Imaging startup Asteroom, which bills itself as a more affordable alternative to Matterport, announced Tuesday that it has struck up a deal to provide 3D services to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach.
The new partnership means that agents at Fox & Roach will get discounted access to Asteroom’s hardware and imaging programs, among other things. Fox & Roach will in turn support Asteroom’s technology. The companies additionally expect the partnership to eventually lead to other BHHS affiliates using Asteroom.
The new partnership comes roughly eight months into the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., which among many other things has driven demand for socially distant real estate technologies such as 3D home tours.
In Asteroom’s case, former Facebook data scientist Eric Tsai co-founded the company in 2018. Tsai now serves as Asteroom’s CEO.
Today, the firm offers an interactive 3D home tour product that’s visually similar to the tours Matterport has popularized. In both cases, the companies’ imagery allows users to move through an indoor space much as Google Street View enables interactive exploration of the outdoors.
During a virtual demonstration Tuesday, Tsai argued that Asteroom is more user-friendly than competing technologies, particularly for non-photographers and do-it-yourselfers. Users shoot spaces by mounting any Android device or iPhone to a tripod. They then send the images to Asteroom to stitch together and host online.
Asteroom can produce multiple types of imagery — for example interactive dollhouse views — from cell phone imagery.
Tsai also said his company’s products are affordable. Asteroom charges $59 to scan, stitch together and host a space. That fee keeps the imagery up for six months, after which users can pay an additional $10 for six more months of hosting.
For companies that have partnerships with Asteroom, such as Fox & Roach, the fee falls to $49 per scan.
Asteroom also provides virtual staging services, which cost $49 per room.
Both Zillow and Matterport have smartphone-based 3D tour products, as well as free versions of their technology. But Tsai argued that Asteroom’s friendliness to DIYers, as well as its ability to produce floor plans and dollhouse views, is combined not something offered by any other company at a similar price point.
In a statement, he added that Asteroom has also made the “process of scanning so easy and enjoyable.”
That pitch apparently won over Fox & Roach, which in a statement Tuesday billed itself as the “leading brokerage in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.” Company CEO Larry Flick V said in the statement that his firm works to give agents “ground-breaking technologies” and that “Asteroom offers a new ease in the homebuying and selling process.”