- Camera costs $4,500.
- Matterport has an app that's compatible with virtual reality headsets.
- Matterport's customer service might be a problem for the company.
More brokerages that specialize in selling high-priced homes, typically with the aid of significant staging, are likely to consider the utilization of 3-D technology moving forward.
Silver Spring-based brokerage The Donna Kerr Group recently dropped $4,500 for the purchase of a Matterport camera, which is capable of producing 3-D models of homes by capturing the outlines of any room and discerning spatial relationships between objects.
Via still images, viewers can view these 3-D models and see the contours of a space similar to if they were touring it in person. For example, someone taking a virtual home tour on a tablet can tilt the screen upward if they want to view the home’s ceiling.
The Donna Kerr Group is currently working through its first shoot with the camera and has yet to see the final results.
Donna Kerr, the four-person brokerage’s owner, noted that it took more than two hours to shoot a roughly 2,000-square-foot residence. While special skills aren’t required for an agent to shoot a home there is a “lot of start and stopping” between clicks that is required.
While shooting a house can be time consuming, what’s held up the brokerage’s first 3-D home tour has been the camera producer.
“It’s been frustrating to deal with customer service,” Kerr said, explaining the firm’s account was set up under the wrong person. “We haven’t been able to process the photos we took.”
Once they work out the kinks and customer service issues, the brokerage expects to offer the 3-D photos as part of a luxury marketing package, typically for homes priced at more than $700,000.
“Something worth photographing,” Kerr added, mentioning her firm specializing in staging homes, often conducting full-on renovation projects.
The 3-D tour created from the Matterport camera can also be viewed via a virtual realty headset-intended app.
Strong start to spring
During the start of the spring selling season the brokerage reports receiving multiple offers over asking price for all of its listings. In addition to Silver Spring, the firm’s focus markets are Kensington, Bethesda and Takoma Park.
The firm claims its listings sell in an average of 22 days and at 99.8 percent of their list price.
In 2016 Kerr expects to sell roughly 160 homes, which would equate to 40 percent year-over-year growth for the firm.
The addition of several more agents will be one reason for the expansion.
“We prefer bringing in high-producing agents with some admin support instead of more agents,” Kerr said.