J.R. Maddox is a real estate photographer based in L.A. and he utilises a variety of tools and techniques to make his work stand out among the crowd, including drones and DSLR work. He’s going to walk and talk us through another tool, the Matterport, here at Layers Magazine.
Matterport, what is it? It’s a 3D camera that helps people view homes as if they were actually there. You can be on the other side of the world and you can actually feel like you are in the house before you even buy it. That to me is amazing. I love photos for real estate but this is such a better way to see a home.
A home is one of the biggest purchases in your life. You may be thinking you want to move to the other side of the country but can’t afford to just take off from work to go look at houses. Matterport is the way that can save you and everyone else time, which we never have enough of.
First thing is with Matterport, it’s easy to use. All that is needed is a smart phone or iPad. I use an iPad Mini. The Matterport camera has its own WiFi so that you can connect your device to it. After getting the camera and iPad connected to each other I start scanning, but before I need to make sure that the camera is level. Once level all you need to do is move out of the room and press scan on the iPad app. I kind of feel like a radiographer doing an x-ray at the hospital every time I leave the room to do a scan. The scan now takes 20 seconds to do 360 degrees. Before this last update it would take up to 40-50 seconds for each scan. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time but when the average home (1800-2300) sq ft takes about 70-90 scans (which are about 6 feet apart from each other) that time adds up. This latest update really has cut the time in half that we are scanning a home with Matterport now. It’s something we’ve all been asking them to do and it’s nice to know they were listening. The camera can only take the 3D images inside the home, or in complete shadow. They did, however, release an update allowing us to do a 2D view outside. Its like the old school virtual tours back in the 90’s! But its perfect for doing outside the house.
After all rooms have been scanned, you are all set to connect your iPad to the internet and upload to have it magically put together. To this day I’m still amazed how the software places every scan into a 3D virtual area. It takes anywhere from 2-7 hours to get the scan back from Matterport, who have done all the work on a subscription service, and see it all put together in 3D. I like to go into the Matterport workshop to make it just a case of hitting the play button for the end user. Click here to go through one that I did for a realtor in Encino, California.
I can place the end user exactly where I want them in each scan by taking a screen shot in the Workshop software, and then the magicians in the computer put it all together for me once I place them in the order I want the end user to follow. Its like magic!
The final result comes with a variety of different links for the realtor to either embed into their web site. They come branded and un-branded and also you can share these as links for people to go to. There isn’t any special software that you have to use to view these either. The end user can stop the play button and go on their own ‘walk’ around the house. They can literally look wherever they like in the house.
So this is why I think that every realtor needs to be using Matterport on their listings. Like I always say, doing Matterport brings a lot more people to the party. My job as a photographer is to bring out all the great details of this home, which in the end, the better I do my job the more people that come to the party! The more people at the party (the listing house) the more the house will sell for, as you will have multiple offers on the house. So it’s a win for everyone really. The home buyer finds exactly what they want faster, the realtor sells the sellers house for more money, the realtor now has more clients as he or she is able to sell peoples homes for more money. Everybody wins!