In an interview with Zillow’s Rich Barton, Brad Inman said he found 3D home tours difficult to navigate. The market availability of them suggest they’ve never been easier and are only getting better.

If you’d like to catch a video replay of this Connect Now session, and access the other 25+ hours of video content from Connect Now, tickets are still available. Click here to access.

In the opening session of Inman Connect Now, founder Brad Inman told Zillow CEO Rich Barton that virtual tours were hard to watch, and that he had a hard time making his way from “the kitchen to the living room.”

And while the man who signs my paychecks (I think. I get direct deposit.) is more wise about proptech than his humble demeanor lets on, I don’t agree with this take the state of virtual tours, and I don’t think Barton did, either. But since Barton isn’t Gary Keller, the discord didn’t swell.

Brad, I was once in your camp. Even as a tech guy, I found Matterport gimmicky and certainly clunky. Then, I started to look around a little and widened my perspective. Competitors emerged, and so did cool new capabilities and uses beyond showings.

Today, 3D tours are smart, helpful, and as simple to navigate as Startup Alley — and getting better all the time.

For example, I recently looked at a live tour app called HomeRover, a product of BrightDoor. You’ll see a full review in a few weeks, but this home tour tool lets an agent guide distant buyers room-by-room through a listing. Up to three guests can comment, screen grab, add notes and request highlights.

Yes, it’s a little like Zoom but enhanced with smart real estate-centric advantages and marketing features.

You should also see EyeSpy360. It’s out of London, where they know a little bit about being on camera.

This omnifunctional visualization software can tour up to eight people at a time through a home with live interaction and interactive meta-data about appliances, finishes and listing highlights.

Hotspots are easy to find and select for quick movement from room to room, and like Matterport, you can use the dollhouse view to pop from room to room and see the dimensions.

There’s also Realvision, which you can read about in full in my Friday tech column.

This sleekly designed marketing software disguised as an outsourced photography service gives homeshoppers the upfront option to explore the home from the outside, inside or using a floor plan, all in the context of an elegantly designed listing page. There’s no way you’d have trouble finding your way in, around or out. I think agents will dig this.

BoxBrownie’s version of 3D tours uses big bold red dots to swivel and pan into new viewing positions.

IGuide floats a very clear floor plan next to its tour window with direct location indicators that even project your viewing angle.

Lastly Brad, remember how far we’ve come. After all, it was you who pointed out to me the BeachesMLS week-long virtual open house event. They had more than 700 get published, and it’s still pushing members to get listings on camera and on the web.

You’ll never hear me say that an in-person showing isn’t necessary. It absolutely is. But can a person decide against a house after seeing it as a 3D tour or web-based open house? Also absolutely. And that’s major progress.

See you on Zoom.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

If you’d like to catch a video replay of this Connect Now session, and access the other 25+ hours of video content from Connect Now, tickets are still available. Click here to access.

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