I knew right away what he meant, Matterport, the 3D camera.
Leading up to that day I had seen Matterport 3d tours seemingly everywhere; national conventions, industry related blogs, YouTube and of course – Facebook. Many real estate professionals were touting it as this amazing technology, which it certainly is. But is it right for real estate marketing?
I personally don’t think so, which is why we don’t offer them.
Before I go into why we don’t offer Matterport 3d tours let me tell you I am not new to real estate marketing nor am I new to video marketing.
I was a sales exec for many title companies here in Phoenix over the course of 13 years. I was blogging before most in the real estate space could pronounce it through my website MyTitleGuy.com, I’m one of the founders of iFoundAgent.com a real estate technology company with a proprietary Indexable IDX focused on helping real estate agents compete against 3rd party aggregators like Z.T.R. I’ve trained hundreds of real estate agents from around the world through my online real estate video courses and I’m the founder of one of the largest real estate video production companies in the Phoenix metro area.
With that being said, while I believe the technology Matterport 3D offers is promising, I see some significant cons to using the Matterport 3D tours in real estate marketing. Below are 7 reasons why we don’t offer the Matterport 3D camera.
7 Reasons We Don’t Offer Matterport 3D Tours
Too Much Information
The goal of using video in real estate marketing is many-fold. 1) Educate and inform the consumer. 2) Engage the consumer. 3) Create emotion. 4) Speed up or shorten the sales cycle. 5) Extend reach. 6) Build or reinforce an existing brand etc. With regard to “education” I believe Matterport gives too much away, so much in fact it could cost the real estate agent a lead. The consumer could make an immediate determination about a property floor plan, deem it not a perfect fit (split floor plan or lack of, laundry room off the kitchen etc) and therefor NOT reach out to the listing agent for help or more information. Remember, the goal of real estate video marketing is to engage the consumer enough so they request more information. This is where pre qualification begins.
No Agent Branding
One thing we are HUGE on at Hub Media Company is agent branding.(see one of our cinematic real estate tours below) Some agents, (not our partners), think they are using video to market a property. While this is true it’s really more about marketing and branding the real estate agent. By our agent(s) appearing in the property video they are introducing their brand to the consumer as well as other networks – the sellers for instance. We know the seller will share the video with everyone they know, friends and family through social and email. As of the time of this post Matterport tours offers no ability for the real estate agent to play a role IN the video. This means the consumer can not experience the listing agents knowledge, professionalism, passion or expertise. A good video offers a virtual handshake. Most real estate agents who practice OUTBOUND MARKETING are constantly chasing the consumer around to tell them they are in real estate, by aligning themselves with a product the consumer cares about, (the property) the consumer cares about what the real estate agent has to say. (INBOUND MARKETING) This opportunity is lost on Matterport.
While Millenials may be more receptive to Matterport, anyone over 40 will likely find it frustrating and confusing. At times (I’m 42) I felt like I was in a video game and had no real context for where I was nor where I came from. I had to routinely return to the doll house view to get my bearings before continuing on.
Not Presented Well
We obviously want the properties to be presented in a professional and beautiful way. Matterport is anything but beautiful, more like bland and brown and staticy (is that even a word?). The tours I have seen (could be user error) were more dark than light and bright as we are accustomed to presenting properties.
Over the years, I’ve learned you have 5 seconds to engage the consumer or they will leave your website. In fact, 1 in 4 will leave your site if it takes longer than 4 seconds for it to load. It gets worse, 75% of users will abandon your website if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load. Matterport tours I’ve attempted to watch over wifi on a desktop machine routinely take 8 seconds or more to load. Attempts to watch on mobile devices like iPad and iPhone were even worse and sometimes led to crashing. Any real estate video that does not work on mobile is a non starter.
At the time of writing, Matterport is the only company that offers this technology, meaning we (and you) would be 100% reliant upon them. That scares me. I know Matterport has raised millions of dollars in additional funding but that doesn’t change my opinion, I just don’t (at this point) see Matterport as a good real estate marketing tool.
I’ve noticed the chatter about Matterport has died down significantly. A few local brokerages bought one here in Phoenix and touted it on Facebook as the next best thing and then within 60 days stopped posting tours or even speaking about it. They may have realized one of the above. Not that Materport 3D is bad, it’s not. I just don’t believe it’s right for real estate marketing in its current state. I see it as a real benefit for hotels,vrbo builders, landlords where the customer cares more about the size or layout of a room than how pretty or functional it is. I do have one agent in particular that uses Matterport and loves it. When asked about it he said he uses it as a listing tool, a value proposition to offer the seller that other agents may not have. In that regard I can see value, its all about perception and if a good sales person can help a seller choose them because they perceive this to be valuable so be it.
I’m willing to be wrong about Matterport 3D tours, but am I? Somebody school me…