Technology

Marketing firm will offer 3-D models to make life easier for agents, sellers

HouseLens raises $2M in funding with plans to expand offerings

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Real estate video marketing provider HouseLens has raised $2 million in a Series A funding round that’ll grease the company’s wheels as it gears up to offer virtual 3-D models and a video walk-through mobile app next year.

Nashville, Tennessee-based HouseLens specializes in walk-through video tours, producing about 200 a week for agents spread across the nation’s top 33 markets, according to Kathryn Royster, marketing communications coordinator for HouseLens.

But starting in 2015, the company will also begin offering real estate agents and brokers virtual 3-D models that it’ll produce using the camera and software offered by Matterport.

“Buyers love the ability to click play, sit back and enjoy an immersive walk-through video tour of a listing, and we’ve found a natural complement for those videos in 3-D,” said HouseLens CEO Andrew Crefeld in a statement.

A growing number of brokers have been adopting Matterport’s 3-D technology, while some marketing firms, like Home ScanD, incorporate it into their services. Floored, Surefield and Planitar offer competing products.

Royster says its 3-D models will start at $200 a pop, but will vary depending on the size of a home. Home ScanD, which churns out Matterport models for real estate agents across the Southeast, currently charges a flat rate of $200 per home.

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HouseLens is branching out into 3-D models to meet demand from customers, according to Royster.

Like videos, 3-D models can make properties accessible to a larger pool of buyers and reduce inconvenience to sellers and agents, she said, by cutting down on the number of showings needed to sell a home.

“The less time that real estate agent spends on wasted showings, the more time they can spend selling houses, holding open houses, following up with leads,” Royster said.

HouseLens also plans to launch a DIY video tour app in 2015 that’ll let users create photographs and walk-through video tours, and offer them mobile-first, agent-branded listing Web pages along with customer support.

HouseLens also has its sights set on drone photography, but not until the Federal Aviation Administration eases its “very clear ban on drones.”

The FAA “is moving toward a workable solution for drone usage in our industry, and we will be ready to act when that happens,” Crefeld said.