Updated: Aug 23
There is a major difference between the quality, usability, features, and cost of various virtual tour platforms. Those differences yield the best results to the seller statistically when using the best platform, Matterport. In addition, 2 different people shooting on the same platform at the same property w/ the same camera can yield vastly different results.
If you're only talking about Matterport virtual tours that are both in MLS in Hampton Roads (REIN MLS, the dominant MLS of Hampton Roads) where many buyers look and those that are getting auto-populated to popular websites like Zillow,
What are the Matterport virtual tours Adam uses for his listings & why does Adam use them?
Matterport is a virtual tour platform that is the top platform on the market today. Adam seeks excellence in all he does, constantly striving to do more for sellers and to go above and beyond again and again. Adam selected to use Matterport because it's the best platform for virtual tours of homes.
Statistics on Why Matterport Virtual Tours
In Adam's research of other virtual tour platforms on REIN MLS (the primary MLS of Hampton Roads where the majority of properties auto-populate from), Adam found that a significant % of virtual tours on other platforms didn't make it to be visible either on MLS &/or on at least some (& more likely the vast majority of) of the top 3 public websites where buyers go to look for properties (Zillow, Realtor.com & Redfin).
"People are shown to be 300% more engaged with a Matterport 3D virtual tour than they are with 2D imagery."
"95% of people are more likely to call about properties with 3D virtual tours."
"90% of buyers are more compelled by a listing that has a virtual tour."
"99% of sellers agree that having a virtual tour in their listing would give them a competitive edge."
“The quality of Matterport digital twins instantly builds trust with a prospective buyer. That trust factor is why 71% of our customers, now feel comfortable enough to buy a house sight-unseen when the listing includes a 3D virtual tour from Matterport.”
Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist, Redfin
Perspectives on Why Matterport Virtual Tours
“It's a really unique experience. It gives them an opportunity to look at the house from every angle and do it from the comfort of their own home. It’s a 24-hour open house”
Bill Lawton, Mega Achievement Productivity Systems (MAPS) Coach - Keller Williams
“Since adopting Matterport, we find prospects have spent time viewing the 3D virtual tour, getting to know the property, and come to the viewing as authentic, interested parties”
James Quantrell, Director, Winkworth Guildford
Is Matterport really the best? See a comparison of 6 top platforms w/ 8 others not included because they weren't good enough.
As Ben Claremont shares in the below video, "Matterport really is considered the gold standard when it comes to 3D 360 tours, & using an alternative to Matterport requires extra education for your client & it also has slightly less credibility because it's not the most well-known name in 3D scanning... It's a credibility point. You're either using Matterport or you're not."
Among Ben Claremont's ratings, here's a spreadsheet of the top reasons why Matterport is superior to those 5 competitors from a buyer/seller standpoint that a seller should be aware of that are the most feature-rich, & more feature rich than the "honorable mentions" below:
Here are the "honorable mentions" that weren't good enough to make the cut of the 6 platforms he compared:
Zillow 3D Home: https://www.zillow.com/z/3d-home/
Top Benefits of Matterport vs Competitors
Matterport comes with benefits for sellers like:
1. Quick processing after the initial on-site shooting
2. Floor plans that can be integrated into listing photos, a dollhouse view, & a more immersive & user-friendly experience.
4. Excellent 3D transitions
4. Prestige as the #1 platform
Why doesn't everyone use Matterport? Higher cost & higher time on site is required.
Put simply, Matterport does more than any widely used alternative, & in order to do more, the processing on devices takes longer on Matterport while the shooting is taking place & costs more since it's more advanced software/hardware.
Unlike a typical camera, when you're shooting on Matterport, there's a pause where you need to wait for the 360 image or images to be captured & other data to be put together. The amount of time it takes depends on the device(s) being used. When something takes longer and is being hired out to someone, that person is going to cost more than someone else using a faster, less advanced platform. When a real estate agent is doing virtual tours themselves like me, there's a strong incentive to use platforms that are faster because sellers typically don't know the difference between Matterport & other cheaper (or in some cases free) and faster platforms.
The person shooting the virtual tours, how they shoot it, & how they input it in MLS can produce vastly different results even at the same house with the same platform.
