Mike Merron (44:32):
The feedback is normally that when they scan an empty home, they want to make it as appealing as possible. So getting it staged, making it work for either a home or an office space, getting it staged and showing the potential of it it removes that barrier, that imagination about what could it be like? And I think people keep coming back. We have repeat customers. I think that speaks for itself. It must be working for them in the way they push it forward.
Amir Frank (44:58):
Yeah. I mean the demo to me just set it all. I have a hard time kind of visualizing what a place is going to look like without it actually being staged virtually or I guess in real life. But virtually allows you to do it obviously so much more efficiently and it's super impressive how realistic it looks like. It's just amazing. And I love that. It's all to scale.
Sarah Suwanjindar (45:29):
We have a question coming in for Savills. It's a great feedback on the demo. And it's says loving the demo. Do you make the data public to your clients or is the platform used internally for your brokers? So maybe you can share a little bit more about how you're able to work with your clients to show the power of the platform here.
Sarah Dreyer (45:52):
Sure and Peyton you can jump in too but I'll start off. And just note that when working with Savills and specifically the knowledge cube team, that team will curate a set of apps that are designed to help with whatever situation we're working with our client. Whether that's location selection and going through options and using tools like Market Alpha to orient to a market, or really digging into a client's individual portfolio data. Visualizing that and comparing it to the market by working with the team goal, we'll work with our clients to give them the best tools possible.
Peyton Johnson (46:22):
Yeah. Absolutely. And the short answer is it's really a client technology tool it's developed for occupiers and different stakeholders in our organization whether that, we have groups that have not only their finance people, but also their HR folks and different people find different apps useful, and can see different sets of data in that way. And the brokers and Savills team that is working with that client also uses it as a kind of the source of truth to make sure that all the different pieces of the puzzle with any individual transaction decision or portfolio strategic decision, kind of is all everyone's working from the same picture. So in short, it's definitely a client technology tool, but our Savills team curates it for you and also uses it to manage the advising.
Sarah Suwanjindar (47:09):
Wonderful. Thank you.
Amir Frank (47:10):
There's another question here that came in. You've shown the ability to add walls, are you able to remove walls and take heavily built out spaces and convert it to a more open floor plan?
Mike Merron (47:24):
That's the holy grail of things to do when it comes to sort of virtual staging and the Matterport. Because what the Matterport camera, when you're capturing a spatial, capturing it as it exists right there. And then there's a physical thing you're going to an actual place and doing, essentially we can make it look however it needs to look. We can remove walls, remove floors, take away and make it appear like the furniture that is there been taken away. It's just a much more involved process. When a property's well finished and empty, and it's just a case of adding furniture and meeting rooms and walls and things finished at the same level, it's a much easier project path. And 99 times out of a 100, those projects are extremely straightforward.
Mike Merron (48:11):
As soon as you're looking to the technical a bit about sort of removing furniture is just, you just never know what each project is going to be like. So we have to judge us on a case by case basis if it's actually worth the time and the effort, and of course the cost of doing so. But it is possible, but it's just not as straightforward.
Sarah Suwanjindar (48:33):
And then there was a clarifying question. Can you generate a fly through with virtual staging? That's essentially what you were demoing Mike yes, where you were doing the walk through, everything that you saw there, was virtually staged. I just wanted to clarify that.
Mike Merron (48:48):
Yeah. The sort of the slideshow button still works with the virtual staging in that. There was another question I saw about ... No, I can't even read that. I can't get through the list, but yeah, that remains that. Oh, that was it. When we modify it essentially we are modifying the original tool. So the original tool becomes modified into this virtually staged version. That's another important point. So we kind of we're building on the existing tool. So if someone wanted to stay something a separate way, they would at the moment the way to do this is to upload multiple models from the iPad essentially, and create unique versions.
Sarah Suwanjindar (49:31):
It's an essential that you have a copy-
Amir Frank (49:36):
Sarah Suwanjindar (49:37):
Go ahead Amir.
Amir Frank (49:37):
If you wanted to keep the original, you had a great example there of the World Trade Center, where it had all the stuff the kind of like the bare bones facility, that would be a great model to provide facility management team, for example if they needed to do any kind of work in repairing future down down the road. So you wouldn't want to do that in virtual staging is you're making it like you said, make a copy of it and work that and you can do a couple of different options.
Mike Merron (50:05):
Sarah Suwanjindar (50:08):
Yeah. And I think that actually addresses the next question that came in from Seth here. If you need the historical record in library, of probably what was done previously, you can make the copies and you'll have the sort of before and after and the various versions stage as Mike mentioned earlier. In case you're staging for different circumstances or looking at different furniture or different configurations, and you'd have each of those could be uniquely saved for reference. Let's see.
Amir Frank (50:45):
Larry asked an interesting question. I'm not quite sure I understand. So I'll ask it and Sarah, maybe you can help me out, or maybe Larry will just have to clarify. Who controls the files? Is the user required to access files after they are completed to go through Matterport? If that is true, what is the cost of that support? Does that make sense? I'm not really sure Larry, what do you mean by that, if you can clarify.
Sarah Suwanjindar (51:13):
Maybe the question here, maybe you can chat back, but maybe the question here is centered around if they're virtually staged and Mike maybe you could share how you've worked with clients there, if they have once it's in their Matterport accounts, who controls the files once it's- mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Mike Merron (51:27):
Okay. Sorry, this is Larry, isn't it? Okay. So, yeah so I actually understood that question. There's probably two ways to answer it. Obviously with once you're scanning with the Matterport and you have your Matterport account, you have access to the workshop in the backend where you can do things like download the Matter pack, which contains the original scan model. You can get access to download panoramics, you can take snapshots, you can do a whole bunch of your own offering in the backend, decide where a start point is. There's a whole way of altering your tours in the back end with Matterport. And that's one side of it. And then on the other side, you're able to work with a company such as ours to design and virtually stage and change those environments. And then we essentially feed that back into the Matterport backend. So when the tour is transferred back to you again, in the Matterport workshop on the backend, all of those updates are within that tool.
