I was recently lucky enough to have one of my listings photographed for a Matterport 3-D virtual tour. I lightly use the term photographed because it’s is almost an insult if you have seen the cameras used to scan a room for a 3-D tour.
If you are not familiar with this technology, it might just be the coolest thing in real estate marketing since the marriage between the digital camera and the Internet. The Matterport technology is light-years ahead of anything I have seen in real estate marketing. Plus, the wow factor with my clients is unprecedented.
Before you get all excited to book your first 3-D virtual tour, there are a few things I want to share with you so that your tour comes out as awesome as you want it to be.
Here are my six tips to prepare for a 3-D tour:
1. Clean. Don’t just move things; completely declutter.
Anyone who has ever had a listing professionally photographed is well aware that quite often there are a good number of items behind the camera that were once in front of the camera.
Restated, most real estate professionals have moved items out of the camera angle to get the right photo shot, and sometimes more than we care to disclose. With the 3-D technology, this is harder to accomplish because they scan the entire room from multiple angles.
The golden rule here is to declutter the entire home prior to filming. Then stand at several points in each room and do a 360-degree turn while looking for things that might look out of place. With a still photo, items can be tucked out of sight of the camera angle, but with an entire room scan, there is no hiding.
2. Remove personal items.
Personal items are a factor to consider. If your seller is a private person or family, the personal items need to go. That pretty wedding photo that sits on the shelves, if you don’t what it seen in your house tour, then you should get it out of the room.
When the 3-D technology scans the entire room, it will pick up on everything in the room, personal effects included.
3. Clean the windows.
Windows: Clean them. Clean windows can have a significant effect on making a home look clean and well-cared for, and they also have a huge impact on photography. Dirty windows show up in still pictures, and they will certainly show up on a whole-house scan.
Clean windows are especially vital if your home has a great view that you are trying to capture in your shots. This clean standard also applies to all glass surfaces and mirrors in the home.
4. Kill the dust bunnies.
Clean the house like no one ever lived there. A clean home just comes out better in photography. And with today’s high-resolution cameras, every spec of dust will show in the photos — and 3-D scans only amplify this.
If a prospect is walking through your 3-D virtual tour where they can pan up, down and sideways, he or she will surely see a dust bunny collection. And the last time I checked, dust bunnies are not big selling points — kill ’em.
5. Eliminate accessories.
Along the same lines of cleaning your home and decluttering, be sure to remove garbage cans, dog bowls — and all pet-related items — refrigerator magnets, small kitchen appliances. Remember: When in doubt, move it out.
6. Light it up.
Check all the lights in the house to make sure they are operational. Be sure to replace any light bulbs that are missing or not functional. The better the lighting in a home, the better the results produced. A well-lit home always shows better — it certainly photographs better and even more so with the 3-D technology.
Lastly, bring something to do. Once you have the home in a film-ready state, find something to do so that the photographer can get the job done. They will need to set three or more scan angles of each room, and more for larger rooms, which is time-consuming.
If you have something to keep you occupied, you won’t get in the way of the photographer. Given all the additional steps needed to get a proper scan of your listing, it would be wise to set your seller’s expectations on the amount of time needed to shoot the home.
My first Matterport shoot was a grand success given some tips I received from a colleague and those provided by HouseLens, the company that filmed my listing. Hopefully this article saves you some effort, too.