The biggest problem with Matterport in my research in Hampton Roads is one of input. Often, agents or the admin they use input the virtual tours in the wrong places or input broken links. A minor error in input means that in some cases, most buyers won't be seeing a home. One of the reasons why is that more buyers are looking at homes on public websites than on MLS, so even if a property is visible on MLS, if it's not auto-populating to any other websites because the agent used the wrong version of a link, it's a significant loss to the seller.
The second biggest problem with many Matterport tours is that the person doing the photography doesn't spend enough time on the shoot because they're too focused on getting to their next shoot. That means fewer scans, less attention to details of what might not look good in a scan that could easily be changed, less areas for buyers to explore, higher risks for buyers from scheduling a tour in person, etc. For example, most virtual tours of homes don't include exterior space & unfinished space. In some cases, they won't open large closets. People shooting virtual tours often skip these in order to speed things up. They might not even turn on the lights in a home.
When I used to hire out virtual tours to "professionals", they never did exterior or unfinished spaces. In the worst example I can recall that happened to my own listing, a 2 bed, 2 bath house had a bedroom and a bathroom that was skipped by a "professional". Keep in mind that the company I hired had many excellent reviews online & that I had used them before. The sellers had the virtual tour done right before moving out, so when the virtual tour was ready, it was too late because they also weren't using Matterport, and stated that they would need to redo the whole virtual tour, and in doing so, lose all of those scans with furnished spaces. While I already had a Matterport subscription & my Ricoh Theta Z-1 360 camera at the time that happened, I used to hire out the virtual tour at times in order to save me time. Of course I requested that I never have that photographers shoot for me again, but that experience was one of the biggest impetus for me to later no longer have any occasions where I hired out virtual tours on my listings.
By including additional areas and preparing the home well for the virtual tour, you can achieve the best results for your sale and buyers will be more prone to spend more time looking at your property than other properties that might have the same square footage & yard size but that don't get as detailed in the virtual tour.
The impact on searches is significant in part since many websites where buyers look for homes, including the top 3 real estate websites by web traffic, have filters to weed out properties with no virtual tour.
In some cases, a buyer will start and stop with those properties that are visible with 3D tours by filtering out the properties without them. In those cases, they may never get around to expanding their search further to properties that don't have a virtual tour if they see something or a number of properties that they like and then make an offer. If no virtual tour is present, a buyer runs a higher risk of wasting their time.
Places where buyers can filter out properties in their search that don't have a virtual tour include but are not limited to the top 3 real estate websites in the US & worldwide (each of which has buyer search portals) as of the date of this publication according to website traffic rankings from Similar Web:
Image courtesy Zillow
Images courtesy Similar Web
The top competitor of Matterport in Hampton Roads among active listings (Zillow 3D Tours) is not even 1 of the top 6 platforms by features, but is used because it's free.
Zillow 3D tours didn't make the cut of options for virtual tours in Ben Claremont's review. He listed it under those that didn't make the cut because they weren't good enough.
The top reasons why many agents with virtual tours use Zillow tours, despite it not even making the cut of the top 6 virtual platforms, is because:
1. The Zillow tour option is free
2. Anyone can use your phone to create it. Of course that means that it reduces quality vs 360 cameras like the Ricoh Theta Z1 & Matterport branded cameras. It also means you can do it faster than on those platforms on site. For it to take less time on site means less time an agent would need to shoot it and lower cost for a photographer to shoot it vs Matterport.
Sometimes when Matterport is used, it's input in MLS wrong, making it invisible in places by agents who likely have no idea & likely regularly make the same mistakes.
I've seen the following technical problems drastically damaging Matterport exposure by agents who likely have no idea that they are needlessly shooting their sellers in the foot and diminishing the positive impact of Matterport:
1. Some agents input a website into the 3d home tour other than Matterport, causing the virtual tour to not be visible on popular websites like Zillow. For instance, they might put a website that has an embedded Matterport tour in it, so while that website may be visible on MLS, it won't land on other public websites like Zillow. While you might think that careless errors like this one would be made only by low volume agents doing cheap properties, I've seen it on a high volume agent who was shooting their >$800k buyer in the foot by doing so.
2. Some agents don't include any non-branded Matterport tour, making the virtual tour invisible on MLS for any buyer who is looking on MLS independently or is getting a property feed from their buyer's agent.