Mike Merron (52:21):
As Amir mentioned, you probably most people like to create an original copy, which they will use as the baseline and then have multiple versions where different designs may propagate through different visualizations. So it can all be managed essentially by you the owner of the tour and the backend.
Sarah Suwanjindar (52:39):
And then we have a question that came in via chat is, does staging add to the project counts on the hosting platform? So again, I think if you were to copy a space, save it depending on the plan that you have with Matterport, it would count as an additional space. And then obviously you'd be working, with platform partners such as VRPM on the cost of the specific project for staging. Hopefully that clarifies.
Sarah Suwanjindar (53:17):
There's a question here. If you have a new building, could you take a 3D CAD drawing, bring it into Matterport and then virtually stage it?
Amir Frank (53:27):
I was looking at that too.
Sarah Suwanjindar (53:29):
Mike I'll let you- sorry, what was that?
Amir Frank (53:30):
I was just saying I was just looking at that question as well. And I was just going to say, no. You got to start with the Matterport model.
Sarah Suwanjindar (53:38):
Yeah. In some instances I have visited with quite a few of our client our customers in AEC space. And there isn't benefit if you do have that CAD drawing to do some verification to compare an original drawing or file with the Matterport. Often there's a use case there for more verification validation, clash detection those types of things to ensure everything's in alignment. And then obviously as Amir said, taking the digital twin from Matterport to do that virtual staging that next step.
Amir Frank (54:20):
George asked is there an editing tool within Matterport that allows virtual staging or is this a proprietary function of Mike's company? Virtual staging can only be done via the SDK and API tools. So we're providing the platform through Matterport, but you need to have that access through the SDK and APIs in order to do it. And so if you don't have that, you're better off just using Mike.
Mike Merron (54:48):
Can I jump in there?
Amir Frank (54:49):
Mike Merron (54:51):
There is talking about other ... I'm competitive, but I'm not overly competitive. The way that we do our virtual staging is kind of is a service because what we're doing is we're aiming to bring design to it. We're aiming to kind of take a brief stage of property and get it back in looking as photorealistic as possible, cleaned up, and hopefully indistinguishable from something that would have been shot with actual furniture. And there are other partners out there which allow you to drag and drop 3D models into Matterport. I think it's a different sort of use case. So there is other things out there existing right now as other services, but it's just a different way of looking at it. So if you're looking to do it yourself, a drag 3D models, and I think that's something that exists already from a few different partners actually. But it's a different end result to the where we're kind of aiming our particular implementation of the SDK and the API.
Sarah Suwanjindar (55:54):
I'm just realizing that there is a question that came in prior to the webinar today from one of our registrants. It's what is the best workflow to go from a Matterport Pro to virtual tour to something that resembles an as built survey? So again, I think this is kind of in the AEC use case and in speaking with a lot of our clients this year, how they've approached that particularly during the pandemic this year is they're doing progressive scans of spaces through construction or reconstruction. So what some of those leaders in construction and AEC, it could be that they're doing it weekly, some as frequently as daily that I've spoken to you. And as it comes to more of the survey or the inspection juncture, they've actually been able to utilize Matterport.
Sarah Suwanjindar (56:46):
As Amir showcased in the webinar, the measurement functionality for verification, today we didn't spend as much time on Matter Tags, but I know they're going through and identifying through Matter Tags, tagging any punch list type items for question answers that need to be go back and address what the architect or that project leading construction. So essentially that's how it's being used for survey and inspection, when you get to those sort of final scans and final stages, and be able to really utilize Matterport even through sign-off and inspections in some instances during the pandemic. Even in hospitals which I know can be quite an extensive process, but the digital twins are so accurate that they're able to rely on them. And in some instances, go ahead and get that inspection and the certification to close out the project.
Sarah Suwanjindar (57:42):
So it's rather exciting. A lot of examples on how you're able to close out items and really minimize if not completely eliminate the need for site visits at certain junctures across rather large projects teams. And that can be extremely important. There was an example more of a travel and hospitality like a large hotel, was one example there were obviously don't want so many contractors coming on site, and the least amount of disruption as possible for guests or for employees that may be occupying a space. So it can be just really helpful at all of those junctures in progressing a construction or reconstruction based project.
Amir Frank (58:29):
Last question I think, but super, super fast. Mike, what software do you use to develop the virtual staging? Unity, Unreal? Do you guys have a proprietary thing that you guys do?
Mike Merron (58:42):
We don't use Unity or Unreal. We have built essentially a proprietary pipeline to do it with the SDK and the API. But essentially if anyone is interested in looking at virtual staging or getting into 3D, I'd recommend probably the biggest 3D visualization tool out there, which is Autodesk 3ds Max.
Amir Frank (59:01):
Very good. Cool. And that's what allows you to get that super photo realism I'm guessing that amazing control over lighting and texture mapping and all that stuff?
Mike Merron (59:11):
Amir Frank (59:12):
Cool. Fantastic. Awesome. Thank you so much. This was super helpful. Love seeing these demos and getting the idea of how Matterport is actually being used out there in the real world. It's cool. So really appreciate all of you. Sarah, thanks so much for helping me cohost this and to all the panelists, really appreciate your time and taking the time to be with us today. And of course, to our attendees, thank you very much for all these great questions.
Mike Merron (59:41):
Thank you for inviting us.
Sarah Dreyer (59:42):
Thank you so much.
Peyton Johnson (59:43):
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