Property search sites that support 3-D home tours generally give the tours a secondary position on listings, choosing to feature property photos most prominently.

  • NYT prominently debuted 3-D home tours powered by Matterport on hundreds of listings.

Property search sites that support 3-D home tours generally give the tours a secondary position on listings, choosing to feature property photos most prominently.

But the New York Times is placing the tours front and center on listings in its online real estate section. The decision underscores growing industry confidence in the power of 3-D marketing, coming shortly after realtor.com integrated 3-D tours into its mobile app.

The New York Times real estate section recently debuted 3-D home tours powered by Matterport on hundreds of listings.

Matterport tours, which are generated using a special camera, let prospective homebuyers navigate photo-realistic 3-D models, simulating the experience of walking through a home. Matterport competitors include Realvision, InsideMaps, GeoCV and Planitar.

The tours mark the latest upgrade to NYT‘s real estate section, coming after the newspaper revamped its property search tool last year.

3-D real estate marketing is accelerating, with investors plowing cash into 3-D startups and real estate agents and websites adopting the media.

Proponents say 3-D tours cut down on pointless showings and can whet the appetite of remote buyers, though skeptics see fewer showings as a bad thing.

Realtor.com recently integrated Matterport tours into its iOS app, and plans to support integration with tours from a range of 3-D providers into its Android app and desktop website in the next few months.

A coming generation of smartphones is expected to allow users to capture 3-D home tours, though high-quality representations may require special hardware for some years to come.

Email Teke Wiggin.

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