NEW YORK — Virtual reality and 3-D tours can help agents get more out of their listings but aren’t a threat to agents’ livelihood — experts said Tuesday at Tech Connect, a special morning of programming at Inman Connect New York.

GeoCV CEO Anton Yakubenko and Matterport CEO Bill Brown told the audience about their plans to further integrate 3-D and VR technology into real estate. They were joined by Compass broker Brian Lewis.

“It gives you the ability to tell the story about the property without having to physically be there,” Brown said.

The VR CEOs described how agents can already use consumer technology to make their own 3-D tours, for example, by capturing 360 degree images on their iPhone. Soon, they said, agents will be able to use their phones to create a full 3-D tour.

Last week Zillow Group unveiled a new, free app called Zillow 3D Home that will allow agents, brokers, and real estate photographers to capture home tours directly on their iPhones, and upload them to Zillow listings, though Brown draws a distinction between the appearance of Zillow’s 360-degree virtual tours and the 3-D dollhouse models Matterport is known for.

But the increasing prevalence of 3-D tours won’t eliminate the need for real estate agents, they assured the audience. Agents should manually add highlights to their tours so that when a client is experiencing a walkthrough through the home, they can click on a pop-up in the kitchen and learn more about an appliance or a fireplace.

And for clients who are “not digital natives,” some guidance on how to use VR technology might still be needed.

“One of the reasons why people use any kind of 3-D or VR is to differentiate themselves and differentiate their listings,” Yakubenko said. “If you put yourself in the tour, that makes it even more valuable than just showing the space in 3-D or VR.”

Beyond just using VR to show clients more realistic views of a home before they make the trip over, clients will be able to use augmented reality to learn more about the home while they’re touring it.

“We started off trying to bridge the physical world into the digital world,” Brown said. “Now we take all that digital content and try to bring it back into the physical.”

Can’t get enough Connect? Check out more of our coverage:

Email Emma Hinchliffe

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription