New deal to provide agents with ‘best-in-class 360° virtual tours’

FocalAgent has signed a new deal with Matterport to bring what it describes as ‘best-in-class 360° virtual tours’ to its partner agents.

Key features of the new product include professional photography and enhancements, video trailers, floorplans and guided virtual viewing platform FocalViewing.

Matterport 360° tours are designed to allow potential buyers to explore listings as if they were walking through each room in a completely immersive experience.

Research from Matterport shows that 74% of agents using the 360° tour tool report it helped them grow market share by winning more listings, as well as providing customers with a superior online viewing experience with the ability to view the property from multiple angles.

It is claimed that homebuyers are shown to be 300% more engaged with a Matterport 360 tour than they are with 2D imagery, with 95% of people stating they would be more likely to call about a property that they can tour online.

FocalAgent recently invested in 350 Pro2 3D cameras for use by its nationwide network of over 1,000 professional photographers and is offering an introductory rate to sales and lettings agents of £49.99.

Lee Wainwright, CEO of FocalAgent, said: “Customer behaviour has changed, I believe for good, and ambitious agents are recognising the opportunity to steal a march on their competitors by permanently adopting a virtual first approach.

“Using 360° tours to make a property stand out online and as a qualifying tool to engage with only the most serious buyers, is a win-win for agents, particularly in today’s fierce seller’s market. We’re excited to add Matterport to our product suite, ensuring we offer the highest quality digital marketing services to our partner agents.”

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11 Comments

  1. Steve_Smithson

    … is it just me, or is the amount of time needed to create these 360s just too much? particularly now that in person viewings are back to normal.

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    1. JamesH79

      Agreed, the time it takes to create a matterport is significant… however if it can prevent wasted viewings and accordingly misspent staff time, then I think there’s some merit in them as we may get this time back as it were. However I think they need to be partnered with a decent lead capture process in order to follow up with visitors.

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    2. smile please

      Too long? Takes 25 mins to scan a 3 bed house!

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      1. JamesH79

        That’s not true.

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        1. smile please

          You should get some training in then.

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  2. Woodentop

    Worst thing you can do unless you have a near perfect show house.

     

    Marketing is a carrot and giving too much information can also be a very big negative. Never take away the personal experience at the property. Who has never heard a potential buyer say …. once at the property ….. something that becomes positive from negative marketing, opinions and an opportunity for the sales neg to do their job. You know a salespersons job description.

     

    There is an endless list of negative reasons for using these ideas, which takes the salesperson out of the equation. The biggest being, “I don’t need to visit now, I’ve seen it” and the technology sold at getting rid of timewaster. H’mmm missed an opportunity to find out why, how to fix or sell anther property and of course not forgetting … not a clue who the potential buyer was. Nearly all potential buyers are buyers sooner or later. May work for some but getting people through the front door and how you sell is the key.

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    1. Colin Adiuvo

      How do you feel about the guided virtual tours? Still a virtual 360 viewing but with applicant and agent on the tour live speaking as if onsite, giving the opportunity to the agent to cover what you outline?

      We use them for a completely different purpose (maintenance fault reporting in communal blocks/resource for quoting and prepping contractors) but I wondered if they are a good compromise that still allow the agents control whilst cutting down travel time/time-wasting etc.?  We just give out a link on a call and immediately both parties are “at” the property.

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    2. The Property Jungle

      @WoodenTop this misses one of the biggest benefits which comes from simply winning more instructions by having them.

      “74% of agents using the 360° tour tool report it helped them grow market share by winning more listings.”

      If you have too many listings already then you may have a point, but all the market data at present suggests this would be unlikely.

      Vendors and landlords alike love that agents are using technology to improve the customer experience, to improve their own experience and present their properties in new and exciting ways.

      When I started in agency myself in the early 1980’s it was perceived that to be a successful agent you had to fill the house with viewers. That was the measure of success, 40 years ago.

      Today as a tech savvy, time poor vendor I am my happiest if you as my agent reduce the number of times I have to scoop the Lego into the oven and Febreze the dog. If you only sent one person to physically see the house who then bought it I would be very happy.

      You can achieve that by using “virtual accompanied viewings” as described by @Colin Adiuvo. Show someone around 10 properties an hour from your desktop. Get to the no faster. Use your time well so that the only real viewings you undertake are with people who have already virtually seen it and are expressing a strong likelihood of buying/renting it.

      The only thing you need to do then is make sure you can create the tours with the least amount of time on site. Matterport is not the tool for that. It does take too long.

      Use immoviewer instead for the shortest time on site and have a live 360° tour available literally in minutes.

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      1. Woodentop

        Never take the salesperson out of a  sales service industry. There is the argument that it can save time .. who’s time! and time waster. sales is a hands on experience that requires both parties to communicate to be consistently successful.

         

        One of the long list of why it is counter productive is … not all vendors properties are anywhere near acceptable condition and presentation for 360 tours and requires a personal and accompanied visit to over come any hurdles (not always possible but the opportunity to develop a relationship with the potential buyer and switch to another property now or in the future). The problem is that try telling your vendor who thinks you have the best thing since sliced bread but won’t use it on their property, when you will with others.

         

        Getting instructions also requires getting the sale or it wasn’t worth the effort in the first place. We tried this technology  twenty years ago (its not new but enhanced) and ditched it as it caused more issues and time wasting and lack of contact with agents. Too much information upfront can be a disadvantage.

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        1. Colin Adiuvo

          I feel that’s where the accompanied virtual viewings come in; you are “there” with the vendor (like facetime but with the conversation happening inside the property) you can lead the tour, encounter the obstacles and respond immediately and still build a relationship without leaving your desk.

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          1. The Property Jungle

            @Colin. Completely correct. @Woodentop is 100% correct based on what was possible 20 years ago. However the technology has moved on a long way past 360° tours being just another form of photo.

            There are now remote control tools within modern 360° systems through which you the agent can walk someone through a property, engaging in a conversation, using your first person sales skills, being an agent. Simultaneously viewing the property with the buyer/viewer and engaging with them exactly as you would in person.

            Expanding on @Woodentop’s point this technology today is deliberately designed to promote and enable interaction conversationally in real time between applicants and agents. It’s a mistake and a missed opportunity if you only want to send someone a link to a tour in the hope they’ll figure everything out themselves.

            Now you can both virtually “go to the property” immediately, view it together, overcome objections, or get to the no faster and cheaper, then virtually take them to the next property on the other side of town in about 2 seconds. And so on. Show a dozen possibles, narrow down to 2 or 3 real potentials and then actually visit.

            A much more efficient and effective use of time resulting in sales, lettings, listings, productivity improvements, getting more done with less.

            I can get @Woodentop, or anyone else interested, a 3 month free trial of immoviewer.

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