Gimmick, or seller gimme? How 3D tours can win you more listings

Real Estate Technology with®

Last week, Active Rain hosted a webinar with luxury listing experts Lisa Larkin and Charles Nitschke. Both Lisa and Charles’ firms use Matterport 3D tours with their listings and they were eager to share how the technology has been a game-changer for their agents and how they win business in two distinct markets. 


Lisa Larkin

  • Managing Partner, RE/MAX Excalibur

  • Tucson, Arizona

  • Three offices across Arizona

  • 28 certified luxury home marketing specialists


Charles Nitschke

  • Chief Marketing Officer, Tomlinson Real Estate

  • Spokane, Washington

  • Three real estate brands representing the Tomlinson Group: 13 Coldwell Banker offices, 2 Sotheby’s, 2 Century 21


What is the difference between 3D tours + virtual tours?

Most people understand what virtual tours are, at this point: They provide the ability for consumers to pan a room from one side to another, giving a 360 degree view of any room.


3D tours, then, are the natural progression from virtual tours, which gave buyers more context than one static image. With a 3D tour, like those offered from Matterport, online buyers can access panoramic views of each room. But they can also go further, moving from room to room or even getting alternative views, like the Floor Plan View (bird’s eye) and Dollhouse view (see the full property, including all levels, with the facade removed).



Virtual Tour

3D Home Tour

360 degree panoramic view



Number of panoramic scans used

8-10 on average

Up to 200

Inside View: Can pan from one side of room to another



Inside View: Can move from one room to another

No – Will open up new panoramic photo


Floorplan View: Can see bird’s eye view of the floor plan



Dollhouse View: See the whole property at once, with façade removed




Example of the Dollhouse View in a 3D tour from Matterport


What are the practical benefits of using a 3D home tour?

Charles and Lisa agree that 3D tours are much more than a gimmick. They both affirm across-the-board benefits to using a 3D home tour:

  1. They allow clients to pre-visualize homes without having to go to the property in person. Clients can become knowledgeable about the home and either eliminate it or include it in their in-person tour plan

  2. Can be quite helpful with REOs or other homes that people may want to purchase sight unseen

  3. Homeowners are “wow-ed” by the technology and want buyers to have the option to view their home in this way

  4. It’s also super helpful for client convenience. Seller clients, especially those in the luxury segment, don’t want to be inconvenienced by a looky-loo tour. 3D tours can be used as a screening tool; listing agents can ask that buyers look at the tour in advance so they aren’t disappointed by the wrong floor plan // kitchen layout, etc.


Wait. Isn’t it my job to get buyers into the home? Why would I want to promote a technology that may minimize in-person tours?

As Lisa says, 3D tours are so immersive and impressive that it’s unlikely buyers would mis-categorize a home that they’ve “toured” via 3D technology. It’s not like looking at photos, where an agent may forget to include a snapshot of the backyard dog run or an unfinished basement because it doesn’t match the perfectly staged vibe of the rest of the photos.


Instead, a 3D tour gives buyers an honest look at everything — from the floor plan to the cabinet finish to the size of the front and back yards. Agents (and their clients) should view the technology for what it is: a tour that will either spur an in-person showing, or allow buyers to rule out the property for the same reasons they would have come to if they attended an in-person showing.


The issue of fewer, but more qualified showings, may be a factor that agents have to explain to sellers. As Lisa says, “It’s not just about the traffic, it’s about the quality of the traffic.”


Do buyers and sellers really care? Are early adopters of 3D tours winning more business?

While many agents have seen Matterport at conferences for the last few years, the market is still not fully saturated with this technology. So in some cases, early adopters are benefitting majorly from the “wow factor” of offering 3D home tours.


Charles mentioned that one of his agents got three additional listing appointments after word got out that he offered 3D home tours on his listings. While sellers may not be able to expect their agent to offer this technology, those who love it may vet several agents until they find one that will offer a Matterport listing.


Are consumers able to easily see Matterport listings without leaving their search expert?

