Author: Matt Vardy |
So far 2020 is shaping up to be a year like no other before. Covid-19 has thrown the world for a loop and most industries – including real estate – have been severely impacted. Real estate agents – identified as essential in many regions – are scrambling to reinvent themselves as "virtual" in order to facilitate listings and showings while obeying social/physical distancing rules as much as possible.
A near-decade old technology called Matterport (when I say Matterport I am referring to all 3D tour companies because Kleenex is to tissue paper as Matterport is to 3D tours) has suddenly re-emerged on the scene, by positioning itself as the miracle solution for real estate during the Covid-19 crisis, and many agents and brokerages are embracing it.
But is Matterport really the right choice for selling homes right now (or ever)? Real estate professionals should carefully consider their marketing options while the real estate market is so uncertain and budgets are being stretched thinner than ever before. Let's also not forget the current millennium's real estate marketing trends (pre-Covid-19) and the fragility of buyer attention spans (indeed, people in general).
In 2019 I put in a few months worth of research into Matterport. I also surveyed My Home Viewer's clients and what I discovered was that most real agents were not interested in it (at least when it came to MHV's client database, that is). Most clients said they like the way Matterport looks at a glance, but admitted that they hate actually using and viewing properties on it. So if agents hate using Matterport, what about the general public – the people that actually matter when it comes to making a sale as a realtor?
My research showed that cinematic video tours gain considerably more views when compared to a 3D tour product like Matterport, which requires “work” from the viewer. Unless a member of the public (buyer) is already heavily invested in a specific property on Matterport, they will most likely be too lazy to click and drag around a property manually as is required to see a property fully from front to back on Matterport.
WHY A CINEMATIC VIDEO ATTRACTS MORE VIEWS VS. MATTERPORT
When it comes to the specifics of marketing a property online, when you share a video or run paid advertising on a video it will have much greater reach and engagement in comparison to a Matterport tour. Why does this matter? Well, more eyeballs on the property = more opportunity for the right buyer to see or hear about it from someone who has.
How does a video attract more views vs. Matterport?
PAID ADVERTISEMENTS ARE MORE SUCCESSFUL WITH A CINEMATIC VIDEO VS. MATTERPORT
Imagine running a paid advertisement on Facebook: an ad with a cinematic video you uploaded directly to Facebook (OR) an external link to a Matterport tour. The engagement on the video you uploaded is 9 times out of 10 going to win. There is no competition. Here's why:
ANYTHING A MATTERPORT CAN DO, CINEMATIC VIDEO CAN DO BETTER
Don't get me wrong. I understand the push Matterport (and photographers who are stuck paying high monthly fees in order to offer it) are doing right now in order to win agents and sellers over. The Matterport experience is flashy and enticing and it does seem cutting edge (though in reality it has been around for almost 10 years now) and as a photographer I would do the same thing if I was paying monthly for it.
On the realtor side, one of the major driving forces behind the decision to use Matterport to sell a property is the concept that a buyer could (again, if they have the patience) really take their time viewing the property to examine all angles of a room. And a Matterport could (if the vendor provides this extra service) have hotspots labelled like appliance brand names, hidden features, etc. (but let's not forget that the user needs to navigate themselves to those hotspots in order to learn of them).
A really good video knocks real estate marketing out of the park, especially during Covid-19. It just requires proper effort and planning to do it properly, to do it well and to highlight all the special features, upgrades, and brand names. A home can be presented through video in any sequence order. This means that the best and most attractive features can be shown right from the very start; a strategy that is sure to grab the attention of prospective buyers' attention.
READ MORE: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A WINNING CINEMATIC VIDEO TOUR FOR REAL ESTATE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Matterport does not replace the cinematic video tour as the most effective marketing option for real estate during Covid-19, though it might make for a nice secondary (or tertiary) add-on for those realtors who still have the budget to spend on extras.
To remain relevant, video tour creators only need to adapt their video production planning and shooting techniques in order to cater video tours to the current needs of real estate agents amidst a global pandemic.
Matterport may seem appealing and a convenient solution in these times, but when you look at the big picture, a well planned, strategically captured video will always out perform Matterport in the end.
My Home Viewer shoots cinematic video tours for real estate agents across Southern Ontario available to help as many realtors as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic.
To make a cinematic video tour booking, visit: www.myhomeviewer.com or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to ask about the "extended shooting coverage" upgrade for in-depth videos as per this article!