• Immoviewer says agents can use its technology to produce lightweight 3-D home tours in 15 minutes.
  • That quick turnaround time might make it useful to buyer's agents, not just listing agents.

Real estate agents have mostly only produced 3-D home tours in service to homesellers so far, wowing prospects and sometimes reducing how often clients must vacate their properties for showings.

But a European 3-D provider has introduced a product that could conceivably spur agents to use 3-D technology to help buyer clients.

Agents can use immoviewer’s 3-D toolkit to churn out lightweight 3-D tours in just 15 minutes, the firm claims. They can share the visualizations not only through traditional communication channels, but also by presenting them in a webinar-like experience that lets agents and buyers virtually explore and discuss a home in real time online.

Another perk is a clever feature that helps agents milk 3-D tours for leads.

Immoviewer’s tours are essentially a small batch of 360-degree photos that users can jump between. They lack the continuity and bells and whistles of immersive 3-D models like those provided by Matterport.

That’s because Immoviewer’s 3-D tours are a “DIY product which is scalable,” rather than one that requires expensive equipment or hiring professionals and takes at least an hour to produce.

Example of a 3-D virtual tour produced using immoviewer’s technology.

“When they’ve seen it once, they say, ‘That’s really something. I can do that on my own,'” said immoviewer CEO Ralf von Grafenstein about agents who are initially skeptical of its technology.

Immovier has demonstrated the product’s appeal abroad, with over 2,000 brokerage clients in eight countries, according to Grafenstein. 

How it works

To produce an immoviewer 3-D tour, agents have to spend somewhere from 10 to 20 minutes using a Ricoh Theta 360-degree camera mounted on a tripod to snap a 3-D photo or two of different parts of a home.

Immoviewer renders the material into a tour that lets viewers click icons in photos to jump to various positions. The tours can be embedded on websites or shared through email, Facebook and other channels.

Offering what appears to be a first-of-a-kind viewing experience for 3-D tours, agents can also present tours to multiple buyers in a webinar-like format. This turns what would otherwise be a self-guided tour into a genuine “showing” by the agent.

Buyers can move through the tour while the agents explain details and answers questions. Or agents can take control of the tour to bring buyers to parts of the property they want to discuss.

The vision is that buyer’s agents serving out-of-town buyers could dart over to a property, churn out a 3-D tour, present the tour to the buyer online and then make an offer on the buyer’s behalf if the buyer wants the home.

Matterport is trying to make its 3-D models feel more like showings in another way: by letting agents add “tags” to parts of a model to flag and describe certain property features.

Immoviewer also offers a feature that enables agents to milk 3-D tours for leads. Agents can erect registration walls that require viewers to give up their contact information for access to certain parts of a property.

For example, an agent could offer a 360-degree view of a home from its front yard, but only let viewers enter the home if they register a name, email address and phone number.

Agents get the camera, tripod and one pair of virtual-reality goggles shipped for $349. They also must fork over $69 for a 12-month contract that offers up to 12 “active tours” a month (agents can deactivate a home tour when a home sells).

While the primary differentiator in immoviewer’s 3-D technology may be its value to buyer’s agents, it also adds to a growing menu of 3-D options for listing agents.

Immoviewer sees the virtual-reality googles it provides to clients as particularly useful to listing agents.

“The idea is that the VR (virtual reality) glasses will help to win listings as the agent will have a pair in their office to show examples to the owner of the house how they can show their home — or if the owner already has a pair they can just send the link (to a 3-D virtual tour),” said immoviewer spokeswoman Julia Marks.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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