Sotheby’s and RE/MAX both support Matterport, but Charles and Lisa are also excited that has native Matterport integration. When consumers see the Matterport logo in their search results, they’ll know that they can easily view the 3D tour without leaving the app or desktop search experience:



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Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Anything but the static image to do the job of gaining attention, fueling the interest and creating the burning desire. But real live full motion video with natural sound, just produce that for the on demand open house tours. It is what buyers want and will get from those in your local market place that created those consistently. Why doesn't realtor dot com have a youtube channel in the social media selection of the tools we agents use for promotion? Soo so easy to just add that option for buyers but soo slow in coming.

May 02, 2017 03:09 AM #1
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the information. I learned a lot from your post.

May 02, 2017 03:40 AM #2
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I love the idea of 3D tours but I find Matterport not a value proposition yet but for now the best. The VR stuff is still down the road to be effective and seamless.

May 02, 2017 08:18 AM #3
John Manuwal
Keller Williams Northwest Montana - Kalispell, MT
Kalispell Montana Agent and Photographer

I've used Matterport several times. I think it has helped out. It's hard to really tell if it did. 

May 02, 2017 09:05 AM #4
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I used Matterport once - very cool result but not sure it spurred any additional interest. However, I think its use will grow and I certainly might use it again.

May 02, 2017 04:47 PM #5
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Timely post. This will take time to know the results of cost etc.

May 02, 2017 05:50 PM #6
Sarah, John Rummage
Benchmark Realty LLC, Nashville TN 615.516.5233 - Nashville, TN
Love Being Realtors® in the Nashville TN Area!

Very interesting, new technology. Glad to hear about it. 

May 02, 2017 06:17 PM #7
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

I love the technology so much, I hired it out until I just bought the ability myself.  Now, I even hired a person to take the scans for me as well.  I am even starting to travel to shoot homes if I can line up enough to justify the trip.  You cover the travel expense from Boise, Idaho to your area, my moderate hotel and rental car and have at least three homes a day for me to shoot (since I can spend about 2 hours per property) and I can be there to help you out!  I am even trying to tie this into my classes I teach for NAR to help share the travel costs.  Send me a PM if you are interested.

May 02, 2017 07:40 PM #8
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Very interesting post.

I would like to know how the click counts on virtual tours compare to clicks on photos.

May 03, 2017 05:49 AM #9
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

With people's short attention spans, they do not even look at virtual tours all that much any longer. They will speed click through photos & then maybe look at the virtual tour, if they really like the home.

May 03, 2017 09:28 AM #10
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

It is a cool tool and for those who are wowed by tech, it is a great sales tool. 

May 03, 2017 03:47 PM #11
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

The pros that our Team uses for photography provide Matterport 3D tours. Yes, they add cost but the results are eye-popping to those to whom it is new. It is one of the ways that we separate ourselves for competition in listing presentation.


And…drone photography.

May 03, 2017 04:37 PM #12
Robert Boerner

I have heard that burglars are using the Matterport views to get a good look at a home before going in person to commit crimes. The views allow a burglar to know where valuables may be kept, if alarm panels are in the home, if there is a dog or gun safe in the home, if car keys are hanging on the wall, or which doors or windows may be the easiest to access.

I have offered Matterport scans to my listings clients in the past but also provide them the risk. So far, none have wanted to have their home so detailed on the internet.

May 06, 2017 10:12 AM #13
Robert Boerner
Gecko Realty - El Cajon, CA

The above post regarding crime was mine.  I did not log in before posting so it may appear as being written by "anonymous".  That was not my intention.

May 06, 2017 10:15 AM #14
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

We had our first matteport tour done on a listing this past week.   I think it's very cool technology.  -Kasey

May 06, 2017 02:40 PM #15
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

My friend used always say he liked the idea of 3-D art tour of museums

May 12, 2017 08:29 PM #16
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

Great technologies, but unfortunately can be too pricey for individual agents. 

Oct 19, 2017 11:11 PM #17
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