A year ago Zillow started testing a program called 3D homes. It allows a Realtor to take a panoramic picture of a room using an iPhone. The image quality was not great, but Zillow’s ranking algorithm placed homes with panoramic images at the top of searches. We used the technology because it provided our clients’ homes with more exposure but wanted to find better photo technology.
TECHNOLOGY THAT CHANGES HOW REAL ESTATE IS VIEWED
The quality issue changed with the arrival of our latest technology tool, the Ricoh Theta camera. This is a small camera with two ultra-wide angle lenses. It connects to your phone, and, using a WiFi connection, allows you to take a high-quality 360-degree panoramic image of any room of a home in one shot. These images can then be used on Zillow, our website, the Multiple Listing Service, as well as on other websites.
The camera comes with a software suite that allows you to stitch the images together to provide a true virtual tour of the home. You can view an example of one of these tours here. When viewing the tour, any blue button will lead you to a different room. The software also provides an analytic tool that allows you to see the effectiveness of each home’s tour. In the first week we used this technology, we had a buyer visit a home we had listed as a result of seeing the 360-degree tour. They subsequently withdrew an offer they had submitted on a different home and made an offer on our client’s home.
OUR JOB IS TO TELL THE STORY OF A HOME
If you read our North Scottsdale Luxury Property Report, you will see how in today’s market it is much more about how you get in front of buyers while they are engaged in their online search. Our job is to tell the story of the home in words, pictures, videos and now, in true, 360-degree virtual home tours.
LOOKING TO BUY?
We also use this technology to help our out-of-area buyers. We visit a home they are interested in, and in about 30 minutes, create a 360-degree tour they can view on our website.